Layers of the Earth Geology Activity

Layers of the Earth Geology Activity

New
By Babysits, 5 min read

A simple and hands-on activity like this is the perfect way to help kids conceptualize the layers of the Earth. This geology activity is easy and fun, and can be done using simple items found around the house.

Take a look at our step-by-step video tutorial on creating your own Layers of the Earth geology craft! For a more detailed description, read our blog below.

To get started, you’ll need:

  • Coloured paper or card (ideally: blue, green, black, red, orange and yellow)
  • Scissors
  • Paper fastener
  • Pen
  • Compass (or anything you have around the house that can be used to trace circles!)

Step One

Begin by using a compass to trace a large circle onto black paper and carefully cut it out. This black circle will be the Earth’s crust. Use a bright pen or a bit of paint to label the crust.

Earth Crust Kids Science Activity Geology

Step Two

Use a compass to draw a circle slightly smaller than the crust onto red paper, and carefully cut it out. This red circle will be the Earth’s mantle. Use a pen to label the mantle.

Earth Mantle Kids Science Activity Geology

Step Three

Use a compass to draw a circle slightly smaller than the mantle onto orange paper, and carefully cut it out. This orange circle will represent the Earth’s outer core. Use a pen to label the outer core.

Earth Outer Core Kids Science Activity Geology Craft

Step Four

Finally, use a compass to draw the smallest circle onto yellow paper, and carefully cut it out. This small yellow circle will represent the Earth’s inner core. Use a pen to label the inner core.

Earth Inner Core Kids Science Activity Geology Craft

Step Five

Print out a handful of countries or continents to trace onto green paper. If you’d prefer, you can also create your own continents freehand! Once traced, carefully cut them out.

Earth Kids Science Activity Geology Craft Continents

Step Six

Use a compass to draw the largest circle onto blue paper, and carefully cut it out. This large blue circle will represent the Earth. Cut a 90 degree angle from your Earth, and glue your green continents/countries into place.

Earth Surface Kids Science Activity Geology Craft

Step Seven

Place each circle on top of one another (follow this order: crust, mantle, outer core, inner core, Earth). Lastly, pin into place with a paper fastener and you’re done! Layers of the Earth Kids Science Activity Geology Craft

Geology Lesson

Once you’ve finished creating your geology craft together, you can talk with the kids about what each layer of the Earth represents! By creating the Earth craft, kids will have a visual representation to follow as you talk through the functions of each layer.

Crust

The Earth’s crust is the thinnest of all its layers and is made up of two parts: oceanic crust and continental crust. Oceanic crust is the crust that lies under the ocean, and continental crust is the crust that lies under the land.

Did you know that the Oceanic crust takes up 71% of the Earth’s surface while continental crust takes up 29%? This means that our planet is mostly covered by water!

Fun facts for older kids:

Oceanic crust is made up of sedimentary and basalt rocks while continental crust is made up of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Temperature: 200 - 400 degrees celsius

Depth: 8km - 70 km thick

Mantle

The mantle is the second layer of the earth, and lies under the Earth’s crust. The mantle is very, very heavy! In fact, it’s so heavy that it makes up about 85% of the Earth’s entire weight!

Fun facts for older kids:

The mantle is made up of rock containing silicon, iron, magnesium, aluminium, oxygen and other minerals.

Temperature: 200 - 4000 degrees celsius

Depth: 2900 km thick

Outer Core

Did you know that this layer of the Earth is so hot that it’s entirely liquid? It’s even hotter than the surface of the sun!

Fun facts for older kids:

The outer core is mostly made up of melted iron and nickel. The flow of these metals within the Earth’s core is what causes the Earth to be magnetic! Wow!

Temperature: 4400 - 6100 degrees celsius

Depth: 2400 km thick

Inner Core

The inner core is right at the centre of the Earth. It is a very hot ball and is mainly made of iron. Although it is very hot, the inner core is not liquid. Why? Because the pressure of the Earth is so strong that it prevents the iron from melting!

Fun facts for older kids:

The inner core is made up of solid iron and nickel. Because the inner core is so far from the Earth’s surface, it is likely that there is much we still don’t know about it!

Temperature: 6000 degrees celsius

Depth: 1250 km thick

Did you enjoy this geology activity for kids? If you are a babysitter, you can also enjoy creating this educational DIY with children. We’d love to see your own Layers of the Earth geology experiment! Tag us @babysits and use #babysits so we can see them!

Don’t forget to take a look at our other activities and crafts for more great ideas.