How to: Solar Oven for Kids (+patriotic marshmallows)

The fourth of July is a perfect day to spend in the sun with your friends and family. But, we are little more limited since I have a little one who doesn’t like fireworks. So, after the parade this morning, we decided to do a project that was a little more low-key and built a solar oven to cook some s’mores. (Marshmallows are something we all can agree on.

A solar oven is a box that concentrates and traps some of the Sun’s energy to make the air hotter within the box than it is outside the box. And, you can utilize the heat to cook things, like s’mores.

What you’ll need for your solar oven:

  • A box with a lid that fits tightly (We used a large shoe box)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • A stick
  • Transparent tape
  • A knife or box cutter

How to do it:

  • Using the knife, cut a flap in the top of the box, leaving some space at the edges.

  • Cover the flap and the inside of the box with aluminum foil, keeping it as smooth as possible.

  • Spread plastic wrap over the opening in the lid and tape it down.
  • Prop the flap open with the stick (We used a skewer)
  • Let the oven ‘pre-heat’ by setting it in a sunny spot.
  • Lift the lid off to add your food and then close it tightly

  • We cooked are marshmallows until they were ‘squishy’ to the touch (They were already dipped in chocolate, so we just added a graham cracker on top rather than adding chocolate and letting it melt).

To to make patriotic marshmallows:

Melt white chocolate chips in 30 minute intervals in the microwave. Split between two bowls and add blue food coloring to one bowl and red food coloring to the other. Dip your marshmallows in the colored chocolate, one end in each color. Add stars or sprinkles as desired. Eat as is, or enjoy them in a s’more!


Happy Fourth of July, everyone!