This atmosphere for kids science activity is easy and fun and full of playful learning. Let’s learn about the 5 layers of the earth’s atmosphere with a little kitchen science experiment today! Kids of all ages can learn basic concepts…even preschoolers and Kindergarten age kids…with this activity traditionally used as a middle school project.

teaching kids about the earths atmosphere
Let’s learn about atmosphere!

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Atmosphere for Kids

Using things around the house, you can create a visual version of earth’s atmosphere in a bottle to make it much simpler to understand and learn.  This will be fun! This science activity for kids is inspired by our friend, Emma, over at Science Sparks who wrote the book, This Is Rocket Science.

If you have a kiddo that is even remotely interested in science or outer space, you have to check out this new book. There are 70 easy experiments in the book that kids can complete 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 comes with a lesson. The experiment I am 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 and explains what each layer does for our planet and how they help us survive.

this is rocket science book - book cover next to layers of the atmosphere science activity for kids
Let’s learn the layers of the atmosphere!

Supplies Needed for Earth’s Atmosphere Activity

  • Honey
  • Corn Syrup
  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Narrow Jar
  • Sticky Labels
  • Pen

Directions for Atmosphere Activity for Kids

Step 1

In the order listed above, carefully pour the liquids into a jar. Try not to get the thicker liquids on the side of the jar and try to pour the thinner liquids slowly so that the layers stay separate.

5 layers of the earths atmosphere chart - Kids Activities Blog
Here are the 5 layers of the earth’s atmosphere!

Step 2

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

Starting from the top:

  • Exosphere
  • Thermosphere
  • Mesosphere
  • Stratosphere
  • Troposphere

Why do the Layers of the Atmosphere Not Mix?

This Is Rocket Science explains that the liquids stay separated because each liquid has a different density and relates that concept back to the Earth’s atmosphere.

Layers of the Earth’s Atmosphere Video

What is the Earth’s Atmosphere?

Earth’s atmosphere is similar to a jacket for our planet.  It surrounds our planet, keeps us warm, gives us oxygen to breathe, and it is where our weather happens.  Earth’s atmosphere has six layers: the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere, the ionosphere and the exposure.


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

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

Yield: 1

Layers of the Earth's Atmosphere Experiment for Kids

teaching kids about the earths atmosphere

Use this simple earth atmosphere activity for kids at home or in the science classroom. Kids can get a hands on visual feel for what the layers of the atmosphere might look and act through this simple atmosphere experiment.

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • Honey
  • Corn Syrup
  • Dish Soap
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil


  • Narrow Jar
  • Sticky Labels
  • Pen


  1. We are going to layer the liquids in the clear jar with the heaviest and thickest on the bottom and adding until we have all our liquids. Pour the liquids in carefully 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 break in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they are learning!

this is rocket science book by Emma Vanstone

You can purchase This Is Rocket Science on Amazon and at bookstores today! 

More Science Fun from Kids Activities Blog

And if you are looking for more fun science books, don’t miss Kids Activities Blog’s own, The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments.

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

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