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Fall Fires and How to Safely Involve Your Kids
Fall has to be the greatest season of all! I dare you to disagree 🙂 One of my favorite fall traditions is building fires in the evening and enjoying dinner and drinks around it with my family. Fletcher loves helping get the fire started and then sitting next to it roasting a stick, which literally is him just putting a stick in the fire, letting it catch on fire, and then blowing it out! That activity alone can keep him entertained for quite a while. For obvious reasons, having a young child so close to a fire can be very scary so we’ve put together ways that he can participate safely with us right next to him.
If your kids want to get involved in making your fall fires but you get a little nervous too, try out some of these ideas to get them involved but keep them safe!
Make dryer lint starters
These are so easy and a great way to reuse two things you would normally throw away – toilet paper rolls and dryer lint! I keep a small basket under the bathroom counter and throw all the empty toilet paper rolls into it. When it is full, Fletcher stuffs them with dryer lint from the laundry room.
Help clear the area
This is especially important if you’re building a fire in a new area. You want to make sure that the fire area is completely clear of anything that shouldn’t be involved in the fire, so ask your little ones to help get the area ready for the fire by clearing away items that shouldn’t be burned. Fletcher is so helpful at moving chairs back if they’re too close!
Gather tinder and kindling from around the yard
Fletcher loves gathering handfuls of leaves to throw on the branches to get the fire started, more so than collecting sticks and branches themselves. He starts out by gathering the leaves and throwing them into the fire pit, while I start gathering sticks. If we go on a long walk prior to making a fire, we’ll also collect fallen pine cones! They are great fire starters.
Make them “safety officer”
It’s always wise to keep a bucket of water or another water source nearby just in case things get out of hand with the fire. We involve Fletcher by making him our fire safety officer and telling him to notify us if the fire starts getting too crazy. Of course, that can be subjective for a kid, so if you have a ring of rocks around your fire, tell them to notify you if the fire goes outside those rocks.
Putting out the fire
Teaching your kids how to put out a fire is an important part of being involved with fire building. If they are old enough, you can have them put out the fire themselves. Keep a shovel on hand to be able to scoop some dirt into the fire and stir it around. Fletcher will scoop the dirt and we’ll take over stirring it around until the fire is put out.
I always look forward to fall for the cooler weather and enjoying fall fires with my family. I’m excited to teach Fletcher more about building fires and cooking healthy foods outside over the fire as he gets older. I hope these ideas help you get your kids involved safely at your next campfire!
Meet Alane and Fletcher
Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!
Fletcher enjoys break dancing, cooking, sports commentary, and running really fast speed - anywhere and everywhere. He is an avid lover of music and plays harmonica, drums, and guitar. From a young age, he has loved being a part of whatever his parents, Alane and Micah, are doing. He has even started coming up with recipes of his own to test out. His dream is to own 10 coffee shops from Tennessee to Arizona to Minnesota.
Growing up together
There is no doubt that even as we get older, we don’t stop learning and that is what both Fletcher and I have done together since I had him. I’ve grown a ton raising him and watching him grow. I like to think we are both growing up together. I have tried to incorporate Fletcher in everything I do from to cooking and cleaning the kitchen, to practicing for media events, to traveling the world for speaking engagements. I try to make it fun so he keeps wanting to be a part of it. Not everything is a win but everyday is a new adventure!