I have a bit of a thing for learning with food. There’s something about feeding your brain -and- your appetite at the same time that seems to make learning a lot more fun. And make it stick, too. And I have a bit of a thing for pudding, too :) So today’s project is Layers of the Earth Pudding Cups. Kids can learn about the different parts of the earth’s core with every deliciously, creamy bite of this layered pudding cup. They make awesome party desserts too, with the addition of a cute dinosaur on top!
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Just imagine if you could see the inside of a pudding filled earth… With a giant spoon ;) All the way to the marshmallow core.
Or if volcanoes erupted vanilla mantle goodness?
Wouldn’t it be awesome to farm an Oreo field?
Or if we could play with the dinosaurs in coconut grass in our barefeet… Totally silly. But a really fun daydream!! And an awesome learning experience to picture it.
Learn About the Layers of the Earth
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk a little science.
The Earth is made up of 4 distinct layers:
- Crust: This is the outer layer of the earth and is 0-60 km thick, depending upon the location. The crust has two types, oceanic, which carries water and continental, which carries land. The crust is solid, rocky and brittle and packed with calcium and sodium-aluminum silicates. The crust’s temperature is about 0 ºC.
- Mantle: The mantle is the next layer downwards towards the Earth’s core. It’s the thickest layer of the Earth at nearly 2900 km. It’s a semi-molten solid that can deform like a plastic. The top of the layer is hard like rock, but the bottom of the layer is beginning to melt due to temperature. The mantle’s temperature is about 1000 ºC. When volcanoes erupt, the molten liquid called lava is melted mantle and crust.
- Outer Core: Traveling down into the Earth, you’ll find the outer core. The outer core is a molten layer 2900-5100 km thick made up of primarily of iron, sulfur and oxygen. The temperature here is about 3700 ºC. The outer core is the only liquid layer of the Earth.
- Inner Core: The center of the Earth is the inner core and the hottest zone at ~5500 ºC. It’s basically a big ball of solid iron about 5000-6000 km deept that floats in the middle of the outer core.
I love this video’s description of the different layers of the Earth! It talks about the newly discovered oceans inside the Earth’s core!
Or to have more fun with layers of the earth projects, check out these:
- Craft a gorgeous layers of the earth bowl science project.
- Build a LEGO layers of the earth model.
- Eat a delicious Rice Krispy Earth.
And now on to the delicious stuff… pudding!
Layers of the Earth Pudding Cups Recipe
- 1 x 5.1 oz box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 x 3.9 oz box instant chocolate pudding mix
- 5 cups milk
- Red, yellow, and green food coloring
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 10 Oreos
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 8 x 5 oz. clear plastic cups
- 8 plastic dinosaur toys
Makes 8 servings.
Make the Earth Layers
- Make vanilla pudding according to the directions on the box. Divide pudding into three small mixing bowls.
- Color your pudding:
- Add 5-10 drops red food coloring to one bowl. Mix well.
- Add 7 drops yellow and 3 drops red food coloring to the second bowl. Mix well.
- Add 4 drops yellow food coloring to the third bowl. Mix well.
- Make chocolate pudding in a separate bowl according to the directions on the box.
- Chill pudding for one hour.
- While pudding is chilling, prepare coconut and Oreo toppings.
- Put shredded coconut in a zipper bag and add five drops of green food coloring. Close bag well and shake until coconut is green.
- Put Oreos in a zipper bag, close bag well, and crush with a rolling pin.
Build the Earth
Make the pudding cups by adding the layers to your plastic cup as follows. Each layer should completely cover the previous layer. Adjust amounts as necessary based upon your cup size.
- 6 mini marshmallows
- 1 tablespoon yellow vanilla pudding
- 1 tablespoon orange vanilla pudding
- 1 tablespoon red vanilla pudding
- 1 tablespoon chocolate pudding
- 1 tablespoon crushed Oreos
- 1 tablespoon green coconut
- 1 plastic dinosaur