How to make an Earth out of a foam ball

Updated February 21, 2017

Sometimes, children find it difficult to picture the Earth's layers. Making a three-dimensional model of the Earth is an interesting way for them to learn and understand the complex structure of the Earth and its different layers. This is also a good project for a middle or high school science class. Make the model using simple materials like a polystyrene foam ball and clay.

Cover the work station with several sheets of newspapers to keep the surface from getting dirty.

Paint the foam ball with red paint and allow it to air dry. This will be the core of the Earth model.

Roll the orange clay and place the sheet over the Earth core. Cover the entire model, leaving a small triangular block.

Roll the yellow clay and place the sheet over the orange layer, leaving the triangular wedge that can be already seen along with a small block of the orange clay.

Roll the blue clay and place it over the yellow clay, leaving the triangular wedge that can be already seen along with a small block of the yellow clay.

Make small land masses with green clay to resemble continents and place them over the blue layer.

Make flags out of four toothpicks by attaching a small masking tape piece to each of them. To do so, place the toothpick in the centre of the masking tape section and fold it over onto itself.

Label each of the four flags; inner core, outer core, mantle and crust with a marker. Place them over the various layers. The red layer is the inner core, orange layer is the outer core, yellow layer is mantle and the blue and green layers are the crust.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Small or medium size polystyrene foam ball
  • Red paint
  • Orange clay
  • Yellow clay
  • Blue clay
  • Green clay
  • Toothpicks
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
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