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Water Cycle Experiments for Kids

By Edited Jun 25, 2015 0 0

There are many water cycle experiments for kids that can be conducted easily at home. Here are four easy water cycle experiments for kids contributed by kids who are currently learning about the topic in school. You can easily carry out these experiments with materials you can find at home.

Water cycle experiments for kids #1

The aim of this experiment is to find out what actually happens in the water cycle.

Water Cycle Experiments for Kids #1
Items needed for the experiment

  • A large clear plastic container
  • A small clear plastic container
  • Cling film, cling wrap, or plastic sheet
  • Sticky tape
  • Some warm water
  • Some ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Fill the large container with some water.
  2. Place the small container inside the large container, making sure it floats.
  3. Cover the large container with the cling film.
  4. Place some ice cubes on top of the cling film.
  5. Observe the set-up

What you will observe:

Tiny droplets will form on the inside of the cling film (refer to diagram) after a while. You will also see some water in the small container.

Explanation #1:

This experiment simulates the water cycle.

The warm water in the large container evaporates, turning into water vapor. This resembles the evaporation from the seas and oceans when they gain heat energy from the sun.

When the water vapor rises and reaches the cling film cooled by ice cubes, the water vapor condenses into tiny droplets. This simulates the condensation of water vapor when they rise up into the atmosphere.

The droplets will collect towards the middle of the cling film due to the weight of the ice cubes. This simulates the formation of clouds. Although you can’t really see water droplets in the sky, clouds are actually made up of many tiny water droplets that have collected together.

After a while, the water droplets on the cling film will fall back down into the smaller container. This simulates rain after the clouds become heavier.

The cycle then repeats.

In this video, you can see a variation of the above experiment:

Learn more with amazing photographs

A Drop Of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder
Amazon Price: $19.99 $7.75 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 25, 2015)
Learn more about water and the water cycle with stunning photographs of water droplets, evaporation and condensation, snowflakes, dew and more. In addition to the spectacular photographs, this book contains experiments and explanations on the science behind water, the water cycle, and more. The book is recommended for kids 3 to 6 grades (9 to 12 years old) but adults will enjoy the beautiful photographs and insightful explanations too.

Water cycle experiments for kids #2

The aim of this experiment is to find out whether the exposed surface area affects the rate of evaporation.

What you need for the experiment

  • 3 plastic containers of different sizes
  • A measuring cup or beaker
  • 200ml of water
  • A notebook and a pen to record your findings
  • A fairly warm and sunny weather

Instructions

  1. Using the measuring cup, measure and pour into each container exactly 200ml of water
  2. Leave the containers out in the open and wait for at least an hour
  3. After an hour or more, measure and record the amount of liquid left in each container.
  4. Compare the measurements.

You can record your results in a table like this:

Water Cycle Experiments for Kids #2 Table
What you should see

There should be a difference in the amount of water found in each container at first and in the end. The container with a largest exposed surface area will have less remaining liquid than the other two containers.

Explanation #2

During evaporation, liquid particles gain heat energy unevenly. The particles that have a comparatively higher energy will try to escape the liquid. If there is more surface area exposed to the air, more particles can escape faster. On the other hand, if there is less surface area exposed, fewer particles will escape and the rate of evaporation will be slower. Therefore, the larger the exposed surface area, the higher the rate of evaporation.

A hands-on approach to learning

Earth Science Model the Water Cycle
Amazon Price: $25.95 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 25, 2015)
This science model with detachable foam parts makes learning about the water cycle more hands-on and fun. Also comes with teaching ideas, activities, and activity card.

Water cycle experiments for kids #3

The aim of this experiment is to find out if the presence of wind affects the rate of evaporation.

Items needed for the experiment

  • An electrical fan
  • Two clear plastic cups
  • 100ml of water
  • A measuring cup or beaker
  • A notebook and a pen

Instructions

  1. Turn off all but one fan in your room
  2. Place one cup near the fan and the other far away from the fan
  3. Fill both of these cups with 100ml of water
  4. Wait for at least an hour
  5. Measure and compare the amount of liquid left in each plastic cup

What you should see

The one near the fan will have a lesser amount of water than the one further away from the fan.

Explanation #3

The presence of wind helps to blow away some of the water vapor present in the air, allowing more space for more evaporation to take place. Thus, the plastic cup near the fan will have a lower amount of liquid left than the one further away from the fan.

Water Cycle Experiments for Kids #4

The aim of this experiment is to observe the effects of condensation.

Items needed for the experiment

  • A fridge
  • A clear plastic cup
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Pour some water into the cup
  2. Place the cup into the fridge
  3. Wait for at least 30 minutes
  4. Take out the cup and put it onto the table
  5. Observe the cup

What you should see

Droplets are formed on the outside of the cup.

Explanation #4

There is water vapor in the surrounding air. When the water vapor comes into contact with the outside of the cup, they lose heat to the cup and condense into water droplets. 

Looking for more experiments?

Step-By-Step Experiments with the Water Cycle
Amazon Price: $29.93 $19.91 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 25, 2015)
If you need more experiments, this book should come in handy with its helpful step-by-step instructions.

Other science for kids articles:
Plant and Animal Cells for Kids
Magnets and Magnetism for Kids
How to Make Magnets for Kids
Heat Energy for Kids

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