Sharing is caring!

This summer we have not only been interested in our ocean theme, but also science activities. The opportunity to take advantage of the nice summer sun has been so approved of by the children. Our most recent activity was baking S’mores in a DIY Solar Oven. We learned how from a Steve Spangler SICK! science YouTube video. There is also a blog post by NASA that explains another way to make this oven. The NASA page explains that people in Africa are using solar ovens to boil water and make it safe for drinking. That is a good idea anywhere the sun would be hot enough to make it work. It is amazing the sun is such an energy source and the children like learning about the possibilities.

DIY Solar Oven

This post also has a free printable with directions for making S’mores three different ways: over a fire, in a solar oven, and also in the microwave. Following directions for something engaging like an edible science experiment helps children with sequencing and organizing skills. I’m sure you like your children to listen to you without having to repeat yourself over and over, and step by step experiments will help in this area.

I didn’t have a pizza box in reasonable shape, so we used a different box and I just tried to follow the directions approximately. We wanted to try these S’mores, so I used a box we had available. Aluminum foil goes inside the lid,  around the inside sides of the box, and on the inside box bottom. Of course, a reflector oven for camping would also work.

solar-oven-made-from-a-box-for-Smores

Next, following the directions, I taped the black paper inside the bottom of the box leaving a few inches of foil around the outside. I added some plastic sticks to the sides to help keep the lid propped open during baking outside.

tape-black-paper-in-the-box-bottom

The S’mores are now placed on the black paper cooking surface. The method explained on the NASA page adds the chocolate after the marshmallows are hot. 

place smores-in-the-solar-oven

Time to Bake the S’Mores

After wrapping the top of the box with plastic wrap (although the video said to use page protectors) it was placed in the sun. I just wrapped the plastic around the top and down to the bottom of the box to hold it in place as my box didn’t open. solar-oven-ready-for-sun-1

The baking takes about 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t even bother to try this on a cloudy day. I tried for the sake of experimentation and nothing happened. UV rays might still reach your skin, but they do nothing for a solar oven if it is cloudy outside. The marshmallows actually get toasty and nice like they were cooked a little over a fire outside.

You can now even make s’mores in a restaurant, did you know?

indoor-smores-at-the-Blue-Water-in-Grand-Marais-MN

Now for the freebie. There are 3 pages of directions: one for a microwave oven, one for using a solar oven, and one for the microwave approach. Children can read the directions and prepare the s’mores for the family. Sneak in some summer reading!

Directions-to-Make-a-Smore-regular-oven-outside-fire-solar-oven PDF (opens here)

solar-oven-smores-edible-science

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

You might also like a STEM with a recycled newspaper activities post.

STEM-experiments-with-newspapers

 
bubbling-snowman-science-fun

The bubbling snowman is easy to set up. Begin with a cookie tray and arrange different size lids to create a flat snowman. We drew a face on one lid using a sharpie marker. Be sure the lids are upside down so they can be filled with baking soda.

 
Bubbling Snowman
 
 
color-blast-kitchen-art-and-science-3

Mixing colors in the kitchen with a few common ingredients provides an engaging activity for children. This is one they are sure to want to do over and over as it will be different each time.

 
Color Blast
 
 
How to Easily Grow Garlic to Spice Bread at Home

This post is about how to grow garlic to spice bread at home. Have you noticed garlic scapes on any menus? Garlic scapes are the leaves that grow from a garlic bulb.  Do you happen to have some garlic in the pantry?

 
Grow Garlic Scapes
 
 
sun-smores-baked-in-a-diy-solar-oven-and-freebie

Free PDF. There are 3 pages of directions: one for a microwave oven, one for using a solar oven, and one for the microwave approach. Children can read the directions and prepare the S’mores for the family. Sneak in some summer reading!

 
Make S’mores 3 Ways
 
 
making-our-own-gummy-candy-at-home

Gummy candy, anyone? We used a candy making kit found online and I purchased my own materials.  So the most interesting thing we learned was that seaweed in its dried and powdered forms can make gelatin for making gummies.

 
Make Gummy Candy
 
 
Penny Cleaning Science Experiment Using Kitchen Staples

Did you know things like ketchup, salt, vinegar, and lemon juice will clean and brighten pennies? If your pennies are all bright and shiny, you can keep them in water overnight to allow them to darken for this experiment. Warning, children might like to do this over and over!

 
Shine Pennies
 
develop-reading-comprehension-skills-ebook-free-pdf
 

Free developing reading comprehension skills eBook for parents and teachers of young children. ABCs for parents.

 
Before Reading
 
birthday-party-children-free-bingo-game
 

Birthday bingo and coloring pages free printable for children’s parties. The PDF is an instant download available at the post.

 
Birthday Bingo
 
tooth-brushing-charts-free--download-printable-PDF
 

Tooth brushing charts free instant download at this blog post — to help parents encourage children to be more independent and routine about tooth care.

 
Brush Your Teeth Charts
 
can-you-really-trust-worksheets-in-all-published-workbooks
 

Can You Really Trust Worksheets in All Published Workbooks?

 
Can you trust worksheets?
 
Comparison of Two Kinds of Clay for Children’s Handprints
  
Clay Handprints
 
prepare-for-learning-to-read-in-kindergarten
 

Learning to read in kindergarten and first grade begins with things parents can do at home.

 
Concepts of Print
 
garage-sales-help-children-learn-about-making-change
 

Garage sales help children learn about making change! They help children learn about coins.

 
Counting Coins
 
cpr-ccr-and-aed-emergency-information-for-parents-and-teachers_
 

CPR, CCR, and AED Emergency Information

 
CPR, CCR, and AED
 
Preparing Your Child for First Grade Math
 

A post about preparing your child for first-grade math in daily life without worksheets or flashcards.

 
Daily Life Math
 
Decision-making-tool-for-parents
 

A decision-making tool to help parents make decisions is as simple as drawing a chart, adding options, and criteria as explained at the blog post. Free PDF and YouTube video.

 
Decision-Making-Tool
 
Back to School and Thinking About Homework
 

Back to school and thinking about homework for K-2 students, parents, and teachers is on my mind.

 
Homework
 
thoughts-for-parents-of-struggling-reading-parents
  
Issues in Reading
 
Jewel Reward Jar and Alphabet Fun Free PDF
 

Jewel Reward Jar and Alphabet Fun Free PDF

 
Jewel Jar
 
four-tips-to-lock-out-hackers
 

Four tips to lock out hackers

 
Lock Out Hackers
 
help-children-realize-the-moon-can-be-out-when-iti-is-daytime
 

Help children notice the moon can be visible during the daytime.

 
Moon in Daytime
 
Miss Owl and Mom blog posts with parenting information and activities
  
Morgan’s Mom Posts
 
visiting-a-homeschool-in-northern-ireland-from-usa
  
Northern Ireland
 
opendyslexic-font-for-electronic-devices-and-kindle
 

OpenDyslexic Font for Electronic Devices and Kindle

 
OpenDyslexic Font
 
Pint-Sized Perfectionists Carry a Painful Burden
 

Pint-sized perfectionists carry a painful burden and can cause parental anguish. Understand what is going on.

 
Perfectionists
 
Adoption Matters: Orphan Train to Modern Day
 

An anthology: Orphan Train to Modern Day Nonfiction Short Stories of Adoption & Foster Care. Fifteen writers.

 
Orphan Train & Today
 
discussion-questions-for-book-groups
 

Discussion Questions for Book Groups List Free PDF Downloads

 
Questions Book Discussions
 
grammar-c-tess
 

Facts About the Simple Steps to Sentence Sense Series

 
Sentence Sense Program
 
Safe at Home Coloring Pages for Quarantine
 

Safe at Home coloring pages is a free PDF download in our free eMember area. Discuss pages with children.

 
Safe at Home
 
Simple Birthday Coloring Pages for Ages 3-7
 

Simple birthday color pages for ages 3-7 are an easy activity for birthday parties which include toddlers. Free instant download PDF.

 
Simple Coloring
 
step-by-step-assemble-sling-bookshelf
 

This link is to an informational step by step blog post with photos of how we assembled our sling bookshelf. First, set up one side of the bookshelf by leaning it against something.

 
Sling Bookshelf for Kids
 
small-hands-creating-hope
 

 A post about a Small Hands Creating Hope Project for the American Cancer Society

 
Small Hands Create Hope
 
Tips to Help Prevent the Summer Slide in Reading
 

Summer slide can be prevented, although it takes some concentrated effort on the part of parents, students, and caregivers.

 
Summer Slide
 
Baby Theme Baskets with Board Books and Toys
 

Theme baskets for baby include board books, soft baby toys, and musical interactives. These baskets are for a baby about 7 months old. Baby is ready to learn!

 
Theme Baskets
 
travel-tips
 

If you are traveling with children, plan quiet times during the day and anticipate random hunger or thirst.  Plan ahead for children’s needs.

 
8 Travel Tips
 
New Baby Coloring Pages Free Printable
 

Coloring pages to welcome new babies are included in this post. Free instant download PDF. This post was part of a virtual baby shower.

 
Welcome Baby
 
homeschool-recent-study
 

Why people homeschool — have you wondered?

 
Why People Homeschool Recent Study
 
World Prematurity Day: An Interview About HELLP Syndrome
 

Do you know about HELLP Syndrome? No, that is not a misspelling. With HELLP, not everyone has the same symptoms.

 
World Prematurity Day
 
school-fears-discussion-guide
 

Actually, children do worry about everything from tying shoes to whether or not they will be able to get lunch.

 
Worrying About School