Learning about weather is fascinating to kids who are very aware of the weather around them. But how water becomes clouds that eventually will rain down again in the water cycle for kids can be confusing! This simple water cycle in a bag project is a great way for kids to visualize the whole process from their classroom or kitchen window. You can use this water cycle activity with pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade and up. We’ve also included water cycle in a bag worksheet to enhance your learning!
Water Cycle in a Bag
Whether you are a parent adding some educational activities to your day, a homeschooler making learning fun, or a teacher roudning out your weather lesson plan – this water cycle in a bag is sure to be a hit! Plus you’ll love that water cycle in a bag experiment is super simple and quick to prepare! Use water cycle activities with preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 2, and elementary age students.
Water Cycle Worksheets
Water cycle activity
So what is the water cycle and how do you explain it to kids? We have handy water cycle worksheets and free flip book water cycle printables to help you explain it clearly, but let me recap it for you here for now.
Basically the water on Earth is constantly moving from one place to another at any given moment around the planet. The sun heats water fromlakes, oceans, rivers, etc which causes it to evaporate. The water vapor goes higher and higher in elevation where it bunches together with other water vapor to form clouds – this is called condensation. When too much water condenses and forms clouds, the clouds will eventually become heavy and then the water falls from the sky in the form of rain, snow, or hail. The water then gets collected in oceans, lakes, or ponds. In due course, this water again gets evaporated initiating the whole cycle over and over.
Water cycle in a bag experiment
To try this super simple water cycle in a bag project all you need are a few simple materials you probably have laying around your house:
- Sealable Quart ziplock bag (other sizes would also work)
- Sharpie – black and other colors optional
- 1/4 cup water
- blue food coloring
- tape or painters tape
Water cycle experiment
Start by drawing a a basic water cycle on your bag. Depending on the child’s age it may be very simple like ours with just a sun and a cloud or more complex with a mountain and runoff water. If you opt for a more detailed water cycle I recommend you upgrade to a galloon size ziplock bag to accomidate the addition information you will be adding.
Water cycle experiment in a bag
Add 1/4 cup of water (or more depending on the size of your bag) to your ziplock bag and add a couple drops of blue food coloring to make the color pop and allow children to easily see the water collection at the bottom. It does help somewhat in seeind the evaporated water droplets that gather the top too. Seal the top.
Water cycle for kindergarten
Use tape to affix the bag to a sunny window where the water cycle can commense and your student(s) can easily see what is happening.
Water cycle ziploc bag
This is a very simple recreation of a complex, but reliable water cycle that takes care of all living things on our planet. The Earth has a finite or limited amount of water. The heat of the sun evaporates water from oceans, rivers, and streams into water vapor that rise. The droplets collect and form clouds. In our water cycle experiment in a bag the blue water at the bottom got hot and gegan to evaporate and rise up the bag towards the top. Then, as that vapor cools, it begins to change back into liquid (condensed) just like a cloud would. When the air couldn’t hold any anymore condensation, it fell down as water droplets in the form of precipitation.
In the real water cycle, rain has more choices on where to go and it may not even be rain at all – it could be sleet or snow. Rain may fall on dirt where it soaks into the soil and either becomes ground water that animals and plants drink or it runs over the soil and falls into rivers, oceans or lakes. The water cycle repeats itself over and over again, all year long.
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Water cycle in a bag worksheet
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