Pizza + Paddle | Stacking Activities
Let's talk about "activity stacking". I'm not entirely sure it's a term but I'm going to use it as such because it's a key to how we make simple things feel more like an event or adventure.
We're an active family and so it's a normal part of our weeks to head out for a hike, a paddle, a bike ride, etc. Sometimes we want to feel like we're on a more substantial outing without having to go too far from home base. This is where I find that activity stacking is a great practice.
Creating a bit of an itinerary and sequence of activities feels like a vacation. Pairing activities that you might not always do together changes things up enough to feel fresh and new.
This weekend we planned a little Pizza Paddle for our family. We loaded up the kayak and paddle boards, called in an order for pizza carryout and then took the pizza to the riverside.
The added bonus to this is that sometimes with preteens/teens they're not always excited about outings that they didn't plan. Or maybe it's just my kids? They are however always excited about pizza so by including pizza it pulls in something that they can get on board with. Pizza Paddle is also alliteration which is always important to me ;) .
We had a nice supper at a picnic table, it's an easy clean up and then we launched on the river.
Tip: Even when using paddle boards we've been giving the kids kayak paddles so that when they sit they can paddle both sides with ease. This especially helps in wind so that they can get through tough sections.
The wind had actually been pretty intense that day (40 KM with gusts to 50KM/hr) but thankfully the river is pretty sheltered. It was definitely more work paddling into the wind but that just means that on the way back you barely have to paddle at all.
See? No paddling needed lol.
If I may add a little more about adventuring with kids, we know that at times our kids can be resistant to plans not their own but we also know that our kids can have a narrow frame of reference. Both kids said they didn't want to go on this outing and we told both of them that it wasn't optional.
Some parents may cringe at that and you know your own kids best. We know from extensive experience though that when we just make these things mandatory and they get out there they end up having a great time. I can't think of a time where we said they HAD to go and they didn't gush about all the fun they had lol.
Checking out the school of minnows swimming below us.
Back to activity stacking...
It works great any time. Here are a few ideas of ones we've done in the past or ones we hope to do soon.
- Tobogganing + Fire + Hot Dog Roast
- Cross Country Skiing + At Night + Twinkle Lights + Fire + Hot Cocoa
- Disc Golf + Take Out Picnic + Park Time
- Paddle + Hike (stretch out after a paddle) + Ice Cream
- Park Hop (bike to each park and each park gets a new snack)
- Cross Country Ski + Picnic + Skating + Fire
Also, are you noticing the trend of including food in all of these activities? It's cause it works lol. It also allows you to extend the activities because you're refuelling at some point.
I know this all sounds super simple (because it is) but it honestly is one of the best ways to breathe new life into your activities.