Children are thrilled when they are allowed to feel like grown-ups and to do things they are usually not allowed to – such as cooking a meal by themselves. Teaching your children how to make a solar oven can be a fun learning experience. However, if you build a simple solar oven for them, they can enjoy cooking a simple meal, such as spaghetti, or even bake a small pizza without being exposed to any kind of dangers.
Here are the things that you will need in order to build a solar oven for your kids:
- a pizza box – the regular cardboard box they use for delivery
- plastic wrap
- an aluminum foil roll
- clear adhesive tape
- a piece of black construction paper or a black metal sheet
- a few rolled up newspaper sheets
- a utility knife or a cutter
First, cut a flap in the upper part of the pizza box. Make the cuts only along three sides, and fold the flap outwards. Next, you have to attach aluminum foil to the inner side of this flap, because, when the oven is used, this flap is going to be open and it will work as the main reflective surface for the oven. Now you need to attach a plastic wrap on the opening resulted after cutting the lid. You just need to open the main box and attach the plastic wrap from the inside, with the help of adhesive tape or glue. It is extremely important to seal the air out completely, and allow only the heat to penetrate through the “window”.
The inner bottom of the box needs to be lined with the black construction paper. Again, you should use good quality glue in order for the paper to be attached perfectly, without any creases. The black paper will act as a heat absorber – this is the spot where the pan or the baking mold will be placed.
Then, take a few newspaper rolls and put them at the bottom of the box (surrounding the cooking area). These newspapers will act as insulators, and this way the oven will retain heat even more efficiently.
When you take the oven outside, it is important to keep in mind that it needs to be placed in a sunny spot, and that the flap needs to be adjusted so that it will reflect the sun onto the airtight window you just created. You can use a wooden spoon or a twig in order to keep the flap in the position that you want.
When you’ve got everything covered, you can let the kids play without any worries.