If you are just joining us, you can catch up on our camp-inspired summer series here: DIY Summer Camp!
The only thing better than a summer day is a summer night. The sun stays up late, and so do we, soaking up every bit of summer we can before it all floats away with the fluff of the dandelions. When the sun does go down, our eyes flicker reflected magical sparks of summer nights: fireflies, campfires, shooting stars, fireworks . . .
No camp-inspired summer would be complete without some campfire and moon-lit night life. So grab the matches, marshmallows, mandolin, and the munchkins, and let’s make some memories under the stars!
Our son loves The Andy Griffith Show just as much as my husband and I do, and this ghost story is one of his absolute favorite scenes. For the past month or two, he has been begging us to retell it over and over. In my opinion, it is the perfect example of a campfire ghost story:
Ghost stories are a campfire classic. The firelight glow and nature’s night noises set a perfect stage for extra-spooky stories. You don’t have to be an expert story-teller, and your spooky tales don’t even have to be about ghosts, if you don’t want. Read your kids a spooky book or short story, tell them a scary tale from your own life or one you’ve heard from someone else, or make one up like good ‘ole Andy Griffith did in the clip above. If you need some help freaking your kids out, here are a few resources to help you create a good, old-fashioned, fire-lit, family fright night.
Ghost Story Books:
- Grandpa’s Ghost Stories (read-aloud ages 3-6)
- The Boxcar Children Series (read-aloud ages 5-10)
- Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories (read-aloud ages 10+)
- Real Ghost Stories; Haunting Encounters told by Real People (teens and adults)
Spooky (non-ghost) Stories and Nerve-Wracking Novels:
- “Goblin Story” from Little Bear’s Visit (read-aloud ages 2-6)
- The Berenstain Bears & the Spooky Old Tree (read-aloud ages 3-7)
- Bunnicula, Book 1 (read-aloud 7-12)
- And Then There Were None (read-aloud 12+)
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes (read-aloud 12+)
Summer Camp Scavenger Hunts are just so much fun. Summer Camp Scavenger Hunts at night are even more fun!! Everybody enjoys a good hunt, and hunting in the dark—with the brisk night air, haunting moonlight, and spooky night noises—is simply an unforgettable experience. So, tell your kids to grab a flashlight and get a clue (or a few)! For clues, I love cheating and using pre-made mazes, maps, and puzzles from Highlights or another kids’ magazine, or you can do it the old-fashioned way and write clues out yourself. If you want scavenger hunt inspiration, check out my Easter Scavenger Hunt Post: How to have a HOPPING INDOOR EASTER that your family will never forget!
I was in the National Thespian Society in high school and majored in theater in college. And yet . . . some of the best (and most hilarious) moments of theater I have ever witnessed came from the skits at Summer Camp and Vacation Bible School. The campfire stage may not be reviewed, or recognized, but it is sure to be remembered by those who were there.
So add some drama (the good kind) to your family’s summer nights! All you need is a basket of simple costumes and props, or you could opt for puppet shows which may appeal more to kids who are shy about performing in front of others (even mom and dad). Get into character, be silly, have some fun, and make some memories.
When it comes to Campfire Songs, there are five basic rules:
- The song must be fairly simple
- The song must be silly
- The song should feature nature and animals if it possibly can
- The song should be repetitive
- The song shouldn’t make much sense
Some simple, silly, repetitive, nonsensical songs to get you started:
So . . . SMORES, obviously. But also:
- game nights
- movies under the stars
- epic night games like flashlight tag
- camp outs
- end-of-camp-parties (costume or themed)
I hope you will join us and add some Campfire Magic to your family’s summer evenings!
Thanks for reading!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~