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Camping Activities for Kids

Fire Building

Make sure your child knows to never light a fire without an adult present.
Make sure your child knows to never light a fire without an adult present.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Teach your kids Fire Building so that they know all the basics. Here's how to build a safe campfire for roasting marshmallows.

How to Build a Fire

What You'll Need:

  • Shovel
  • Small Bits of Flammable Material for Tinder
  • Thin Wood for Kindling
  • Larger Wood for Fuel
  • Matches
  • Bucket of Water

Step One: Learn to lay and light a fire safely before trying it in the woods. Practice in your fireplace, but make sure your child knows to NEVER light fires without an adult. When you gather firewood, only pick up what you see on the ground. Don't cut down living trees or break off branches for your fire.


Step Two: Use an existing fire pit if possible. If there is no fire pit, clear a safe area. Remove any flammable material within a six-foot radius of your fire. Dig down to mineral soil. Have a bucket of water handy to put out the fire later.

Step Three: Start with a fist-sized wad of dry tinder (any material catching fire when lit with a match). Wood shavings, dry pine needles, dry moss, pocket lint, and bundled dry grass make good tinder.

Step Four: Then build a small log cabin of pencil-thin kindling around the tinder. Lay some sticks on top of the cabin but leave space for air flow.

Lay three or four one-inch diameter sticks of fuel wood on top of the kindling.

Step Five: Light the tinder. When it catches fire, gently blow on it to encourage the flame. Add more fuel wood when the fire is burning.

Step Six: If you're cooking over the fire, wait until there is a good bed of coals. When you're finished, pour water on the fire until the ashes are cool to the touch. Never leave a site or go to sleep without putting the fire out.

Now that you know how to build a fire, it's time to have a cookout! Learn this camping activity on the next page.

Looking for more camping activities? Read: