Since I finally confessed about our failed attempt at frying an egg on the pavement, I thought the kids and I should give solar energy and radiant heat another try.
I saw this great solar oven post on the Kids Activity Blog and decided to make it with the kids. With all that aluminum foil, it just had to create more heat than the pavement. Plus, it looked relatively easy to make.
Now, if you compare our completed solar oven with the one on the Kids Activity Blog, you will notice a few key differences. First, their oven is a veritable showpiece while ours is sloppily and happily kid-made. Second, tape is not visible on their cooker, but we managed to use half a roll of Scotch tape. Finally, their plastic wrap is barely visible. We used the Press and Seal kind because that is all I buy. Regular saran wrap is just an exercise in frustration for me. I worried about these differences and hoped our little solar cooker would work despite our shoddy craftsmanship.
Those quirky mommas at the Kids Activity Blog also don’t show you what their kitchen looked like after they created the solar oven. I’d wager to say that their kids didn’t “accidentally” unroll a full 25 feet of aluminum foil while their mother was searching for tape.
When we walked outside, I really began to wonder if this thing would work. I vowed to write about all experiences, but I didn’t want to disappoint the kids if another science experiment failed. While it was only 85 degrees outside, it was unbelievably humid. I hoped that would somehow work in our favor.
We set up the solar oven in a sunny patch of our lawn and placed marshmallows inside. The kids played while we waited for the marshmallows to cook. After an hour, tennis balls, hockey sticks, hula hoops, and a baton littered the lawn, but our marshmallows looked the same.
Finally, the kids begged for a closer look. We opened up the plastic wrap and I was surprised that it was very warm inside the box. The marshmallows were definitely cooking– slowly, but the difference was noticeable. They were warm and mushy to the touch. I think if we had left them in for another hour, they would have been truly cooked through. But, the kids were impatient and “staaaaarving” in a way that children can be when they are faced with warm marshmallows.
We put our marshmallows on a graham cracker and topped it with a piece of a chocolate bar and another graham cracker. We sat on the lawn eating s’mores. They may not have been fully cooked, but they were delicious!
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