Science is full of concepts that are a little abstract and you can’t actually experience yourself. Things like there is zero gravity in space or the fact that in the centre of the Earth the core is very hot and liquid. However, they do form part of the science curriculum and one of the best ways to get children to understand the concepts is through activities and modelling what is happening. Over the years I developed a variety of different ways to teach the concept of the Layers of the Earth, including An Earth Sectional Model and Earth Layer Sugar Cookies, today I’m sharing another method that I used in my classroom using one of my favourite modelling materials Salt Dough. It’s easy to make, and when I did it in class we could make the models in a lesson and leave them to dry till the next week’s lesson and by then we had our 3D Earth Models ready to photograph and add to the science books with labels and annotations.

Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.

Materials Needed to make your Salt Dough Layer of the Earth Model

We have included affiliate links to products we used to create this activity. If you purchase via the link we may earn a small commission.

Classic Salt Dough Recipe – as this will air dry over a couple of days

Red, Yellow and Blue Food Colouring Liquid or Paste – the paste will give a more vibrant colour to your finished model

Flag push pins or to label the layers of the earth

How to make your Layers of the Earth Model out of Salt Dough

  1. Mix up a batch of the classic salt dough – for this recipe, we won’t be oven drying the model as it has been known to crack when you do this instead it’s best to leave it to air dry.
  2. Divide your salt doing into sections – you will need an inner core, outer core, mantle and crust.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  3. To the section for the inner colour add red food colouring and mix – you may want to wear gloves to protect your hands from the colour.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  4. Form a ball with this to represent the inner core of the earth.
  5. With the section, you have put aside for the outer core mix yellow and red food colouring to make orange and create a sheet.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  6. Place your inner core ball in the middle of the sheet and mould it around.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  7. Roll the ball to make it round.
  8. Repeat step 5 to 7 adding yellow food colouring to the mantle.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  9. When it came to the crust we decided to form the oceans and the land masses as well as the polar regions. So divide your remaining salt dough into 3 sections.
  10. Colour the biggest one blue, then green and leave the smallest section for the polar regions white.
  11. Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.Roll into sheets and place over the mantle making continents and oceans as well as your polar regions.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  12. With the earth complete cut in half to show the layers that you have made.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  13. Now before you set it aside to dry use a pencil or the pin that you will use for labelling the sections to put some holes in the model.Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.
  14. Set your models aside to dry for a couple of days to a week – you may need to turn them over occasionally.
  15. Once dry place in your flags or pins to represent the different layers and then add to explanations as to the layers of the Earth.

Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.

You can find some great books in our recommendations for rock and Earth Science to help with research into what makes up the layers of the Earth and more.

More Layers of the Earth Projects for Kids

Make and eat these delicious Layers of the Earth Sugar Cookies

Three dimensions layers of the earth section model to make - ideal for earth science, work out the scale and produce a representation of the different layers of the earth.

Create your own 3D Layers of the Earth Section Model with our downloadable net.

Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.

Resources for Learning About the Layers of the Earth

There are many great resources that I could recommend for learning about the Layers of the Earth but I’ve picked my top 3 which I think are worth purchasing or borrowing if you can.

My first pick is the Layers of the Earth Sectional Model from Learning Resources. Although very similar to our own DIY version made here this model splits apart and has detail included like the temperature of the sections of the earth in each layer.

Another layers of the earth model this one though lets your children take apart the earth. For children that struggle to grasp the concept about the layers this is a way to get them to dig down into the earth themselves as they peel away the layers.

This Layers of the Earth display poster is a great addition to your classroom or homeschool room. Instead of reaching for a book you can bring it out and share or display on the wall when you are working on this area of study. The bonus this version has activities and more in-depth facts on the back as well.

Pin this Layers of the Earth Salt Dough Model to Make Later

Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.

Share this Easy Earth Science Project with Others on Facebook

Instructions and recipe to create a 3D model of the layers of the earth using salt dough. Easy to make and can be air dried over time to label and learn. Fun Earth Science lesson for kids.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.