Painted handprint flames create a colorful campfire picture.

Campfire Crafts for Preschoolers

by Shelley Frost

You won't need any flint to light the flames of creativity with these campfire crafts. Even without the crackling logs and scent of smoke, campfire-themed crafts set the stage for a make-believe camping trip. Whether you're stuck inside on a rainy day, reading a book about camping, or prepping for a real-life camping trip, these crafts engage your child's creativity.

Handprint Picture

Your preschooler gets to feel the paint squish between her fingers for this campfire craft. Let her spread yellow, red and orange nontoxic, washable paint onto her palms and fingers. Her handprints become the flames of the campfire. Press them onto the paper to resemble a campfire. Once she's all washed up, cut out some logs from brown construction paper to glue at the base of the flames. A slight variation is to let her finger paint a piece of white paper with the red, orange and yellow paint. Once it dries, cut the painted paper into flame shapes and attach the logs to the bottom.

3-D Picture

If you want to add dimension to a campfire picture, this craft makes the logs and flames stand out. Red, yellow and orange tissue paper work well for the flames. Let your preschooler bunch up pieces of tissue paper so they stand out from the background paper. With a little glue spread on the background paper, she can press the scrunched tissue paper in place. To make the logs stand off the page, make them from rolled up construction paper or paper towel tubes painted brown. Glue or staples hold the 3-D logs in place.

Campfire Centerpiece

Turn your table into camping central with a 3-D campfire centerpiece. You'll need a round base, like an old CD or a piece of sturdy cardboard cut into a circle. Spread glue over the base and sprinkle it with sand to create the ground. A circle of rocks hot glued in place around the edge creates the fire ring. Never let your preschooler handle the hot glue gun. If you want the campfire to actually glow, place a battery-powered tea candle in the center before surrounding it with the fake logs. This works best with a CD base because the candle can sit in the opening so you have access to the on and off switch. For the logs, you can use actual sticks you collect outdoors or brown paper rolled tightly and taped into log shapes. Hot glue the logs in place so the fire stays together. Tissue paper bunched up works well as the flames on the centerpiece. Glue them in place to complete the campfire.

Food Campfire

An edible campfire doubles as your preschooler's snack for the day. A base of toasted coconut creates the kindling of the fire. Surround the coconut with a ring of peanuts or grapes cut in half as the rocks. Thick pretzel rods create the edible logs of the campfire. Edible flame options include candy corn, cheese cut into flame shapes or orange, red and yellow fruit leather cut into flames. Let your preschooler stack up her campfire before gobbling it up at snack time.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

Photo Credits

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