S’mores are one of my favorite desserts, combine that with my background in science and naturally I have been dying to make solar oven s’mores. Solely in the interest of science education of course.
During our recent Greer adventure, my boys discovered their own love of s’mores and since I’ve been wanting to do more science related projects at home with them, this really was a great fit for us.
It has been CRAZY hot lately, so we took advantage of the scorching sun this past weekend and made a solar oven.
- Cardboard Box (Ours was about 12” X 12” X 3”)
- Aluminum Foil
- Plastic (We used a gallon size Ziploc bag)
- Black Construction Paper
- Packaging Tape
- S’mores supplies: Hershey’s Bar, Graham Crackers, Marshmallows
This project is fairly easy, the only real concern is using the scissors to cut the oven door opening. Beyond that, you can let you kiddos have at it!
1) Cut the “Oven Door” flap on the box. The size depends on what you are cooking and how much access you need. Ours was large to maximize our s’mores capacity!
2) Place black construction in the bottom of the box. The black color absorbs the heat.
3) Cover the inside of the door with aluminum foil. The foil reflects the sun into the oven.
4) Add the s’mores. This was a little tricky because as we filled the box up, they knocked over easily.
5) Tape the plastic over the opening, creating a seal to keep the heat in. We also taped up the edges of the box to help seal in the heat.
6) Place your oven outside in the sun. I used a pencil to prop the lid open at an ideal angle. I ended up taping the pencil to the box because the wind kept closing the lid.
The chocolate naturally started melting quickly. So our indicator was the marshmallows, we waited until they had puffed up from the heat. It took about 90 minutes to bake our s’mores.
Then we feasted on REALLY great s’mores.
This project was easy, a lot of fun and perfect for preschoolers. I think kids up through middle school could find this project interesting. Older kids could design their own boxes, or vary any number of things like the box size, oven door size, color of construction paper, food cooked, length of cooking time, etc.
Initial Discussion Points:
- The sun as a heat source
- The purpose of the black construction paper
- The purpose of the foil
- How various weather conditions would affect the result
This was also a very frugal activity. We had everything on hand but the chocolate. (because chocolate never lasts more than 24 hours in our house!).
All the supplies would be available at most dollar stores, so easily under $5 to make the oven even if you had to buy materials.