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Solar S'more Activity


Combine the sweetness of s’mores and science with this Solar S’mores activity! This uses a DIY solar oven to harness the sun’s energy to melt S’mores into ooey, gooey goodness. It’s an educational, hands-on project that you and your little ones can make using supplies around the house.

You'll Need

  • Personal pizza box, shoe box, or another cardboard box with a lid (size depends on the number of s’mores you want to cook)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape or glue dots
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Black construction paper
  • Heat resistant container
  • Plastic wrap
  • or chopstick
  • Cooking thermometer (optional)


gathering supplies

Gather your supplies

a. Choose a cardboard box that suits your cooking needs. The box should be sturdy and have a lid. We suggest using upcycled materials such as a pizza box or used shipping box.

b. Sustainable Option: Use eco-friendly adhesives such as water-based glues or tapes that are free from harmful chemicals. This ensures that your solar oven is safe for food prep and minimizes environmental impact.

c. Sustainable Option: If possible, use recycled aluminum foil for lining the interior of the oven.

prearing the pizza box

Cut a flap in the lid of the pizza box. Cut along three sides, leaving about an inch between the sides of the flap and the edges of the lid.

folding and assembling the cardboard box

Fold this flap out so that it stands up when the box lid is closed. If necessary, reinforce the corners and edges of the box with tape to make it sturdier.

attaching aluminum foil to the lid of the cardboard box

Using tape or glue, cover the inner side of the flap with aluminum foil (shiny side out) so that it will reflect rays from the sun.

lining the cardboard box interior with construction paper

Line the interior

a. Place a layer of black construction paper on the bottom interior surface of the box. This helps absorb heat efficiently and retain it.

b. Use glue or tape to secure in place.

insulating the cardboard box with plastic wrap

Create the insulation

Use clear plastic wrap to create an airtight window for sunlight to enter the box. Do this by opening the box and taping a double layer of plastic wrap over the opening you made when you cut the flap in the lid. Leave about an inch of plastic overlap around the sides, pull tight and tape each side down securely, sealing out air. You can also upcycle a used plastic bag for this step.

propping the cardboard box lid open to capture sunlight

Final touches

Use a skewer to prop the lid open at an angle that allows sunlight to enter the oven. This angle may need adjustment throughout the day to maximize sunlight exposure. Optional: Place a cooking thermometer inside the oven to monitor the temperature.

cooking smores outdoors in the solar oven


a. Preheat the oven for 30-40 minutes outside. The best hours to set up your solar oven are when the sun is high overhead—from 11 am to 3 pm. The temperature outside should be at least 75F to work best.

b. Place your graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow in a heat-resistant container inside the solar oven.

c. Close the lid and position the oven in direct sunlight. Monitor your S’mores regularly and remove when they've reached our preferred meltiness. Adjust the angle of the lid as needed to maintain optimal heat. Make sure you don't stray too far from the oven while your S’more is in the oven. The chocolate can melt quick!

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Optional: Wondering how hot your DIY oven can get? Place a cooking thermometer inside the oven to monitor the temperature. The melting point of chocolate is between 86-90F, so once your thermometer gets to that temperature, your S’more will be on its way to perfection!