How are Mountains Made?

By | January 13, 2014

How are Mountains Made

Have your kids ever asked you “How are mountains made?” ?  My oldest has asked before, although what she was calling a mountain at the time was really just a big hill but to her it was a mountain.  I tried to explain to her about plate tectonics and convergent boundaries but well lets be honest she is only six and that is a lot for a six year old to understand.  So I thought why not show her with a fun science experiment that she could even eat at the end (my girls at totally motivated by yummy treats!).

I got the idea for this experiment from my Sis who teaches Science in High School.  She actually did this experiment with her students and said that they all really enjoyed it (and yes she let them eat it too after they were done).  Even though this was an experiment she did with high schoolers I thought the concept was still at a level that my girls could understand.

My little one who is two was not really sure what we were doing and was much more interested in eating the whip cream than seeing how a mountain was made.  By my oldest got it and thought the whole thing was pretty cool.  I am pretty confident that she understands how mountains are made now and in the future we may try and get into some of the other types of plate tectonics when she is curious about something else.

What is happening with this experiment? Plate Tectonics is just a theory at this point but one that many scientist believe to be true.  There are three different types of plate tectonic boundaries divergent, convergent, and transform plate boundaries.  In this experiment we are testing the Convergent Boundaries, where two plates push together and form mountains.   The kids will see that when they push the gram crackers together they push upwards to form a mountain.

Supplies

Gram Crackers (2 for each child)
Whip Cream
A Plate
Bowl of water

Directions

How are Mountains MadeSpread the whip cream on to your plate

How are Mountains MadeDip each cram cracker in the water (for just a second, you don’t want them too mushy)

How are Mountains MadeLay your cram crackers on the whip cream wet sides facing each other

How are Mountains MadePush your gram crackers together to see how they form a mountain

How are Mountains MadeYou have made a mountain, now you can eat it!

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16 thoughts on “How are Mountains Made?

  1. Suzy

    Brilliant! I’m gathering ideas for LittleMan’s continent work for next year and this is perfect. Pinned!

    Found via the Hands-On Play Party

    Reply
  2. Beverly

    What a clever experiment. I am going to share this with my daughter who is a teacher. She is always looking for new ideas.
    Coming over from Thursday Favorite Things.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Bev
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

    Reply
    1. wemadethat Post author

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and thanks for sharing with your daughter! I hope she can use this or one of our other experiments!

      Reply
  3. Shawna

    I love this in so many ways. Some day you will look back and have the best little giggle about how fun and cute this is. Thank you for sharing it on our Four Seasons Blog Hop. Pinning now

    Reply
    1. wemadethat Post author

      Thanks so much for hosting Shawna! And I hope the girls will enjoy looking back at all the stuff we have done on the blog! It will be a great gift for them later in life I hope!

      Reply
  4. Jill F.

    I love this idea and way of making a complicated subject understandable to kids. Thanks for sharing it on the Thumping Thursday bloghop.

    Reply
  5. Andrea

    This is so cool! We’re getting ready to do a unit on mountains, and my daughter will love this! Thanks!!

    unschooltheteacher.blogspot.com

    Reply
  6. Mommy on Demand

    What a fun craft, my little one would love this! Beautiful girls! Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Retreat, hope to see you back on Thursday night!

    Reply
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  8. Trish @ Hip Homeschool Moms

    Thank you so much for linking up to the Hip Homeschool Mom’s blog hop! Love this experiment! I chose it as my favorite this week and you have been featured on our weekly hop. I also pinned this to our geography board on pinterest! I look forward to seeing more posts on our hop. Be sure to stop by and get our new “I was featured” button!

    Reply
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  10. DK

    Hi,
    Nice idea, wish I’d seen this when I was teaching middle school physics! I just wanted to clarify one thing though. A lot of people think the word ‘theory’ is similar to the word ‘guess’. Scientists use this word very differently, and put a lot of evidential weight behind the word ‘theory’. If it’s only an educated guess, they’ll call it a hypothesis. To be called a theory, an idea will have been tested widely and vigorously by many different scientists in many different ways. The vast majority of scientists who study geology accept that this theory has enough evidence to make it rock-solid (pardon the pun). Yes maybe someday someone will find evidence to the contrary, but at the moment no such evidence exists.
    I just don’t want people to think that we’re teaching fluffy guesses, since in conversation people use the word theory so lightly, so maybe this is just a scientist’s guess! Not so! There’s a huge body of evidence that supports it, so you can be quite confident when you teach this!
    Happy experimenting :)
    x DK

    Reply

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