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Edible Layers of the Earth Project
If you are looking for a Layers of the Earth project, I have a really fun one for you. And, it’s all made of edible materials, so that makes it even better! This project teaches earth science, geology, and geography. It’s great for any budding scientists of geologists. But really, all kids will love this one.
We have been very slowly working our way through our Geography A to Z series at our house. This month we focused on the letter E and did and an edible Earth’s layers project. It was a favorite in the series so far since it way a delicious treat that we all enjoyed eating!
The book we have been using for this series is the Geography From A to Z book by Jack Knowlton. There was not actually anything in the book for the letter E, but since Earth starts with E, I just had to throw in an Earth project! Plus, I have been wanting to do a project with the Earth’s Core for a while.
How to Make the Edible Layers of the Earth Project:
What we made this time for our geography project was an edible Layers of the Earth project! It is a model of the solid earth layers, but you can eat it. Mmm! This is also a great science project.
We made the earth’s layers out of colored rice krispie treats and frosting. It was such a fun project to both make and eat.
To make the Earth’s Layers project, I started by making a regular batch of rice krispie treats.
Rice Krispie Treat Recipe:
1 10 oz bag of large marshmallows
1/2 a stick of butter (1/4 cup)
6 Cups of Rice Krispies cereal
Melt the marshmallows and butter in a large pan on the stove over medium heat. This could also be done in the microwave in a large microwavable bowl. Cook until fully melted. Stir it frequently.
Take the pan off of the heat and stir in the Rice Krispie cereal.
Making the Different Layers of the Earth:
After I mixed the cereal mixture, I took out a small amount and tinted it red with food coloring (for the inner core). Then I took out another portion and tinted it orange (for the outer core). The rest I left the regular color (for the mantle).
Instead of putting the mixture into a rectangular pan like you normally would, we used a large round mixing bowl. Scrape all of the Rice Krispies out using a spatula. Make sure to grease it first! It makes it much easier to get out.
Press all of the regular colored rice krispies into the bowl. I pressed them flat all the way to the edges.
Then I added the next layer- orange and pressed them to the edge as well, leaving a small well in the center to add the core. Press in the red Rice Krispies for the core.
Flatten them all down so they are flat on the bottom and flip the whole dome out onto a plate.
For the outer layer, the continental crust, and oceanic crust, or earth’s crust, I made white frosting and tinted it to look like the earth with green food coloring. You could also use colored white chocolate candy for this layer. Just melt and pour over the top and it will harden into a chocolate shell.
Then we used our blue sugar sprinkles to make the oceans- could also be done with tinted coconut shreds. Or, try making it with the two colors of frosting. Lots of options! Use what you have on hand.
If you want to go into more detail to teach about the Layers of the Earth with your kids or students here are a few basic facts for you.
The earth has 4 layers, that are often divided up further into five layers.
The Crust is the outer layer. It has everything that we see on it- the land and oceans that are visible to us. It is the thinnest layer, anywhere from 3 to 44 miles deep. When you think of the size of our earth, though, that is equal to the skin of an apple!
The crust represented by the frosting and sprinkles in our project. (See our Tectonic Plates experiment for another activity about the Earth’s Crust!)
The next layer is the Mantle. In our model it is represented by the regular color or Rice Krispies. The Earth’s mantle makes up the largest portion of our Earth’s volume (about 84%). It is divided into the upper mantle and and the lower mantle. Much of the mantle is made up of magma or molten rock.
Nobody has ever reached the mantle so all we know is based on studies of seismic waves. But we know that the mantle is fluid and always in motion.
The Core also is divided into an inner (red layer) and outer core (orange layer) . This is at the center of the earth. There is a solid inner core and a liquid or molten outer core. The temperature of the inner core is close to 10000 degreed Fahrenheit! It also rotates.
The outer core reaches temperatures as hot as the sun! This part of the earth is what the earth’s magnetic field.
Use a knife to cut into your earth and see all of the pretty layers! You will get a small sample of each layer in your slice to eat.
Books to Teach the Layers of the Earth:
An amazing book to teach this concept further is The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain. My kids love this book!
We also love the Magic Schoool Bus Inside the Earth book by Joanna Cole
Nobody complained over doing this awesome Layers of the Earth project! I really love how it turned out. When you cut into it, it is so pretty.
If you liked this edible model of earth, try the Edible Soil Layers chocolate pudding cups! More dessert!
You Amy Also like you Homemade Volcano Science Experiment!
See the Past Posts in the Geography Project Series:
Check Out a Few More Cool Earth’s Layer projects: