By Colleen McTiernan | Photo by Jimmy Ho Photography
Instead of dreading the heat this summer, use it to your advantage by engaging in a fun, food-related project with your little ones. With these instructions for an easy-to-make solar oven, you and your kiddos will be using the sun’s heat to make s’mores and other melty snacks in no time!
Large pizza box, emptied and cleaned
Box cutter (for adult hands only!)
Black paper (large enough to cover the bottom of the box)
Using your pencil and ruler, draw a square on the top of the pizza box lid that is about one inch smaller on all sides than the lid itself. Use the box cutter to cut the square on all sides except the back edge, creating a flap. Cover the inside of your flap with aluminum foil and tape to secure. The aluminum foil will serve to reflect sunlight (and therefore heat!) into the box.
Hold the lid flap back and cover the square hole in your lid with cling wrap, securing with tape. The cling wrap will mimic the glass of a greenhouse, making the inside of the box retain heat.
Line the inside bottom of your pizza box with aluminum foil, and then cover the foil with black paper. Black absorbs heat, creating a cooking surface.
Place your food of choice (we recommend s’mores!) on the cooking surface and close the lid. Use the wooden dowel to prop the lid flap open and let your treats heat for about 30 minutes, or until heated through and melted. Just remember to be patient — using only the sun as your source of heat means things will take a bit longer to cook!
Giggle Tip: The best time to use your solar oven is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is strongest. Be sure to place your solar oven in direct sunlight. If you would like, use stickers and markers to decorate the OUTSIDE of your new oven before making your tasty treats.