Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas for Family Fun Nights That Keep Your Kids Engaged

An outdoor fire pit can be a great way to get the whole family outside for a night of fun and relaxation. However, it can be hard to get kids to stay excited about anything, let alone get them to relax and enjoy themselves in front of an outdoor fire. When they can’t sit still and appreciate the fire pit, it can quickly turn the night into a stressful experience, and that defeats the whole purpose.  

If you want to ensure that your new fire pit won’t be quickly forgotten and will stay a treasured feature of the backyard, it’s best to figure out new ways to keep the kids engaged and excited. It’s with this in mind that we have put together a few ideas to help you get the whole family enthusiastic about enjoying your backyard fire pit together. 

 Related Topic: How Can I Make My Backyard Fun for Kids? 

 Provide Incentives 

One way to get the kids to look forward to fire pit night is to spice it up with a little extra incentive. If certain foods or treats are only allowed on these special occasions, your kids will start to look forward to them. You could also make special allowances for certain toys that can only be played without by the fire pit.  

Surprise Night 

Keeping the special incentives a surprise is another great way to get everyone excited for a night out in the backyard. You could also turn it into a game during the day by letting them try to guess what the surprise is and awarding a special surprise to the winner.  

Kid’s Choice  

One of the best ways to get kids excited for any activity is to let them choose it. Have your kids plan out a menu or games for fire pit night. This will not only give them some say in the activities, but also allow them to get involved with the planning of the whole night. By letting your kids have some control, they will look forward to when it’s their turn to pick.  

Get Your Dog Involved 

Finding some activities that involve the dog is a fun way to let everyone in the family have their say. Let the dog “choose” the dinner, treats, or games to play. This lets the kids know that everyone has a say and that it’s not just the adults who control what happens on fire pit night.  

Make It a Weekly Event  

Kids respond well to consistency which is why one of the best ways to get them to look forward to hanging out around the fire pit is to have a routine that revolves around it. If they know that fire pit night is coming up, they will be much more excited and can start to anticipate it a few days in advance.  

Ban All Devices 

By banning all devices for both kids and adults, you can be sure that everyone is actively engaged in family fun without any distractions. Let your kids know that you will also be putting your phone away and make it their responsibility to monitor you. This gives them a sense of ownership and pride in making it a fun family night for everyone.  

Bugs are Not Invited 

Fire pit night will be much more enjoyable for everybody if you don’t have to worry about bugs ruining your good time. Call the pros at your local Mosquito Joe to learn more about their custom barrier spray, and natural treatments that will help keep the bugs away and make the outdoors fun again!     

Related Topic: New Species of Mosquito Brings a New Threat. 

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Do Mosquito Repellant Plants Really Work?

As the weather starts to get warmer, we begin to spend more time outdoors. And for those who enjoy gardening, there’s nothing more delightful than time spent caring for and cultivating plants. But nothing can disrupt this passion for plants more effectively than mosquitoes! That’s why many gardeners are turning to their green thumb to fight back. They’re taking matters into their own hands and trying to find natural solutions that can help them take back their garden, so they continue doing what they enjoy, minus the mosquitoes.

A Natural Solution?

Mosquitoes have an incredible sense of smell—which is how they locate their next meal. They can sniff out and pinpoint our carbon dioxide fumes from over 150 feet away. So, it seems logical that a fragrant plant would impede their ability to find us, right? That’s why the concept of aromatic plants as a natural mosquito repellant has gained traction and became more popular with gardeners over recent years. But does this logic really hold true? Do aromatic plants like citronella, mints (peppermint, horsemint, mint), lemon balm, lavender, marigolds, petunias, basil, and lemongrass work as a natural mosquito repellent?

Related Topic: What Can You Eat to Deter Mosquitoes?

The Science Behind Aromatic Plants

Using plants as a natural mosquito repellent seems like a great idea, but only if it actually works. There’s no shortage of research into the theory that some plants have the ability to repel mosquitoes. Unfortunately, all the research concludes that the aroma from certain plants doesn’t make a significant difference in the number of mosquitoes that land on a human subject. Even though these plants give off a strong and pleasant aroma, they do little to deter mosquitoes—which applies to all the plants mentioned above, including citronella.

What might seem surprising can really be explained by how plants release their fragrance. While a lavender plant smells delightful up close, it does not fill the air around us with its strong fragrance. In fact, most plants release a significant amount of their fragrant oils only when crushed. And it’s this extract from the plant that has the most repellant properties—but only when those active ingredients are applied directly to the skin.

Homemade Mosquito Repellent

So, if mosquito repellant plants don’t really exist, at least in their plant form, what about using them in a homemade mosquito repellant? There are certainly plenty of homemade recipes out there but, before diving into this option, here are a few things to consider.

  • The effectiveness of homemade mosquito repellant wears off relatively quickly, so be prepared to re-apply every few hours.
  • Applying essential oils to your skin can trigger a reaction. Apply a small amount first to check sensitivity, especially with children who can be more sensitive.
  • Essential oils have a limited shelf life. It’s best to store a homemade repellant in a dark-colored bottle, in a cool, dark place.

Related Topic: What to Put on Mosquito Bites for Babies?

Essential oils from lavender, catnip, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and other aromatic plants—known as plant oils—can be combined with a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, and grapeseed oil) and witch hazel, along with ½ teaspoon of Vodka (apply responsibly), which will act as a preservative.

Repelling mosquitoes is no easy task, so be prepared to add about 100 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of oil. Herbal mosquito repellents work the same way, using essential oils from basil or rosemary to get the job done.

Although some of these natural homemade repellents can be effective, they also come with some inconvenience. Mixing, storing, and applying these homemade solutions to your skin can get messy. People with sensitive skin might have a reaction, plus many homemade mixtures leave behind an oily residue. Consider all these factors before you invest time and effort into a homemade repellant.

For more guidance on skin, repellents visit the EPA website. You’ll also find an excellent search tool that will help you identify which repellant is right for you.

A Final Word on Mosquito Repelling Plants

There’s truly no such thing as a mosquito repellant plant. Although the extract from these plants can act as a short-term mosquito repellant, if mixed with carrier oils, the plants themselves don’t consistently repel mosquitoes.

Many of the plants mentioned will make a great addition to your garden, just don’t count on them to repel mosquitoes. If you’re looking for a natural solution to repel mosquitoes, call the professional at Mosquito Joe.

Their concentrated natural barrier spray uses essential oils, such as lemongrass, peppermint or rosemary, and garlic to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas from your property by targeting shrubs, plants, flowers, vegetable gardens, and around ponds where mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas like to rest and feed. It’s an effective natural mosquito repellant that allows you and your family to enjoy a bite-free backyard.

Quick tip: It is important to remember that the number one habitat for mosquitoes is water. Just one teaspoon is enough water for mosquitoes to breed and thrive. Therefore, it’s important to treat and address any standing water in your yard so you can continue to garden…alone.

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