The Earth is a fascinating thing, a huge rock floating through space that we all want to learn more about. It can be hard for kids to fully comprehend what the Earth is and more importantly, what it is made of. Fun projects are a great way of educating kids about planet Earth.
What Are The Layers Of The Earth Called?
Before we move on to the fun stuff, it is important to mention what each layer is called.
There are four main layers of the Earth. Each layer is composed of different matter. Imagine the earth as a sphere that you have taken a slice out of, if you look inside you would see four distinct layers.
- The Crust – this is the outer layer of planet Earth and it is where we are living.
- The Mantle – this is a semi-liquid layer under the Earth’s crust.
- The Outer Core – this layer is completely liquid.
- The Inner core – the inner core is solid rock but it is almost as hot as the sun. It is the very center of our planet.
Now that you have the basics, let’s carry on to the projects!
Layers Of The Earth Craft Project
What You Need (For Each Kid)
- 6 pieces of 12”x12” paper – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and black
- A small piece of white paper
- A brass paper fastener, or any that can pierce through the papers
- Black marker
- Use the compass to draw circles on the coloured paper in these sizes
- black and blue paper: 11 ½” circles
- red paper: 10” circle
- orange paper: 6” circle
- yellow paper: 3 ½” circle
- Using the green paper, cut out shapes that resemble the continents, aim to fit approximately three to four on your blue circle which is Earth
- Cut one-quarter of the blue circle away.
- Glue the green continents onto the three-quarters of the blue circle that is remaining
- Now it is time to build your layers! Place the black circle down followed by the red on top, then the orange, and lastly yellow. Make sure all of the circles are centred.
- Label your circles using the black marker. Label the yellow circle Inner Core, label the orange circle Outer Core, label the red circle Mantle, and using the small piece of white paper write Crust and glue this piece of paper to the black circle.
- Place the blue circle on top of the other pre-laid layers. Taking your paper fastener, poke it through the centre of all of the layers and secure it at the back of the black circle.
Turn the blue circle to unveil the labels on each circle. Kids can test themselves on the names of the layers and spin the blue circle to find out if they were right.
Layers Of The Earth Project For Budding Young Scientists
What You Need
- Playdough (Blue, green, brown, yellow, orange, red)
- Paper Plate
- Markers (blue, green, brown, yellow, orange, red)
- Waxed dental floss
Each color represents a different layer of the Earth and you will need different amounts of playdough for each one.
- Blue playdough: water, a large ball of playdough needed
- Green playdough: land, medium ball of playdough needed
- Brown playdough: crust, a large ball of playdough needed
- Yellow playdough: mantle, medium ball of playdough needed
- Orange playdough: outer core, a small ball of playdough needed
- Red playdough: core, a small ball of playdough needed
- Roll the red playdough into a ball
- Roll out all other colours into a flat, pancake shape
- Cover the red playdough with the orange playdough and roll it into a ball shape. It should look like an orange ball once the red ball of playdough has been covered
- Repeat this step in the following order: yellow playdough covers orange, brown covers yellow, and blue covers brown. After following this step you should have a large blue ball and only the green playdough has been left untouched.
- Break up bits of the green playdough and press it into your earth to represent continents. Smooth the edges to ensure your Earth shape stays round.
- Now taking your paper plate, write a guide of what each color represents, it should follow this order:
- Red: Inner Core
- Orange: Outer Core
- Yellow: Mantle
- Brown: Crust
- Blue: Water
- Green: Land
- Red: Inner Core
Your guide should look similar to the below picture example:
- Place the Earth you have made from playdough on the paper plate and have an adult cut through it using the waxed dental floss, splitting the spherical shape in half. The four layers of the Earth should be distinctly visible.
Papier Mache Earth Bowl
This project takes time as there is a drying process involved. It is best suited to older kids.
What You Need
- A bowl
- A mug
- A mixing bowl (for the glue paste)
- Newspaper, cut into thin stripes
- Cooking Oil
- Painting brushes
- Acrylic paint in green, blue, brown, yellow, orange and red.
- Mix one mugful of flour with two mugfuls of water into your mixing bowl. Stir the mixture until it is a smooth consistency. This is the papier mache paste.
- Turn your large bowl upside down and cover the outside of the bowl with tin foil. Rub some oil to the foil to prevent the papier mache from sticking.
- Take the newspaper strips and dip them into the paste individually, squeeze the excess paste and lay onto the tinfoil. Continue until the tinfoil is completely covered, overlapping strips are fine.
- Allow the wet newspaper strips to dry overnight.
- Once the papier mache has dried, gently peel away from the tinfoil.
- Paint the papier mache bowl to represent the outside and inside of the earth. Ensure to include the four layers of earth on the inside of the bowl. The recommended colors to paint each layer would be a red inner core, orange outer core, yellow mantle, and brown crust. Once the inside has been painted, flip it over to paint the outside in green and blue to represent the Earth’s crust and surface. Green will represent land and blue will represent water.
With these projects, you can entertain children of any level while they learn about the layers of the Earth, Happy crafting, and happy learning.