Learn about the layers of soil with a fun, hands-on LEGO activity. Our LEGO soil layers activity was a fun way to include a little earth science into LEGO play. Look for the free printables included to make lesson planning easy! We love hands-on geology activities for kids!

LEGO Soil Layers Activity Kid's Earth Science STEMPin

Explore Earth Science With LEGO

The other day we used our LEGO bricks to make a slice of the Earth, and learn about the Layers of the earth! I love using basic bricks to learn about new things.

We have even made a LEGO VOLCANO and used a baking soda science activity with it! This is awesome for hands-on Earth science with kids!

Science {or STEM} can be fun, especially if you have a kid who likes new LEGO projects. Make sure to give a little freedom with the soil layers activity! Sit and chat with your kids about the layers. We always enjoy watching a Bill Nye The Science Guy: Rocks and Soil Episode.

What is soil and why is it important?

Soil is a thin layer of material that covers the earth’s surface. Soil is formed from the weathering of rocks. It is made up of minerals, organic materials, air, water and living organisms. Soil can be easily degraded through the process of erosion.

Why Is Soil Important?

Soil is a very important part of our planet. It is where plants put down their roots, and it provides nutrients for them to grow. It is also where some animals make their homes. Each layer of soil has its own special characteristics that are important for life on earth.

Soil filters rain water, and helps preventing flooding by moving large amounts of water. Learn about storm water runoff.

Soil can store large amounts of organic carbon, which is super important to slow down climate change. Carbon can come out of the atmosphere and be stored in the soil, helping to re-balance the global carbon budget. Learn about your carbon footprint.

What Are The Layers Of Soil?

Here are the 5 main layers of soil from top to bottom:

HUMUS: This organic, rich material is the upper layer. It is dark in color and crumbles easily. This layer of soil is rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.

It is here that most plant roots, earthworms, insects and micro-organisms are active. Humus can be formed naturally through animals and plants decaying or through people composting their food and garden waste.

TOP SOIL: Another upper layer that is mostly organic. Top soil also allows the water to flow freely through it to the layers of soil beneath.

TRY: Pair this layers of soil activity with this edible soil layer model and soil erosion activity.

SUB SOIL: Not so organic but rich in minerals. It usually contains more small rocks and clay minerals than topsoil, but less organic matter and fewer nutrients, insects and microbes. Sub-soil is made of sand, silt and clay.

PARENT MATERIAL: Nothing living and full of rock fragments. When parent rock material is exposed to the atmosphere or when organic matter and/or minerals are deposited on the earth’s surface, parent material breaks down to form the top soil layers. Eg. basalt rock can break down to form clay soil.

BEDROCK: Almost solid rock. Bedrock is made up of igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock, and it is often the source of parent material for soil. Learn about the different types of rock with our edible rock cycle or crayon rock cycle.

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 Make sure to add this free Soil Layers Activity pack to your lessons!


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    LEGO Layers Of Soil Activity

    Gather your LEGO bricks and a small plate if you like. Read about or check out the various soil layers and get started. Decide what colors you want your soil layers to be, and decide how big you want to build your model. We found colors we liked but may have started out too big.

    LEGO soil layers activity and layers of soilPin


    • LEGO bricks of various shapes, sizes, and colors.
    • A plate as a base for the soil layers or a base plate if desired.
    • Plates for humus layer and grass layer {or you can use just one row of bricks}.
    • Mini-figure
    • LEGO tree, flower, or plant for the top
    LEGO soil layersPin


    We started with a square base plate and just went around the outside of it for our layers of a soil activity model.

    We chose grey for the bedrock, tan for the parent material, light brown for the subsoil, brown for the topsoil, and black for the humus. Plus, we made a layer of green grass on top.

    HUMUS: Organic, rich material is one of the upper layers

    TOP SOIL: Another upper layer that is mostly organic.

    SUB SOIL: Not so organic but rich in minerals.

    PARENT MATERIAL: Nothing living and full of rock fragments.

    BEDROCK: Almost solid rock.

    Building LEGO soil layers science activityPin

    We also added a LEGO root! Plan ahead! As you build your model, add a root that goes down through the subsoil.

    LEGO soil layers model for kids earth sciencePin

    Go ahead and decorate the top! My son thought it looked like a Minecraft activity, so he continued with the theme on top. He made a large flower to go over the root as well as some hills. Steve and a pig joined, but the pig left.

    LEGO soil layers with minecraft activityPin

    FREE Printable LEGO Soil Layers Coloring Sheet


    Printable Brick Building STEM Project Pack

    Grab this fantastic resource for brick building projects, activities, and challenges that you can do with your own bricks! Challenge your kiddos to make use of that big bin of mixed LEGO!

    Easy to use in the classroom (STEM centers) or at home on a rainy day! 100+ Ideas to spark curiosity and encourage creativity.


    1. Wow, thanks for the great idea. Do you know where I can order the Lego? Is there a package, or do I have to order the bricks separately? Regards, Tim (geography teacher)

    2. Love the activity! Can you provide details about the exact number of each of the colours of brick?

      Thank you!

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