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Lesson 1: Poke it.
You can’t let the fire just sit there, mesmerizing the adults. Grab a stick; go ahead, prod the coals. Flip over a piece of wood and watch flames leap onto the unburned part. Stir the coals, unleashing a flurry of sparks. Plunge the tip of the stick into the fire’s hot center. It caught! Wave it around, lighting the darkness with your magic wand until your parents scream PUT THAT BURNING STICK DOWN NOW!
Lesson 2: Throw things in.
The fire is hungry. You decide what it eats. Little things. A piece of bark. A twig. A pinecone. Just to see how they burn. Start over, throwing the same things first in the yellow-flaming center, then the gray-warm edges.
Lesson 3: Make it multiply.
Move some coals onto a separate patch of dirt. Now, throw things on them. More little things. Watch them catch. You’ve made your own fire!
Lesson 4: Make a snack.
Cook with your fire. S’mores are a good start. Sharpen a stick and fix a marshmallow to the end. Hold the marshmallow close to the flames so it starts turning golden brown. Hold it a little closer; don’t resist. Now it’s on fire! Hold it there until the marshmallow bubbles and falls off your stick like a flaming cannonball. Cool! Eat s’mores until your mom stops you.
*Adult supervision required.