Making a solar cooker with kids can be a fun and educational activity! Here’s a simple method to create a basic solar cooker using common household materials:

Materials Needed:

  1. Cardboard box (medium to large size)
  2. Aluminum foil
  3. Black construction paper or paint
  4. Clear plastic wrap or a clear oven bag
  5. Scissors
  6. Tape
  7. Ruler
  8. Pencil


  1. Prepare the Box:
    • Choose a cardboard box with a lid that can be easily opened and closed. Make sure it’s clean and sturdy.
    • Cut off any flaps from the top of the box, leaving only the bottom and four sides.
  2. Create Reflective Panels:
    • Cut sheets of aluminum foil to fit the inside of each of the four sides of the box.
    • Tape the foil onto the inner surfaces of the box walls, shiny side out. This will help reflect sunlight into the cooker.
  3. Make the Cooking Surface:
    • Cut a piece of cardboard to fit inside the box, leaving a small gap around the edges.
    • Cover the cardboard with black construction paper or paint. Black absorbs heat well and will help heat up your cooker.
  4. Construct the Lid:
    • Cut a piece of clear plastic wrap or use a clear oven bag large enough to cover the opening of the box.
    • Attach the plastic wrap securely to the edges of the box lid using tape, leaving enough slack for the plastic to form a dome shape over the cooking surface.
  5. Test Your Solar Cooker:
    • Place your solar cooker outside in a sunny spot, ensuring that it’s facing directly towards the sun.
    • Place food or a cooking vessel on the black cooking surface inside the box.
    • Close the lid securely and adjust the position of the cooker to maximize sunlight exposure.
    • Wait and monitor the temperature inside the cooker. You should see the temperature rise gradually as the cooker harnesses solar energy to cook your food.

Safety Tips:

  • Always supervise children during this activity, especially when using sharp objects or handling hot surfaces.
  • Choose a safe location for your solar cooker away from fire hazards or areas where it could be knocked over.

This simple solar cooker is a great way to introduce kids to renewable energy concepts while also enjoying the fun of cooking with sunlight!

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