This outdoor activity works best on a warm, sunny day. While you are making a delicious treat, your child will be developing important skills like:
- making observations and predictions (what do you think will happen to the chocolate and marshmallows? How long do you think it will take? Would this work on a cloudy day?)
- cooperation (working together)
- engineering (making the oven!)
- building vocabulary (solar energy, reading the supply list and instructions)
- Pizza Box
- Aluminum foil
- Black Construction paper
- Plastic wrap
- Graham crackers
*Parents will need to cut a portion of the box in step one. Parent supervision IS REQUIRED
- Cut a large square into the lid of your kit box. This is the “window” of your solar oven. The lid itself is a sun reflector and should be able to be lifted up still. Fold it back for the time being. (See the picture above for reference.)
- Glue an aluminum foil sheet to the inside lid (underneath the flap). You can also put aluminum foil on the inside walls of the kit box.
- Glue the black construction paper sheet inside of your kit box at the bottom. You might need to fold it to fit alongside the bottom of the kit box.
- Tape plastic wrap over the window of the pizza box lid. You should be able to lift the lid completely after the plastic wrap is taped. Lift up your window.
- Layout your smores inside the box. Lay a graham cracker square, then a chocolate square, and then a marshmallow. Don’t put the last cracker on yet!
- Close the window.
- Use the skewer to prop up the reflective flap if needed.
- Watch and wait (watch carefully – it could take up to 20 minutes for the s’mores to be ready).
- Carefully open the box when you think they’re ready.
- Grab a cracker, smush it down on top and enjoy!
Extend the learning!
Books about camping and solar energy:
Energy (Picture Book Science) by Andi Diehn
Running on Sunshine: How Does Solar Energy Work? by Carolyn Cinami DeChristofono
Penny and Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars by Maria Gianferrari
Flat Stanley Goes Camping by Jeff Brown and Lori Haskins Houran
‘S’ is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James