Weekends Are For Adventure

This post is by regular contributor Tricia Hogbin of Little Eco Footprints.

Much of my family’s outdoor time on weekdays is spent in an urban environment. A typical day’s outdoor activity for Little Eco (my daughter) includes a quick walk around the block with the dog in the morning, some backyard play at preschool, and a ‘Green Hour’ in the afternoon. Our ‘Green Hour’ rarely extends beyond our urban suburb and is mostly spent visiting a local park, walking or cycling around our neighbourhood, or playing or gardening in our backyard.

I love urban nature and am always surprised by what we encounter, yet it’s not enough. I want Little Eco to know and love the ‘real’ nature. So on weekends we try and make-up for our urban weekdays by going on an adventure.

Last weekend it was canoeing. It was Little Eco’s first canoe trip and I wasn’t certain she would enjoy it. I was expecting her to be a little apprehensive and thought she would become restless after an hour or so. But she surprised me. She loved it. She spotted wildlife, splashed in the water, and had a go at paddling. After around three hours canoeing she was calmer and happier than I’d seen her in ages.

Some of her other favourite weekend adventures include….


horse riding,




and simply playing in the bush.

I can already see her expressing the benefits of this time with nature. These moments of adventure build her confidence. They expose her to new sights and experiences. They stretch her comfort levels. They improve her strength and fitness. And most importantly they connect her with nature.

How about you? Have you taken your children on an outdoor adventure recently? Have you noticed the confidence that comes with completing an adventure?

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  1. Two Chicks and a Hen says:

    Great ideas. We live right in the city, and I have the same concerns. We play outside in the yard and in the parks, but it is simply not the same as what, to me, feels like “real” nature. We are a car-free family, so it takes a big effort to go out into the country to have these sorts of adventures, but I’m hoping we can accomplish some of them this summer.

    1. Well done on living car-free. Good luck finding ways to ‘get out into the country’.

  2. Love this idea! We keep trying to incorporate “big nature” into our weekends but the winter and the nap schedule (it’s an hour + drive out of our city and napping in the car just doesn’t work for us…oh, we have tried) have made it more challenging than I expected. This summer I hope things will go better — at the very least we can explore some of the wilder parks in our city. And I’m hoping I can convince hubby we need at least one camping trip!

    Um, isn’t that a kayak in your photo?

    1. I remember how hard it was to get out in nature with a baby. We didn’t start going on ‘adventures’ again until Little Eco was almost three. It’s much easier now that she’s a little older.

      Re the canoe, it’s apparently a canoe because it’s open on top, but it is very kayak-like. I just noticed you are from Canada…It’s definately very different to your canadian canoes. Probably an example of calling things by different names in different countries?

      Good luck convincing hubby you need a camping trip 🙂

      1. The little guy just got hold of the Sears catalogue and is fascinated by the pages and pages of tents and wow, mommy, boats! We’re ganging up on daddy….

        Still not a canoe. But who cares, it looks like great fun and a very practical craft in which to take a wee one for a paddle…

  3. Great post Tricia. We are working on were to head bush for our Autumn holidays…. maybe going to get the kids out for an overnight hike. Our kids still talk of our trip earlier in the year. Thanks for posting the photos again.

    1. An overnight hike sounds like fun. Good luck. Our trip was fun wasn’t it. Little Eco also regualarly talks about it and your kids. We’ll have to do it again 🙂

  4. The girls had such fun on that bushwalk (and despite the photo did actually walk a lot of it.) We’ll have to do it again somewhere.

    Oh, and that horse is a bit bigger than the Farmer’s Market ponies!

  5. LOL. I was going to say the same thing- that’s a kayak!! I am Canadian and a canoe is a canoe is a canoe!

    Regardless looks like lots of fun. Nothing like the great outdoors!

    xo m.

  6. Francesca says:

    Great post! It is exactly what I need. We too live right in the heart of the city and I’ve been trying to get my head around how we might embrace nature in a more regular, wholesome way. I’ve thought of apple picking, bushwalking and camping. I now have even more ideas, thank you.

  7. MultipleMum says:

    Tricia, you are talking my language here. We are all about outdoor adventures (we own a Camping store!). Our kids come alive in the bush! I love your concept of ‘green hour’ – am so adopting this x

  8. Gorgeous Tricia, many of these pics of little Eco are where my little people are most happiest! So simple, many inexpensive and so much enjoyment to be had.

    Happy weekend…x

  9. Hi Tricia,
    Your canoeing trip sounds fantastic! I would love to go for a paddle with my kids, but the last time we tried my daughter completely freaked out about wearing a lifejacket. That was two years ago, when she was two and a half, and the experience left such an impression on her that she can still remember the clothes she was wearing that day! The lifejacket still appears in her pretend play occasionally, and I don’t like my chances of getting her in one again until she’s maybe 15 or so. The reason I mention it is because it looks as though Little Eco is life jacket-less in that photo… Or is there a slim-line version for little kids that allows more freedom of movement?
    Love all your adventures in nature. We haven’t braved camping yet but the kids are on my case so maybe next spring!

    1. Hi Sarah. Thats a shame the life vest freaked out your daughter. Little Eco is wearing her swimming bubble. Perhaps you could try her with a swimming bubble instead? We decided to go with something she was familiar with. We debated getting her a life-vest, but heading into winter we decided to wait until next summer so that she dosen’t grow out of it before she used it.

  10. Funny. We live in nature…and visit the city on some weekends. No matter where we live, we want variety and new adventures so we seek out what we don’t have. Whether we live in the city and take weekend trips to the country…or live in the country and take weekend trips to the city.

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