A young child is pretending to cook a marshmallow on a fake campfire


How to Create a Fake Indoor Campfire

May 4, 2018

When the conversation turns to camping, do you have a particular memory that jumps to mind? Maybe it’s waiting the rain out from inside your tent, getting creative while cooking over a fire or 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 – tent, RV, oTENTik, cabin, frontcountry, backcountry — camping will always be one of the best ways to discover the beauty of Canada!

Got some little ones who are new to camping? Here’s an activity to get the whole family in the camping spirit without ever having to leave the comfort of 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'll 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
  • Snacks

How it's Made

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.)

On the floor or a flat surface, place the fan on its back so that it is stable and the blades will blow air upwards.

Make sure the fan is not plugged in (for now). Using tape, stick the flames to the fan grill so that they rise upwards when the fan is turned on. Be sure to place the flames in a way so that they will not get damaged by the blades when the fan is running.

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 camp fire, and don’t forget to check out the The Parka Song for a bit of music! (The lyrics and guitar chords are available here.)

And if you’ve never been camping before, it can all seem a bit daunting. Check out the Parks Canada Learn to Camp app and Learn to Camp program for tips on how to make your first trip a hit! 

Article Author Club Parka, Parks Canada
Club Parka, Parks Canada

Read more from Parks Canada here.

Club Parka is a Parks Canada program for preschoolers at national parks and historic sites across the country. Kids can take part in the program online, too!

Visit parkscanada.gc.ca/Parka to download activity pages and get to know Parka, the busy little beaver who helps kids explore the world around them.

You can watch Parka weekday mornings on CBC TV following each episode of Chirp.