The idea: Enjoy a tasty treat (read: S’mores) outside in front of our portable fire pit.
Our notes from the field: A few months ago during the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness, I felt like our family needed a break from it all. What better way to take a family “time out” than to gather around a campfire and roast marshmallows?
The plan was simple: Bring out the portable fire pit we bought two summers ago on sale at Target. Add in the promise of S’mores to sweeten the deal and get the kids outside at night.
The 5 year old was fascinated from the get-go with all of it – from the initial lighting of the fire to choosing each piece of wood to go in the fire to building the perfect S’more.
And although he couldn’t tell us at the time, it was clear my youngest was intrigued as well. He couldn’t take his eyes off the fire.
My husband and I tried to show our oldest the proper way to roast a marshmallow, but being 5, he would have none of it. Instead, he held his first over the flame for about five seconds before declaring that it was done. He added his chocolate and graham crackers and tried to muster a smile as he took his first bite.
After that, he let dad and I show him what happens if the marshmallow sits above the flames for a bit instead. He got pretty excited when one of the marshmallows caught on fire!
Enjoying our dessert outside in front of the fire pit was completely out of the ordinary for us; a total break from the routine. We talked, laughed, ate and felt connected in a way I don’t think we usually do inside around the dinner table.
Before bed that night I asked my son what he liked most about our backyard campfire. I expected him to say it was the part when we made S’mores. But it wasn’t.
He told me his favorite part of the evening was being outside with all of us.
Take-home tips: About all you need for a successful backyard campfire is a fire pit, some wood to burn and the family. To take things up a notch:
- Don’t skip the S’mores! Campfires and S’mores go together like pb&j. This isn’t the time to forgo desserts; it’s time to indulge.
- Sing songs or tell stories. Next time we try this, I’d like to add in some of the usual things you do around a campfire, like tell stories or sing songs. It might even be fun to read a favorite bedtime story around the campfire.