Science Focus: The water cycle
A big part of Namibia has had rain this rain season, but there are still a part where they are still drought stricken. So today I want to teach the little ones how rain is created and how the water cycle works.
We are going to learn how the water cycle works, then do an experiment to show you how the water cycle works and lastly we are going to have some fun with shaving cream.
Hope you enjoy today, and have a lot of fun!
The water cycle
Since the earth has a limited amount of water, the water keeps going around and around etc. That is why we call it the water cycle.
Parts of the water cycle:
The water cycle consists of four parts:
The sun heats the water in the rivers/lakes/oceans and turns it into vapor or steam. It then leaves the river/lake/ocean and goes into the air.
The water vapors up to the air. This vapor gets cold and then changes back into liquid. They then form clouds.
Precipitation occurs when there is so much water condensed in the clouds that the air cannot hold it anymore. The clouds then get to heavy and the water falls back to the earth in the form of rain/hail/sleet/snow.
When the water falls back to earth in the form of precipitation it will fall in the oceans, lakes or rivers or even on land. The water that falls on land is then soaked up by the earth to become part of the "ground water". The ground water is used by the plants and animals to drink. It does happen that the water runs over the soil and collects in the oceans, lakes or the rivers.
After the collection phase, the whole cycle starts again.
Here is an animation to show you how the water cycle works.
Image by media.giphy
Experiment: A water cycle in a bag.
You will need the following:
- Ziplock sandwich bag
- Black sharpie
- 1/4 cup of water
- Blue food coloring
- Sticky tape
- Draw a sun, cloud and water on the ziplock sandwich bag. (See the image as reference.)
- Squeeze a few drops of food coloring in the water.
- Pour the colored water in the ziplock bag.
- Make sure the bag is sealed tight.
- Use the sticky tape to hang the bag against the window.
- Sit back and see how it works.
- It might take a couple of days, but let the children observe and tell you what they are seeing.
Fun with shaving cream
Rain cloud Science Experiment
You will need the following:
- Glass or Jar
- Shaving cream
- Food coloring
- Pour the water into the glass. Leave about an inch open from the rim.
- Add a layer of shaving cream to the water. ***Make sure to not make it too thick or you will what very long for the experiment to work.
- Place a few drops of food coloring on the shaving cream.
- The weight of the food coloring will start to push through the shaving cream. It will then fall through the shaving cream making it look like streaks of rain falling.
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