How to Make a Solar Oven Activity For Kids

You don’t have to have an actual oven to heat something up. You can use the power of the sun! In this experiment, you’ll learn how to make your own solar powered oven.

  • Cardboard pizza boxhow to make a solar oven
  • Scissors or box knife
  • Clear tape
  • Black construction paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Newspapers
  • Thermometer
  • Ruler


  • Use the scissors or have an adult use a box knife to cut a flap into the lid of your pizza box. Do this about an inch away from the edge of the lid, and cut three sides of a square. Pull this flap up so it is open when the box is closed.
  • On the inside of the flap, wrap aluminum foil around it and tape it into place.
  • Next, you’ll be creating a window for sunlight and a way to trap heat. Open the box and wrap your plastic wrap over the opening of the flap. Overlap with plastic wrap and tape this down.
  • On the inside of your box, lay down black construction paper. The color black absorbs the most heat.
  • As insulation, roll up newspaper sheets and tape them down on the bottom of the pizza box. This will create a barrier around the actual cookie area and a seal to block heat escaping when the box is closed.
  • The best time to use your solar oven is between 11 AM and 3 PM because the sun is directly overhead. Face the flap towards the sunlight so the foil will reflect the sunlight into the window of the box. You can use a ruler or stick to prop open the flap.
  • Use the thermometer to tell how hot the inside of your oven has gotten, just place the thermometer inside the solar oven before you close it.
  • When taking your food out, be careful. If you have put it in a glass container to keep the box clean, use potholders so you don’t accidentally burn yourself.

What Happens
The pizza box actually traps the heat from sunlight inside. Since sunlight comes to the earth at an angle, the foil reflects the light directly into the box, through the plastic wrap and heats up the air. The plastic wrap keeps the heat from escaping and the black construction paper works to heat things up from the bottom. The newspaper you added around the sides will help keep heat from escaping through the sides. Science fair project for kids 3rd to 6th grade

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