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Rock Layers (Geologic Time) Activity for Kids

Sedimentary Rock Formation DIY

  • Duration: 60 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $10

Learn how to make a model of a sedimentary rock formation!

Material List

  • 15Pieces of Jolly Ranchers, 3 colors
  • 1Large Container, With Lid
  • 2Sauce Cups
  • 1Heavy Book


  • 1Put 5 pieces of the same colored candy in the container and shake it up for 90 seconds to break them down into tiny pieces.
  • 2Next, pour the tiny pieces in a sauce cup.
  • 3Repeat the process of breaking down the candy with the next color and add the powdered candy on top of the previously broken-down pieces.
  • 4Shake up the third colored candy and pour the small pieces on top of the other two colors in the sauce cup.
  • 5Place the second sauce cup on top of the layers of candy and place the heavy book on top to squeeze the pieces together.
  • 6After about an hour, remove the book and pop out the sample.

How It Works

Breaking down the Jolly Ranchers represents rocks being weathered into tiny pieces. Moving the broken-down pieces into the sauce cup represents erosion. As you repeat the process, you are layering the different colors on top of one another. By adding pressure to the candy with the book, we were able to form a model of sedimentary rock. This is similar to how sedimentary rock forms in nature. After pieces of rock pile up in layers, pressure transforms the sediment into sedimentary rock.

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