The Earth is made up of many different land formations. Mountains are one of them. There are three different types of mountains: fold mountains, fault black mountains, and volcanic mountains.

The mountains we are going to create today are folded mountains. These are created when two or more tectonic plates near convergent or compressional plate boundaries collide together, creating pressure and compressing the different rock layers in the ground. This pressure creates the layers of sedimentary rock on the ocean floor to wrinkle and fold. This process is called orogeny.

Some of the more famous ranges of folded mountains include the Rockies, Andes, Himalayas, and the Alps.

Supplies Needed

  • 2 large boxes or totes

  • 7 towels (of different colors for best visualization)

  • Hard surface (flooring or table)


  • Lay down a stack of towels on the hardwood floor. If you need to, you can always lay the stack of towels on a table. Make sure they are each folded in half. The stack of towels represent different rock layers in the earth.

  • Place two large boxes or totes on each end of the towels. The boxes represent the continental plates.

  • Push the boxes together, making the towels fold. This represents what happens when the continental plates push up against each other, forming mountain ranges.

  • Have the kids observe what they see. At first, don’t tell them what the outcome will be, ask them to take a guess.