Get Ready to Camp with a Homemade Campfire

By Emily Kinnon, Learn-to Camp

When the conversation turns to camping, do you have a particular memory that jumps to mind? Waiting the rain out from inside your tent, getting creative while cooking over a fire, spending some of the best times ever with family and friends?

The neat thing about camping is that options and styles are constantly growing and changing. No matter which route you choose – RV, oTENTik, cabin, frontcountry, backcountry – camping will always be one of the best ways to discover the beauty of Canada!

Getting cozy around the “campfire”.

Of course, if you’ve never been camping before, it can all seem a bit daunting. Enter Learn-to Camp! This program offers a series of events and workshops from coast to coast, as well as online resources to help you learn some of the camping basics, from setting up a tent to learning how to cook outdoors. You can also download the Learn-to Camp app for tips, advice, and all kinds of information that will help make your first camping trip a hit.

In the meantime, here’s an activity to get the whole family in the camping mode without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. It’s an especially good way to enjoy “camping” on a rainy day and to get those imaginations running.

Break out the marshmallows, it’s time for a campfire!

What you will need

  • A small fan
  • Red, orange, and yellow tissue paper
  • A pair of scissors
  • Tape
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, cuddly toys, and other camping items
  • (Optional) Musical instruments
  • (Optional) Marshmallows or snacks
Fan, scisscors, tap and tissue paper


  1. Cut out flames of different sizes in each colour of tissue paper. (Note: You can always trace out the flames beforehand and have your little one cut them out following the tracings.)
  2. On the floor or a flat surface, place the fan on its back so that it is stable and the air blows upwards. Make sure the fan is not plugged in (for now).
  3. Using tape, stick the flames to the fan grill so that they rise upwards when the fan is turned on. Be sure to place them so that they will not get damaged by the blades when the fan is running.
  4. Now it’s time to get cozy – create a little “nest“ around the campfire using blankets, pillows, and any other camping items you might have laying around the house. Turn off the lights, turn on your fan, and get toasty around your very own campfire!

If you’re wondering what to do next, try brainstorming as a family about your next camping trip or your favourite things to do around a campfire like telling stories, singing songs, or playing games.

Break out the marshmallows (or snacks of your choice) to “cook” them over your campfire, and don’t forget to check out the The Parka Song for a bit of music!

Sing along to the Parka song with the audio file, lyrics and guitar chords.

Download this activity (PDF, 390 KB)

Person drawing on tissue paper.
Young boy cutting tissue paper.
Young boy holding up artwork.
Young boy placing tissue paper on fan.
A young boy holding a marshmallow.
Break out the marshmallows!

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