Solar S'mores fun family activity teaching kids science Butter with a side of Bread

Several years ago I clipped a fun family activity idea from an old copy of Family Fun Magazine. It was an activity called Solar S’mores where you create a make-shift oven out of a pizza box and cook s’mores on your porch! While rifling through my recipe idea binder this past week, I saw it and thought, What a great idea! Just in time for National S’mores Day too!
It was not only a fun activity, but it gave us a chance to teach our kids some basic science principles too. We learned about the greenhouse effect and how the foil flap gathers the sunlight the reflects it into the oven, causing the temperature to rise.
Now here’s my little disclaimer. This isn’t a Wolf appliance or even a Kenmore. It’s a pizza box. Are you going to bake bread in this thing? Not a chance. However, the chocolate does thoroughly melt and the marshmallow warms. It’s fun to watch the temperature rise and the kids learn something while eating treats. It’s a win-win in my book!

To create your “oven” you’ll need to assemble the following materials:

  • Pizza box
  • pencil and flat edge
  • Box cutters/ craft knife
  • aluminium foil
  • scissors
  • glue
  • black construction paper
  • tape
  • 1-2 clear sheet protectors
  • graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows
  • stick, ruler or dowel to hold the box lid open

Step 1: Draw a square op top of the pizza box that’s about 1-2″ smaller than the box itself. Use the box cutters to cut along the line, on the right, left and bottom of the box, creating a flap that open upward

Step 2: Cover the underside of the flap and the inside of the box with foil, shiny side out. Try and keep it as smooth as possible! Glue it down so it doesn’t fall off.


Step 3: Inlay the box with the black construction paper, gluing it to the bottom so it stays put.

Step 4: Tape the clear sheet protectors to the lid of the box to seal the opening created by the flap. The seal should be as airtight as possible!

Solar S'mores fun family activity teaching kids science Butter with a side of Bread
Step 5: Place your oven outdoors in direct sunlight on a hot day. Assemble your S’mores and have a thermometer nearby if you can!
Solar S'mores fun family activity teaching kids science Butter with a side of Bread

Step 6: Close the lid of the box and prop the flap open with a stick. Leave your S’mores to “cook” for about 30 minutes. Depending on how airtight your oven is, you could see temperatures around 200 degrees! As for us, I think ours was rather drafty and the sun going down wasn’t helping. Even so, we saw about 120 degrees.

Step 7: Enjoy your chocolaty- marshmallow creation! The messier they are, the better they taste, right?!




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