We love studying rocks, earth science and geology here in the Rainy Day Mum house and after this summer where we explored some of the cave systems created by the asteroid that caused the K-Pg extinction the kids have been asking lots of questions about the history of the earth and how things evolved. So as T likes timelines (her favourite book is Timelines of Everything!) we decided to create our own timeline of the history of the earth from The Big Bang through to modern man!

Geological Time Scale Model Project for Kids interesting in Learning more about the Evolution of the Earth
Fun Hands-on Learning Project for Kids to Learn about the Evolution of the Earth with the Geological Timescale

Evolution of the Earth from THe Big Bang to Modern Man – The Geological TimeScale

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When I suggested to the kids that we could learn about the evolution of the earth they suddenly disappeared and returned with a few non-fiction books that they knew had information in that would be useful.

Instead of focusing on the books at first I introduced this through a YouTube video that talked about the different Eons of Earth’s History and what happened on the world during those times.

Glossary of Earth’s History

Some of the words that your kids may hear when you talk and learn about the history of the earth could be new.

Words like Eon, Era, Epoch, Age, Period as well as Extinctions.

As we went through the video the kids would stop at something they didn’t understand use the dictionaries and Alexa to learn more.

This lead to us making a small Glossary of the terms you can do this with your kids as well.

Working with Kids to Create a Geological Timeline Model from The Big Bang to Man!

Whilst watching the video with the kids, I was nominated to make notes whilst they paused, searched for extra information and asked Alexa about definitions etc…

kids researcing a science topic using YouTube Videos and making notes
Kids researching the topic watching the video above and making notes

As we went through I could see so many ways to extend the information and use it to teach lots of different areas that caught their attention so watch this space as this is likely to connect with more activities in the near future!

Once notes were made and information found to go around the subject we then decided to create the timeline to scale!

Creating An Evolution of the Earth TimeLine with Kids

This was part research and part creative project for the kids. After watching the video we set about making the timeline. I left the actual information and design of the timeline completely up to them but helped them create the scaled picture themselves.

Materials Needed & Provided to Create a History of Earth Timeline

White Paper or an Easel Paper Roll

Sticky Tape

Ruler

Coloured Paper to Represent the different Eons of Earth History

Pencil

Scissors

Glue Stick

Pens, paper, card, stickers, glitter glue ~ let your child lead with what they need to create the timescale I let my kids use their imagination.

How to Make a Geological TimeScale with Kids

You will need a piece of paper around 140cm long for this to do a diagram that 1cm = 100 million years!

To that scale each of the Eons is as follows:

EONTime ScaleLength in Cm
Hadean4.6 billion years – 4 million years ago6 cm
Archean4 billion – 2.5 billion years ago15 cm
Proterozoic2.5 billion – 541 million years ago20 cm
Phanerozoic541 million years ago – TODAY5.4cm
timeline paper stuck together
This would work great with easel paper but sticking paper together like we have worked just as well.

Prepare a piece of paper 140cm long (we taped smaller pieces of paper together to achieve this).

kids starting to work on the different sections on the earth timeline
kids working on different sections of the earth timeline

Then cut out coloured paper to the size for each of the Eons (we decided to make each get bigger width-wise so when it came to the Cenozoic Eon we could fit everything needed on it.)

We then positioned the Cenozoic era piece of paper at the right-hand edge and worked backwards through the eras from right to left (This will leave a big gap where your child can work on the Big Bang and creation of the solar system).

representing the hadean eon with volcanoes
J chose to represent the Hadean Eon with Volcanoes and Meteorites

After everything was stuck down the kids drew lines and labelled the timescale from 13.8billion years ago at the Big Bang to Today.

representing the creation of the universe, galaxies and our solar system on a timescale of the evolution of the earth
T chose to focus on The Big Bang and the creation of the universe and the solar system.

Then label the Eons with their correct names.

history of the earth produced to scale showing eons and major events in each
Kids timeline of the Geology of the Earth showing the 4 Eons
look at the hadean eon by kids
Kids interpretation of what happens during the Hadean Eon
the big bang to creation of the earth
The Big Bang to the creation of the earth produced by an 8-year-old learning about the Evolution of the Earth and Geological Timescale

After that time to let your kids imagination and creativity go and get them to use the notes you have from the video to add interest and detail to the timeline.

final timescale created by the kids
Final timescale the Eons on it are to scale showing how small life on earth is as well as when life began and how old the universe is compared to earth.

More Activities related to the Geological TimeScale

Most of the Activities we have found about the Geological Timescale for kids are worksheet based, however, we did find this fun geological timeline done with ribbons that will show again for kids how long it’s actually been in terms of the earth.

Hands on learning activity for kids interested in Geology and how the earth was formed
Geology Project for Kids to Introduce the Geological Timescale
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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