How to Make a Solar Oven for Kids

Mrunmayi Deo May 13, 2019
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Making a solar oven serves the twin goal of having a project exercise for a child and an educational tip for making use of conventional energy to our advantage.
All kids love creativity. Arts and crafts is a fun activity which gets them engaged in their spare time and helps them enjoy learning new things. Making a solar oven with the help of shoe boxes or pizza boxes at home is a nice creative and eco-friendly thing to design. This is an innovation which voices the idea for using an ever available source of energy.
A solar oven is an excellent way to enhance the use of renewable energy. It is supposed to be a natural cooker which works on solar power. Not only that, but a solar cooker is a handy item on camping trips and boat excursions, since it provides a passive option to prepare food.
Very often, it happens that the shoe boxes containing our new shoes, go waste. These can serve as an efficient container for a solar oven.

Things you'll need

  • Thin wire or bamboo sticks
  • Thick clear plastic sheet
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Shoe box with lid
  • Roll of aluminum foil
  • Black construction paper
  • Clear packing tape
  • Craft knife (optional)


✱ Mark one inch from all the sides of the shoe box lid from inside, and cut the three sides, sparing the fourth one which helps in lifting and propping up the rectangle easily.
✱ Alternatively, you can use 2 boxes, a smaller one inside a larger one. Line the bottom of the larger box with crumpled newspaper, and then place the smaller one. Fill the space in between with crumpled newspaper as well.
✱ Line and glue aluminum foil paper from within the shoe box, shiny side out. Add 2 or 3 layers if required. Foil the rectangular piece from inside the lid as well, which acts as a reflector. Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles on the foil.
✱ Cut out black paper and glue in within the shoe box. We all are familiar with the fact that black absorbs maximum heat.
✱ Cut a plastic sheet and tape it to the inside of the lid to cover the rectangular cutout.
✱ Prop the foil lined lid open, and hold it using metal wire or bamboo sticks placed at the corners.
✱ Place food in cookware inside and put the lid on the top.
✱ Position your oven where it gets maximum exposure to the sun.
✱ The cooking time will differ according to the weather and food kept inside.

How Does a Solar Oven Work

When the sun rays fall onto the open rectangular piece, they act as a reflector and reflect light on the plastic sheet covering the food. The heat created due to solar energy is absorbed to its maximum cause of the black paper lining at the inside of the box, owing to which the food gets cooked.
Almost anything that is cooked in a conventional oven can be cooked in a solar oven, but it works best for rice and vegetables.
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