Campfires with Kids: Tips & Safety

Outdoor fun in Lake County

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To me, nothing says summer like Campfires and S’mores. They aren’t something I had growing up as a kid, but as a teen and young adult, I ran the community campfires for my local Park District. When we moved to the suburbs a fire pit in my backyard was a must. While our yard isn’t huge, we have made space for a small firepit, and summer just isn’t summer without a few evenings spent with friends roasting marshmallows and letting the kids stay up too late!

Campfire with kids

August 10 is National S’Mores Day! Which I think is the perfect day to have the neighbors over and celebrate the end of summer with a campfire! Worried about kids and fire? I’ve had kids as young as 18 months attend and help roast their own s’mores, it’s all about being clear with rules and diligent with supervision.

Campfires with Kids: Tips & Safety

The firepit should have an adult stationed at it at all times. Logs shift and pop, and you never know what could happen. This person can also direct little ones away from the fire and stop accidents.  Below are the rules that we always gave our kids before running our community fires, and they are the same rules that I keep in my backyard.

Campfire Rules for Kids:

  1. No running, period.
    Yes, it’s a backyard, yes you can play and have fun, but where there is a fire made, there is no running anywhere in the established no running zone (a 10ft radius around the fire).
  2. Stay out of the ring of fire.
    At camp, we would draw a ring, about 12-18 inches from the edge of the firepit, at home we use chairs. No child under the age of 9 is allowed to come any closer without an adult.
  3. Don’t throw anything in the fire, ever.
    Pinecones, garbage, sticks, they can pop and sputter and hurt. No throwing things in the fire, or you are sent inside.
  4. Skewers are not swords.
    Skewers, sticks, marshmallow roasters, whatever your family calls them are not swords if you use it as a sword you forfeit your s’more

My other tip is to have your s’more ingredients ready to go. You don’t need a fancy station or anything to make it work well. We set up on our deck rows of pre-made sandwiches – crackers & chocolate. Then as the kids finish it’s an assembly line, use the top cracker to slide the marshmallow off on to the chocolate add the second cracker, smoosh together and enjoy!

I’m a traditionalist when it comes to s’mores, Honey Maid Grahams, 2 Jet Puff marshmallows and a piece of Hershey’s chocolate. I have tried the peanut butter cup pieces before too but it’s just not the same. Check out our Little Campers board on Pinterest to see all sorts of fun recipes and ideas for making your S’more celebration fancy.

S'More Day

Don’t have a firepit but still want to experience the fun of a campfire? Check out our calendar and look for a local community campfire event.

Happy S’more Day!

Campfires with Kids: Tips & Safety
About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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