Learning about Fire Starters Family Activity

fire-starter-by-fo.olThe family that burns together, stays together! There are hundreds of ways to light a fire and as many inventive fire starters out there as there are things to light a fire with. Next time you’re out at the campsite with your family and the kids are bored, you can try this fun activity and teach your children some vital survival skills.

What You’ll Need

  • empty toilet paper rolls
  • dryer lint
  • cotton balls
  • petroleum jelly
  • alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • old candles or crayons
  • empty egg cartons
  • charcloth
  • fire piston
  • steel rod style fire starter
  • matches
  • stop watch
  • spray bottle

How to play

  1. The point of this activity is to learn which types of fire starters burn the best and the longest to build a fire and to teach children about how to build a fire responsibly.
  2. Lay out all the different materials and explain to your children that you’re going to try to build the best fire starter you can. If you’re the competitive kind of family, you can pit your children against each other in a contest to win building the night’s fire with the help of mom or dad.
  3. Using small portions of the supplies, light different things in a safe manner to let your children watch how each thing burns on its own and determine how they can use them together to build a fire starter. Show them how to use the different lighting tools you have and practice with them a few times.
  4. Ask your children to make their own fire starter using the supplies provided.
  5. Once they have their fire starters ready to test, start the stopwatch and have each child light their fire starter and see how long it takes them to light it and then how long it burns for before going out.
  6. After using the fire starters, discuss with your children why they think one burned better than the other and what they can do to build a better starter.
  7. You can repeat the process in “wet” conditions by using the spray bottle to wet things down to make it more difficult to teach your children about survival techniques in wet conditions.

Passing down survival skills is a fun way to get your family involved in life in the outdoors so give it a try on your next family camping trip!

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