This was one of our favorite activities last summer and since the kids and I are preparing to kick off Fleck Family Backyard Summer Nature Camp 2014, I thought I’d rerun this post and share this great Summer resource with all of you in case you’d like to have a backyard camp with your kids this year, too.
Yesterday the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and it was the perfect day to kick off the Fleck Family Backyard Summer Nature Camp!
We’re using the ecurriculum I’m a contributor to and an affiliate for, the At-Home Summer Nature Camp ecurriculum from A Natural Nester .
There are 8 weeks of activities:
- kid-friendly lessons
- outdoor activities
- indoor projects
- arts & crafts
- field trip ideas
- book & media suggestions
- and more!
The nature camp ebook comes in a full-color PDF you can read on your computer screen or tablet, or print out. I have emailed the pdf to my Kindle account, so we’ve got a paper print out in a binder and I’ve got a copy on my Kindle. We’re all set and ready to go!
Yesterday, to kick off the week on a sweet note, we chose the Pizza Box Solar Oven S’mores activity. Here’s the Fleck family take on this fun and tasty outdoor science activity:
Pizza Box Solar Oven S’mores
Following the prompting in the ecurriculum, I showed the kids the picture of a pizza box solar oven, and gave them a picnic table full of supplies, including:
- tape (we used duct tape)
- an empty pizza box
- black construction paper
- an empty clear plastic page protector
- aluminum foil
With their Daddy and I on hand to help with things like wielding the craft knife, after a short talk about the sun, sunlight, reflection, and heat, we turned the kids loose to figure out how to create their own solar oven.
The results were fantastic!
In less than a half an hour, we were eating messy, ooey, gooey s’mores. Delicious!
One tip we learned for next time: give your marshmallows a head start on the chocolate, which will melt quickly. Ten to fifteen minutes on their own, depending on how hot your solar oven gets, and then adding the chocolate and second graham cracker should yield a s’more that is just about perfect.
Bonus tip: maybe it isn’t a good idea to let your middle daughter wear a while sundress on the day you’re making Pizza Box Solar Oven S’mores. Ha ha!
For our next solar oven trick, the kids want to try popping popcorn. I can’t wait to see what happens!
2014 update: We’ll be writing about our Backyard Summer Nature Camp adventures all summer long and giving you a recap each week. Can’t wait to dive into this wonderful resource and explore our own backyard and neighborhood this Summer!
Looking for more great backyard Summer fun ideas like this one? There are 8 weeks of wonderful ideas in the ecurriculum we are using. Purchase a copy of The At-Home Summer Nature Camp ecurriculum from A Natural Nester and Friends here. I’m honored to be a “camp counselor” and an affiliate for this project. Looking for more Unplugged Play ideas? Visit the Simple Kids Unplugged Play Index here.