Making a solar oven and using the power of the sun to do some outdoor baking has been on my list of things to try with Sophie for a while. A sunny Saturday with temperatures rising to over 30˚C was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. It’s a fun science activity for children and is simple to make, with a little adult help needed here and there.
You will need:
- A small shoebox
- A slightly larger shoebox (big enough for the small one to fit inside)
- Black paper
- Newspaper or bubble wrap
- Sticky tape
- A craft knife
- A piece of clear plastic (big enough to cover the top of the small shoebox)
- Aluminium foil
- Cookie dough
1) Glue black paper inside the small shoebox to cover the inside.
2) Place the small shoebox inside the larger one and use scrunched up newspaper to fill the gap around it. This provides a layer of insulation for the solar oven.
3) Cut out a hole in the lid of the large shoebox using a craft knife. This should be slightly smaller than the small shoebox.
4) Cover the hole with a piece of clear plastic and tape all around the edges, ensuring there are no gaps.
5) Cover a piece of cardboard with aluminium foil and stick to the edge of the lid of the large shoebox, so that it is leaning forwards. This helps to reflect the sunlight into the small shoebox.
6) Roll cookie dough into small balls and flatten. Place the flattened cookie dough in the small shoebox. Put the lid on the large shoebox.
7) Place the solar oven in a sunny part of the garden with the foil covered cardboard facing towards the sun. Check it at intervals to see how the cookies are doing, and move it back into the sun as needed during the day.
We left ours out in the garden for a few hours before removing the cookies. They weren’t quite baked but Sophie enjoyed eating the warm cookie dough. It’s definitely something we’ll try again though and see if we can improve upon our design. I think next time we’ll try taping the edges of the large shoebox after we put the cookie dough in to help trap the heat inside the solar oven.
Have you ever made a solar oven before?