If you're looking for a quiet activity to keep the kids busy around the campfire on your next camping trip, we suggest playing to their fascination with knots. Not only is knowing your way around a piece of rope a useful life skill, working with knots teaches problem-solving and develops fine-motor skills. (But mostly it's just fun.) This easy-to-follow set of visual instructions we found at Mother Earth News is a good start.
We plan to print out the image above and laminate it to keep at the cabin. Be sure to read the full article at Mother Earth News for a primer in "rope rhetoric" and a bit of background about each of the knots represented, from the Figure-8 Knot to the Timber Hitch.