How to Make a Landform Diorama Craft at Home
Learning about landforms can be lots of fun! Unique designs and features can be found in the variety of different plants, animals, and yes, even landforms! If you have any special landmarks or attractions nearby, this is a great opportunity to get out and about to explore for a homeschool field trip!
Encourage children to look for mountains, rivers, lakes, ponds, hills, plains, and so much more! When you return, have children make a landform diorama. Many children are visual learners and the use of models is a great way to introduce important information. Use this fun model of the earth’s layers to learn all about the different components of our wonderful world!
- Empty Cardboard Box
- Green Construction Paper
- Play Dough, Sandpaper, Paint, Moss
- Labels w/Marker
Making the Diorama
Before you can make a landform diorama, you’ll need to find a base. You can use the lid of a cardboard box, a Styrofoam packing insert, or really anything that is wide and shallow. This is something you don’t need to keep for anything else as we’ll be gluing things down inside.
Glue a piece of green construction paper to the bottom of your container. This will serve as land areas we can build on! Grab some brown play dough and make a large mountain for the corner of your diorama. Use your thumb to press a small indentation on the side of the mountain. Using white paint to represent snow, paint the top of the mountain so that is it “snow-capped.”
Using blue paint, paint inside the groove on the mountain (representing the snow melting and a traveling stream) and near the base of the mountain. This is a great visual for students to understand how in the summer snow melts and water travels from the top of the mountain down to the valley.
Continue the path of water to the upper corner of the container. This will be our river and our ocean later.
Add a few more landforms around your diorama. Place a small hill over near the mountain. Add a land island in the middle of your water. Use moss to represent forests. Paint a separate body of water that can represent a lake or pond.
Cut a small wedge of sandpaper to fit the remaining corner of the container. This can represent a dessert in our landform diorama.
Use a label maker or small label stickers to add titles to each of your landforms. If you are using this project for a science fair, you can number each title to correspond with your science display board or written report.
If you have small plastic animals available, these would be a great way to expand your project to showcase animal habitats! Just don’t place your polar bear in the desert!