Solar Oven S’mores: Exploring Solar Energy and Heat


Summer sunshine is perfect for outdoor activities and tasty treats! In this STEM activity, kids aged 4-8 will build their own solar oven to make s’mores while learning about solar energy and how the sun can be used to generate heat. This fun and educational project combines science with a delicious reward.

Materials Needed

  • A cardboard pizza box (or similar box with a lid)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap (cling film)
  • Black construction paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wooden skewer or pencil
  • S’mores ingredients (graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars)
  • Notebook for observations
  • Pencil


  1. Prepare the Pizza Box:
    • On the lid of the pizza box, draw a square about an inch from the edges. Use scissors to carefully cut along three sides of the square, creating a flap that will lift up like a door.
    • Line the inside of the flap with aluminum foil, shiny side out. Secure it with tape. This will reflect sunlight into the box.
  2. Create the Oven Window:
    • Cover the opening you just cut with plastic wrap. Tape it securely around the edges to create a sealed window. This will allow sunlight to enter while trapping heat inside.
  3. Line the Inside of the Box:
    • Line the bottom of the pizza box with black construction paper. The black paper will absorb heat, making the oven more efficient.
  4. Set Up the Solar Oven:
    • Place the graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows on top of the black paper inside the box to assemble your s’mores.
    • Close the lid of the box and prop open the foil-covered flap using a wooden skewer or pencil. Angle the flap to reflect as much sunlight as possible into the box.
  5. Cook Your S’mores:
    • Position the solar oven in a sunny spot outside. Make sure it’s angled so that the sunlight is reflected directly into the box.
    • Let the oven sit in the sun for about 30 minutes to an hour. Check periodically to see how the chocolate and marshmallows are melting.
    • Once the s’mores are melted to your liking, carefully remove them from the oven and enjoy!
  6. Observe and Discuss:
    • In your notebook, write down or draw pictures of the process. Note how long it took for the s’mores to melt and what the temperature was like outside.
    • Discuss with the kids how the solar oven works. Talk about how the aluminum foil reflects sunlight, the black paper absorbs heat, and the plastic wrap creates a greenhouse effect to trap the heat.

Scientific Explanation

This activity introduces kids to the concepts of solar energy and heat transfer. They learn how sunlight can be converted into thermal energy to cook food. The aluminum foil reflects sunlight into the box, the black paper absorbs the heat, and the plastic wrap traps the heat inside, creating an effective solar oven.


Building a Solar Oven for S’mores is a delightful way to explore the power of the sun while enjoying a tasty treat. This activity encourages curiosity, problem-solving, and an understanding of renewable energy sources.

Share Your Experience

We’d love to see your solar ovens and hear about your s’mores-making fun! Share your pictures and stories with us on social media using #LittleMedicalSchoolSTEM.

Enjoy your sunny summer days and happy cooking!