Campfire Activity Ideas for Children
When the sun goes down, and the family gathers around a nice campfire for evening activities, invite the neighbors to join you fireside for a meal and some old camping traditions. Be sure to take lots of pictures, so that the memories of family fun are not forgotten.
Everybody is hungry after exploring the woods, fishing and searching for treasure all day. Have the children help cook dinner. While the adults take care of the side dishes, give them hot dogs on sticks to roast over the fire. After dinner comes dessert, and everybody loves roasting marshmallows. Put them on sticks. Hold them over the fire until they have reached your favorite shade of brown and enjoy. If you prefer a more elegant dessert, break out the graham crackers and chocolate bars, and have a fun time making s'mores. Or, dessert magnifique, campfire style. Split unpeeled bananas lengthwise on the curve, fill with marshmallow and chocolate, wrap in foil and heat over the fire for 6 to 7 minutes. Unwrap carefully and eat with spoons.
Kids love playing games around a campfire. A favorite of many families is the "telephone" game. Everyone sits in a circle. The game begins by one person whispering a message into the ear of the person sitting next to him, the second whispers it to the third, and so on. When the last person gets the message, it is fun to see how much it changed from the original message, and how funny details have been added.
Another game is a story game. The first person starts a story, and then stops to let the second person pick up where they left off. The people adding to the story can add scary details or funny things, as long as everyone has a good time. Another old favorite is charades.
What would a campfire be without a singalong? Many generations of families have sat by glowing embers and harmonized, singing familiar folk songs. Gather around the fire after dinner and games, and take turns singing old favorites. For those too young to have old favorites, bring along a list of songs to teach them.
Children love the chilling thrill of listening to campfire stories, maybe because their world is limited by the light from the fire, and there is no way of knowing what lies beyond. It seems like all kids have a fondness for scary stories, and for some, the scarier the better. Let the kids prepare earlier in the day by telling them about the scary story contest. Allow them to use props, such as masks they have made, or a piece of wood that looks like a scary face. When the stories have all been told, award a special prize to the scariest, with consolation prizes for all other kids.
campfire image by Andrew Kazmierski from Fotolia.com