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Easy layers of the earth’s atmosphere for kids

by Ünal Güler

This science activity atmosphere for kids is easy and fun and full of learning through play. Today, let’s learn about the 5 layers of the Earth’s atmosphere with a little kitchen science experiment! Kids of all ages can learn basic concepts… even preschoolers and kindergarten age kids… with this activity, traditionally used as a middle school project.

Teach children about the Earth's atmosphere
Let’s learn about atmosphere!

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atmosphere for children

With things around the house, you can create a visual version of Earth’s atmosphere in a bottle to make it much easier to understand and learn. That will be fun!

This science activity for kids was inspired by our friend Emma from Science Sparks who wrote the book. This is rocket science.

If you have a child who is even remotely interested in science or space, you need to check out this new book. The book contains 70 simple experiments that children can do at home.

This is one of the activities in the book!

5 layers of the earth’s atmosphere activity for kids

My favorite part about this activity book is that each activity has a lesson attached to it. The experiment I’m about to show you is a visual representation of the 5 layers of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The book explains how the layers work as barriers, explaining what each layer does for our planet and how it helps us survive.

This is a rocket science book - book covers alongside layers of atmospheric science activity for kids
Let’s get to know the layers of the atmosphere!

Supplies needed for the activity of the Earth’s atmosphere

  • Honey
  • corn syrup
  • detergent
  • Water
  • vegetable oil
  • Narrow glass
  • adhesive labels
  • Pen

Atmosphere activity instructions for kids

Step 1

Carefully pour the liquids into a glass in the order listed above. Try not to get the thicker liquids to the side of the glass and try to pour the thinner liquids slowly to keep the layers separate.

5 Layers of Earth's Atmosphere - Kids Activities Blog
Here are the 5 layers of the Earth’s atmosphere!

step 2

Use the labels to title each layer of “atmosphere” on your glass.

Starting from the top:

  • exosphere
  • thermosphere
  • mesosphere
  • stratosphere
  • troposphere

Why don’t the layers of the atmosphere mix?

This is rocket science explains that the liquids remain separate because each liquid has a different density, and relates this concept back to the Earth’s atmosphere.

Layers of Earth’s Atmosphere video

What is the Earth’s atmosphere?

The earth’s atmosphere is like a shell for our planet. It surrounds our planet, keeps us warm, gives us oxygen to breathe and is where our weather happens. The Earth’s atmosphere has six layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, the ionosphere, and the exposition.


The additional layer that we didn’t explore in this experiment is the exposure layer.

To further explore these concepts, I really like the scrolling explanation from NASA’s website, which allows kids to start with the tallest building in the world and then use the mouse to move up, up, up into the different levels scroll. You can find this cool learning tool here.

active time
15 minutes

total time
15 minutes


Estimated costs


  • Honey

  • corn syrup

  • detergent

  • Water

  • vegetable oil


  • Narrow glass

  • adhesive labels

  • Pen


  1. We’re going to layer the liquids into the clear jar, with the heaviest and thickest on the bottom, and add until we have all our liquids. Carefully pour in the liquids in this order: honey, corn syrup, dish soap, water, vegetable oil
  2. Using labels starting from the top, label each layer: exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, troposphere

This is Rocket Science Book Information

This activity book is also great for kids to gain or retain knowledge over the summer holidays without feeling like they’re learning!

This is a rocket science book by Emma Vanstone

You can buy This is rocket science Today at Amazon and in bookstores!

More science fun from the kids activity blog

And if you’re looking for more fun science books, don’t miss Kids Activities’ dedicated blog, The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments.

Did your kids love learning about Earth’s atmosphere with this science activity?

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