Renewable Energy Solar Oven Craft for Kids

Interested in combining yummy snacks with science this summer for your little ones? Good! Let’s learn how to make a Solar Oven out of a pizza box & materials you already have around the house.

In this simple craft they will learn how to concentrate the sun’s energy enough to cook a snack outside in the sun!

Please follow along & show us your finished product by tagging us @ShipleyEnergy on Facebook or Instagram!

The Science Behind the Magic

  1. The aluminum foil reflects sunlight into the box in which you are cooking. This creates more heat within your solar oven by intensifying the sunlight.

  2. The lining of black paper in your box absorbs the light and heat being reflected into it. This creates heat inside your oven, which allows it to do the cooking! If you had used white paper, the heat would have reflected back.

  3. You’ll use plastic wrap to make your oven as airtight as possible, so the air warmed by the sun doesn’t leave your oven through convection. Convection is defined as, the transfer of heat by the movement of a gas or liquid.

  4. By using the newspaper as insulation, you are preventing heat leaving your oven through a process called radiation!

Ready to get started?

What You Will Need

  • Cardboard pizza box

  • Pencil

  • Ruler

  • Box cutter or scissors

  • Aluminum foil

  • Tape

  • Black construction paper OR black paint & paint brush

  • Plastic wrap

  • Newspapers

  • Oven mitt

  • Dinner plate

  • Graham crackers, marshmallows, & chocolate!


  1. Grab that pizza box from last Thursday’s take-out & clean any leftover crumbs!

  2. Using your ruler & pencil, mark a one inch perimeter around the top flap of the box.

  3. Next, safely use your scissors or box cutter to cut ¾ sides of the perimeter.

  4. Make a crease along the uncut side of the square to create a flap that stands up.

  5. Tear a piece of aluminum foil that is large enough to cover the inside of the flap you just cut out.

  6. Wrap the foil tightly around the inside flap & secure with tape. During this step, pose the question: “Why is aluminum foil necessary in creating our solar oven?”

  7. Next, secure your black construction paper to the bottom of the pizza box. If you do not have black construction paper, black paint is a great substitution! During this step, pose the question: “Why does making the surface that the sun will be directed at black, make this solar oven more effective? Would white paper or paint work?”

  8. Cut two pieces of plastic wrap that are the same size as the top of the pizza box.

  9. Use tape to secure the plastic wrap to the inside edges of the square window you cut into the box. This is mimicking an airtight window! Now, pose the question: “Why do you want to make your oven airtight?”

  10.  Roll up some newspaper pages into tubes to stuff into the sides of the box.  Make sure you are still able to close the lid of the pizza box. Think about, “What purpose does the newspaper serve?”
  11. Now your solar oven is completed & it is time to get to cooking! The best time to use your oven is between 11 AM and 2 PM, when the sun is at its highest & strongest! On a sunny, warm day, your oven could reach about 200 degrees F! So be careful & use your oven mitt when retrieving your yummy snack!
  12.  Share your success with us by tagging us on Facebook in your finished product!



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