Nov 07

Layers of the Earth

by Hannah Holt »


The other day my five-year-old asked me, “What’s a continent?”

Me, “It’s a large land area on a tectonic plate.” (My husband likes to tease me for being incapable of simple explanations. I thought I was keeping it pretty simple, until…)

Him, “What’s a tectonic plate?”

Suddenly, I knew this explanation needed play-doh:

Layers of the earth playdoh1

Question: What is a tectonic plate?

Answer: Tectonic plates are pieces of the earth’s crust. The earth’s crust is one of three main layers of the earth, including the core, mantle, and crust.

The core is the center of the earth. It is made mostly of metal and is surrounded by a liquid-ish mantle:

core and mantle

The earth’s crust rests on the mantle:


The crust is where you find people, and continents, and, oceans and….


I tried keeping it simple. How I’d do?

  1. Gramma Holt

    NOW I understand!! Thank you, Hannah!

    • Hannah Holt

      Well, you are most welcome. :)

  2. Catherine Johnson

    Fab! I’ve forgotten so much.

    • Hannah Holt

      I might have needed a little refresher myself. My kids make me scratch my head a lot.

  3. Julia

    Awesome! I love the pictures.

    • Hannah Holt

      Thanks, Julia

  4. Romelle

    Did your 5 y.o. Forget about the question and start playing with playdoh? In any case, that’s as simple as it gets. Well played-doh!

    • Hannah Holt

      Ultimately, play-doh always wins. (And I’m okay with that.)

  5. Stacy S. Jensen


    • Hannah Holt

      Thanks, Stacy. :)

  6. Tina Cho

    A fun way to give the answer! I think your kids are going to excel in science!

  7. Erik - This Kid Reviews Books

    Fun! And simple! And fun! And easy! And fun! 😀

  8. Meg Miller

    Brilliantly. Love it!