Are you going to be camping this summer? Will you be taking kids with you too? Regardless, of where or how your trip will look, you will inevitably want to have a campfire – one of the best parts of roughing it! Check out our super simple-to-make and cheap as dirt homemade DIY campfire starter.
Camping With Kids: A Reboot
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 again since my son was born.
Even though we waited a few years – we still had a couple interesting nights on our recent trip. It was probably only around 10 campsites that actually heard him crying at 1am….I hope…😳
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! Although I was surprised about his first choice (I did mention 1am didn’t I?), 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 and incredibly meditative 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.
- An empty egg carton
- Lint from your dryer
How to Make a Campfire Starter:
Step 1: Raid the Dryer
Basically, save up as much lint as you can for a couple of weeks before you are due to go camping. Have your child collect it out of the dryer and store it in a bag until you have a good handful or two.
Step 2: Prepare the Cups
Cut up your egg carton into individual cups. I did this part, but older kids could manage this on their own.
Step 3: Stuff It
Now have your child stuff the lint into each cup. Ta da! (Thanks to my hubby for the hand model below!)
Step 4: Light It Up!
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 your homemade campfire starter (or two) in the middle of the teepee. Light with a match, or a BBQ lighter.
Pretty soon, you’ll have a roaring fire! As you can see, the adults did the lighting part, but kids can have a lot of fun gathering twigs for the tee pee, or helping to get the fire ready to light.
Campfire Safety with Kids
My best safety tips for campfires with young kids?
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 standing.
Hope you give this a try! If you can’t get outside for a fire this season, why not 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!