Earth Exploration

While learning about space, my son and I found ourselves gravitating toward planet Earth. In my son's favorite Earth-related book, "The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth", a class journeys through the planet's rock and mantle layers, drilling all the way through the core and out the other side. That got me thinking about modeling the Earth's layers, and then I found this Earth Day craft on "Meet the Dubiens". A play dough Earth core!

  1. Ages: 3 - 8

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. Messy


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    We start by rolling red play dough into a ball to represent the inner core. Then we cover the core with other colored play dough to show the different layers of the Earth (orange = the outer core, yellow = the mantle, brown = the crust, and blue and green = ocean and land).

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Once he sees the finished product, he's in awe and bursting with curiosity. Truth is, I am too. Now we're ready to reveal the Earth's layers. There are many ways to slice a hunk of dough, and the ease with which floss cuts it like butter makes me a little giddy. And so I hand him the floss...

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Wow! The layers look cool! I lightly mention what the different colors represent, but I don't make a big deal of it since I can tell my son is much more interested in observing and enjoying rather than getting a lesson.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Final result!

    Besides, he already has his own agenda - how quickly can he mash up all the colors and start dissecting it!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

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