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One of the most memorable places to gather as a family in the fall is around a campfire. There are few activities that allow for better quality time and genuine conversation like spending an evening around a bonfire with loved ones. With colder weather upon us, it is the perfect time of year to take advantage of making memories. Between gathering wood, building the fire together, to storytelling, to the delicious smell of melting marshmallows and chocolate roasting, we explore some ways to spark up your bonfire hangouts.

Engaging the Children with Outdoor Skills

Engaging the children is one of the easiest (and most enjoyable) things you can do if you share a property with family members. Their time at the second property is valuable because they have the opportunity to distance themselves from technology, spend time in nature, and create memories. What better way to do this than building a campfire? Seize the opportunity to gather wood, identify trees/plants, and talk about the land you’re on. After you gather the wood, take it a step further and strategize building a fire. Maybe the older ones can lend a hand chopping the firewood. Engaging your younger family members and guests with building a campfire instills a sense of respect and admiration for your home away from home.

Older Kiddos: Tool time and Safety Practices

There are many different ways to build a fire and different tools to utilize in the process. In the case of dense hardwoods like oak, it may be best to spring for a hydraulic log splitter. Northern Tool 37 ton splitters work great, and it’s hard to have too much power when splitting a 16″ diameter piece of live oak. Explore various options to fit the needs of your kids’ abilities and the type of firepit you are trying to build.

Remind them of safety practices to keep them aware and prepared. Warn them about hot coals and to always use a metal bucket to transport any items. Together pick the perfect spot in an open area. Lastly, don’t forget to check the weather before you start the fire. You don’t want to have a bonfire night during a dry and windy day due to potential hazards.


As previously mentioned, a bonfire is a wonderful opportunity to step away from screens. Storytelling is obviously a go-to: everyone is already facing each other, and gathered together! Get creative with how this can flow: do the younger children start, or the elders? You can popcorn a story and make one up as you go, so everyone participates (even the quiet guests!). Get creative, and remember most importantly: have fun!

If you’re looking for a way to keep kids involved with the second property this chilly season, be sure to keep building a firepit in mind! To keep these tips and rules top of mind for your kids and guests, add it all in the backporch® app’s property info’s how to tab. You can also add under projects & gear where the axe and chainsaw are located.

Download the backporch app for iPhone and Android today.

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