School is back in session, which means there’s lots of homework. Kids aren’t the only ones who have to do their research. Teachers and parents are often looking for fun ways to keep children entertained and educated. Here are some fun ways to introduce your kids to solar science.
Cook up a good time with this do-it-yourself solar oven. The supplies are simple household items that are easy to gather. All you do is take an empty pizza box and wrap it in aluminum foil, inside and out. Cut a hole in the top of the box along three edges, leaving a two-inch border around the sides. This should create a flap that you can prop up. This flap will reflect heat from the sun into the box. Place your food inside the box and cover it with plastic wrap to keep the bugs out. We recommend heating up marshmallows to make solar s’mores. Depending on the temperature and the time of day, the box may need to sit under the sun for a couple hours. Once the marshmallows are ooey-gooey, they’re ready for your kids to enjoy!
Solar ovens help kids understand thermal energy. This demonstration shows how light from the sun can heat up objects here on earth.
Turn your old crayons into a science experiment by melting them down with solar heat. This activity is simple but can lead to hours of colorful fun. All you do is unwrap your old, broken crayons and set them into a mold. Melt your new crayon creations into fun shapes by placing them in holiday-themed silicon cupcake pans. Place the crayons outside under the sun. To speed up the process, place the crayons in a box and use aluminum foil to reflect the ray’s directly onto the wax colors. While a hot sun will melt the crayons, this can be a time-consuming process. To cut corners, you can also place the crayons in the oven.
This colorful science experiment demonstrates how hot the sun can get but mostly we love reusing old crayons!
Mason Jar Solar Lights
Harness the sun’s energy into cute, functional solar lights. All it takes are some wide-mouthed mason jars and solar-powered lights that would line a walking path. Make sure the lights fit inside the mason jar. Take apart the solar path light to get the light and the solar battery. Secure the light to the top of the mason jar and set it in the sun during the day. Once night time hits, you’ll be able to use it as a night light or a fun way to illuminate your campsite.
These mason jar solar lights are a great way to teach your kids about the benefits of solar panels and other renewable energy resources.