Solar Oven S’mores

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Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve done a children’s program! I’ve been working the past year in a management position – so I’ve PLANNED programs, but haven’t delivered any.  In my current position, I’m back to doing children and teen programming. (YAY!)  Here’s a program that I piggy-backed off of one of my staff who did this last year. Solar oven s’mores!

Age: 9 to 12 years of age first group; 5 to 12 years of age* for the second group

  • *I would definitely suggest doing this program with the older kids from 8 to 12 years of age. The second group of kids – I had a few 5 or 6 year olds and they needed a lot of hands on. If you’re doing it with some younger kids, make sure you have 1 or 2 helpers in the room with you.


  • Pizza boxes (If you’re in Canada, go to Wholesale Club 50 pizza boxes for $20!) otherwise, ask your local pizza place for some donated boxes
  • Tin Foil
  • Black construction paper
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Wooden dowel
  • Markers or paint
  • Glue
  • S’mores kit 

This program cost me around $30.00 – including the S’mores Kit. It equals out to about $1.50 to $1.60 per child.


Always begin the program off with a lesson. Ask the kids some questions like:

  • What are some types of energy? (Heat, light, electricity, mechanical (moving), gravity, solar, chemical)
  • What type of energy does the sun give us? (Light)
  • Why do we need light? (to see; to heat things)
  • What are some ways that we cook food? (stove, oven, microwave)

I gave them a piece of paper and asked them to draw a pizza box and asked them to label where the tin foil would go, where the black construction paper would go and where the plastic wrap would go.

We then discussed how the oven works. What does the tin foil do? (reflects the sun)  What does the black paper do? (absorbs the light)  What does the plastic wrap for? (insulation so the heat doesn’t come out).

Then we began making the solar oven. For the instructions, please visit Steve Spangler Science

I would suggest that you cut out the tops BEFORE you hand them out to the kids.

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This is Jeopardy!

Jeopardy Logo

Design a trivia program for your library. Have them search for the answers using library databases. Helps them learn how to use them! Low budget library program!

Sorry for the LONG hiatus between posts. I exited a contract position and worked as a supply librarian (no program development, only delivery). Then I started a new job working as a children and youth programmer at a new library. So, after a loooooong hiatus – I’m back!

I love technology. I love integrating technology into programs. It’s part of the new trend of librarianship and I think it’s so important as we move forward as librarians.

Here’s a cool program that promotes the library databases and of course, IT’S LOW BUDGET!

Here’s What You Need

  • Easy Buttons from Staples
  • Chromebooks, Netbooks, iPads, computer lab (or whatever your library has)
  • Index cards or white board
  • Smartboard or projector (if your library has access to them) – if not, Bristol board to write the questions on

There are two resources you can use to display your questions:

Super Teacher Tools

This website offers a great platform and easy to use. You just plug in your questions and it creates it for you


I found this great template online for Jeopardy that had hyperlinks to the questions. You can download it here

Rules of the Game

  1. Children/Teens will be put into teams and will receive one Chromebook/Netbook, one Easy Button, and index cards
  2. Teams will draw straws to see who will ask the first question
  3. Teams will choose a category and select point value: “I’ll take sports for 5 Points”
  4. Once the questions have been asked, teams will search for the answers on one of the library databases (Worldbook Online, Kids InfoBits, etc.)
  5. Teams will then have to write down the answer on their index card and buzz their Easy Button when finished.
  6. All the teams will reveal their answers. If the team answers correctly, they are awarded the point value of the question. Bonus points are awarded to the team who correctly answers first.