Playtime is Learning Time
For homeschool recently we have been learning about the Earth’s layers and I thought it would be fun to do some hands on learning along with the reading, so we made mini Earths out of homemade dough.
This is a fun project that really doesn’t take long and is perfect for little hands.
Easy Dough Recipe
If you have playdough on hand, you can use that. It does dry differently than the homemade version but can certainly be used. We did not have any and we love making sculptures from salt dough already, so we opted to make our own.
To make the dough you will need…
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water and
- food coloring in blue, green, red and yellow
Mix the flour, salt and water until you get a dough consistency and then separate into 4 separate pieces. Once that is done, put a piece of dough back into the mixer and mix each piece with one of the above colors, putting enough food coloring in until you get a color that you like… giving you blue, green, red and yellow dough.
Assemble the Earth
After each piece is mixed you can begin assembling. I didn’t do very well with the pictures (as there are none of the assembly, lol) but basically roll a small red ball to make up the core.
Next, carefully apply the yellow layer to act as the mantle but don’t apply all the way around, leave some of the red showing, like in the picture here.
For the crust, apply various pieces of blue and green to make the land and ocean. Once finished allow it to dry by placing the layered side down (land and ocean side up) on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Drying might take several days and though this could be baked at 200 degrees for a few hours, the chances of it cracking are a lot higher when baked.
You can see earth’s layers here after it dried. Perhaps not perfect but this was fun… the kids really loved being able to play! This makes learning science fun and is a great science project for younger learners or those that enjoy hands-on activities!
This would also make a great project for Earth Day, which is April 22nd!
Playtime Enhances the Learning Process
While we did this project we also had a book called Earth in 30 Seconds to look at and learn from. It has 30 different things to learn about Earth and the lessons can be quick… or you can put your spin on them like we did here.
UPDATE 6/29/2023: We still have these on our science shelf and the kids still refer to them.
I love doing these little projects and I hope your kids will find it interesting as well. Remember, put your own spin on things and have fun learning!
BEM and Fam 🙂
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