Traditional bonfire games such as singing, telling stories and eating s'mores are popular for a reason. For many kids familiar with these camping traditions, no bonfire is complete without these activities. But you can make your bonfire event even more fun by going beyond the expected. Make your bonfire memorable for kids with a special twist or game they've never tried before.
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Large Group Games
A large group game is any activity in which everyone can participate. Singing and listening to stories are perfect examples of this, but there are lots of other games you can incorporate into a bonfire event. One example is Beat the Bunny. To play, have everyone sit in a circle around the fire and start passing a small ball (the bunny) in one direction around the circle. When the bunny reaches the other side of the circle, start passing a large ball (the farmer) in the same direction as the bunny. The farmer tries to catch the bunny by changing direction, and the bunny tries to get away. Make sure the balls are passed from hand to hand, not tossed, so they don't fall into the fire.
Performance Games and Skits
A big bonfire can be a wonderful stage for a skit put on by small groups of kids. You can divide kids into groups and have everyone take turns putting on skits, or you can choose a small group of dramatic kids to perform for the rest. Let the kids plan their own skits, but spark creativity by giving them topics or themes. For example, you can give each group an assortment of the same or similar random objects. Tell them that each team must choose one object and make a skit advertising that object. They must use all the other objects as props in their skit.
Water games will make a summer bonfire especially memorable. Bring a bubble machine or large bubble wands and blow bubbles around the bonfire. Or, help the kids stay cool by playing "Pass the Ice." Sit in a circle and pass an ice cube from hand to hand around the circle. The person who is holding the ice cube when it melts to nothing is out. Continue playing until there is a winner for the round.
Singing isn't exactly a bonfire game--but it can be. To make your bonfire singing more exciting, choose interactive songs that are a blend of songs and games. An example is Boogaloo, which is chanted while everyone stands with their arms around each other's shoulders and marches in place to keep the beat of the song. Boogaloo is a call-and-response song with endless possible verses. Another example is Baby Shark, in which everyone moves their arms to imitate the sharks in each verse.
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