Whether your child is an Earth education enthusiast or has a school project to make, creating a handmade globe is a creative way to help her learn about the planet and its geography and topography. From simple sculpture projects to more complex models, there are many activities for children to make their own mini-Earth crafts.
Modeling Clay Earth
If you are looking for a super-simple Earth globe project for your child to make, modeling clay is a soft medium that's easy for your child to move and manipulate. Tell your child to roll a sphere in his hands with blue clay. Add pieces of green clay to create the continents and white for the polar ice caps. Help your child to go a step father, and create a base for the globe. Pierce the bottom of the clay Earth with a wooden dowel or a craft stick. Plant the other end in a mound of clay that attaches to a cardboard base.
Your little learner can get messy making an ooey, gooey paper mache Earth project. Start with a balloon as a base for the sculpture. Cover the balloon with strips of paper mache paste-covered construction paper. When the paper mache dries -- it may take as many as 24 hours -- your child can paint the globe with green and blue temperas. Another option is to create a more topographical globe. Bunch or layer the paper mache over areas that are mountainous such as the Rockies or the Andes.
Foam Ball Globe
Start off your child's Earth globe model with a perfect sphere. If your child is struggling to make her own planet shape, use a polystyrene foam ball instead. Cover the ball with tempera paint or glue pieces of green and blue tissue paper to it. Extend the project into an entire solar system model. Make the other planets using different sizes of foam balls. Insert craft wire into the planets, bending each one into an orbiting circle. Attach the orbits together with fishing line or yarn to complete the craft.
Older kids may want to show what the Earth looks like from the inside out. Instead of just showing the outermost layer, your child can make a cross-section model Earth globe that includes the inner core, the outer core, the lower mantle, an upper mantle and the crust. Use modeling clay or balled tissue paper in different colors to represent each layer. Instead of completely covering each layer, leave a space open to see into for the cross-section effect.