Painting on the continents of a DIY globe kids can make to study geology, geography and space.

We dove in to a whole Geology unit recently. I pieced it together from great ideas I found online, ideas I created myself, and an activity that my kids happened to create without even knowing it! I love creative accidents that teach big concepts! We started our homeschool geology unit for kids with a DIY globe kids can make.

Even a preschooler can make this! This DIY earth model activity can be done with preschool kids all the way up to middle school and high school.

Simple supplies make this easy for kids to do at home. It works well as a geology lesson for kids about the continents, the oceans and the internal structure of the Earth. You can also use it in a space unit learning about the planets.

I am excited to share it with you!

DIY Globe: Earth Model for Kids

A globe (affiliate link) is a great tool to keep in the home. We use ours frequently when teaching history and science. The kids love imagining what the Earth looks like from space.

>>>CHECK OUT our Chemistry unit for kids.

We studied space, the moon and the Earth a couple years ago. My oldest made a DIY globe then. Kids thrive when learning about science and the world around them.







(affiliate links) Craft paint: blue and green

Scrap paper, newspaper, or paper shopping bags

Step one for making a DIY globe model for kids is to set up the supplies and work area.

How to make the DIY Model Earth Toy

Start by blowing up the balloon to the size you would like your finished globe to be.

Tear paper into strips. Approximately 2 inches long is good.

Cover your work surface with newspaper or an old piece of fabric. This makes cleanup easy. (Learn from my mistake when I did not cover the table first. LOL!)

Mix flour and water together in a bowl to make papier mache. (I mix 1/4 cup flour with water until I get a consistency of melted milkshake.)

(These project ideas using paper mache for kids are wonderful extension projects to try too!)

Show your child how to dip the paper into the flour-water mixture. Then wipe the excess off and apply to the balloon. This step by step paper mache walks you through how to do it if it is a new process for you.

Adding papier mache to a balloon to make a diy globe model for kids.

Overlap strips so that the edges glue together. This keeps the model solid when it is all dry.

You will want to cover the balloon with one layer and let it fully dry. I set our balloon on a plastic bowl so that it does not stick to a surface as it dries.

After the first layer is completely dry, add another layer of papier mache to the globe. It will take 2-3 layers.

Once the globe is completely dry after all the layers, pop the balloon. I use a sewing pin or safety pin.

Pull the balloon out of the globe and throw it away.

Time for painting!

Painting the continents on the DIY globe is a way to incorporate art into this science activity.

Cover the work surface again. Your child can paint the whole globe blue. This represents the oceans.

Freehand drawn on continents that get painted by the child.

Let that layer dry completely. Then you can sketch the continents. I really did just freehand this. If you prefer you can print out the continents from this free printable. Then they can be colored green and glued onto the globe.

If you or your child hand draw the continents, paint them green within the outlines. Let this part dry.

When everything was dry, we discussed the layers of the earth. Sea, land, crust, mantle and we discussed how the mantle deep in the middle of the globe is molten rock.

To share this idea with younger kids, we crumpled some red construction paper and stuffed it inside our globe.

Crumpled up red paper is stuffed into the globe to represent the molten rock.

Labeling the Continents

For children in elementary school grades and older, an extension activity is to label the continents. We did this simply!

I wrote the names of the continents in a list on white paper. My daughter cut them out. Then, she glued them onto the globe.

Extension activity for school age kids is to glue labels onto the globe to label the continents.

Just one more layer of learning for this DIY Globe kids can make.

After finishing your DIY globe project, use this unit study that discusses multiple countries and constellations. It is a fun extension activity.

Some great books to read when discussing the layers of the earth and geology are linked from Amazon below.

For books about taking care of the Earth, check out this list of Earth Day books for kids from Homeschool of 1.

>>>View more Geology Activities for Kids here as they are added to this unit study. All of my other homeschool unit studies are linked up here.

Have you started studying the earth and space with your children? What is your approach?

DIY Globe kids can make activity for studying the earth, geology and space.