Camping is one of our favorite pastimes in the summer. Many of us remember and try to recreate those warm summer nights sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows, singing our favorite songs and telling our favorite stories. If you haven’t already and are planning a camping trip, we’re here to help! And if camping isn’t your thing, than all of these tips can be adapted for enjoying in your own backyard.


Here at YoKid we are committed to nurturing the Whole self, inside and out and we want to share a couple of ways to make these magical nights by the fire a bit more magical.


#1 – natural bug repellant

We erase the memories of the mosquitoes and the itchy swollen mounds that followed. And quite possibly we didn’t feel them at all when we were kids, and quite possibly our kids don’t feel them at all. But now, as parents we feel them, and we are more aware than ever of the risks that can come with just one bite from the wrong mosquito. We are equally aware of the risk that can come with the Deet that we at one time didn’t think twice to use to repel these guys.

Keep away the bugs and the itchies so that we can enjoy as much time outside as possible! Here’s a recipe for natural bug repellant that is safe for the Whole family:

10-25 drops (total) of essential oils

2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

The essential oils that work well against mosquitoes are:

cinnamon oil

lemon eucalyptus oil

citronella oil

castor oil

Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

olive oil

sunflower oil

any other cooking oil

witch hazel


Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol. Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. You’ll need to re-apply the natural product after about an hour or after swimming or exercise. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight.


#2 – biodegradable roasting sticks


Looking for a safe and responsible way to roast the marshmallows? We enjoy Campfire Sticks, biodegradable roasting sticks.


#3 – Homemade marshmallows


You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this healthy alternative to the traditional marshmallow. Try this recipe Vegan Campfire Marshmallows or if you’re strapped for time stop by your local health food store to buy a bag of Dandies Vegan Marshmallows.


#4 – Fair trade chocolate

While you’re visiting your local health foods store, have some fun in the chocolate aisle reading labels with your kids and deciding which organization or community or group of children you’d like to help out when you purchase some fair trade chocolate.


#5 – Songs of love and unity


The final ingredient to this summer night by the fire? a great song. You can break out your ukele, guitar, harmonica, or just drum on your lap… and sing a song of love. Some of our favorites can be found on the albums on our YoKid Favorite Songs list.

Happy Roasting!