I love camping. I grew up spending summer weeks travelling with my family across Canada, camping out of our car, and later our tent trailer. To me, there’s nothing like the smell of a great campfire, falling asleep to the sound of crickets, and viewing an amazing sky of twinkling stars that you can only really see when you’re away from the city.This summer was our first attempt at camping since Onetime (my almost 3 year old son) was born. He’s a pretty particular sleeper who needs it both quiet and dark, and we just didn’t want to risk him waking the entire campground with his loud protests if things didn’t work out!
Anyway – even though we waited a few years – we still had a couple interesting nights on our recent trip (probably only close to 10 campsites around us actually heard him crying at 1am….I hope).
But – I still conclude our trip to be a success. Onetime LOVED the experience and had an absolute blast spending his days outside exploring the woods, beach, and rocky terrain of Killbear Provincial Park, Ontario.
As sleep-deprived as we all were, when we got back, Onetime told me his favourite parts were 1) sleeping in a tent, and 2) the campfires! And although I was surprised about his first choice (I did mention 1am didn’t I? On both nights?), the second didn’t surprise me at all.
Just like most adults, kids love a good campfire. And not just for the s’mores. There’s something primeval about staring into a fire and being close to the light as the sun goes down.
To add extra fun to our campfire experience, I decided to make homemade, recycled campfire starters with Onetime at home to bring with us. They cost us nothing for the materials and they worked like a charm! I only wish we had made more.
To make the fire starter craft, all you will need is 1) an empty egg carton, and 2) lint from your dryer! That’s it!
Basically, save up as much lint as you can for a couple of weeks before you are due to have your campfire. Have your child collect it out of the dryer and store it in a bag until you have a good handful or two. Onetime enjoyed pulling the lint off the dryer screen, although he had no idea what we were going to do with it!
Cut up your egg carton into individual cups. I did this part, but older kids could manage this on their own.
Now have your child stuff the lint into each cup. Ta da! (Thanks to my hubby for the hand model below!)
All you do when starting your fire, is build a nice little teepee of kindling (get your little one to help with this part), and then put a homemade fire starter (or two) in the middle of the teepee. Light with a match, or a BBQ lighter.
A) Remember to remind them not to run around the fire (we don’t want accidental trips and falls into the fire).
B) When roasting marshmallows or hotdogs over the fire, have your child go down on one knee so that even if bumped into, they won’t be as likely to fall headfirst into the fire as they would if they were standing.
Hope you give this a try (there’s still a whole month left of summer – and Fall campfires are pretty nice too!). If you can’t get outside for a fire this season, try some indoor campfire pretend play.
If you’re looking for other Camping ideas, be sure to FOLLOW our Camping Pinterest board at:
Can you smell the smoke? Mmmmm… Does your family camp? Do you have any fun traditions to share? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear about it!
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