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Activity Time: 10 minutes, then several days
Recommended Grades: Pre-K – K
Objective: Observe the various stages of the water cycle from the comfort of your home!
The sun warms the Earth and everything in it every day. Some objects change from solid to liquid to gas if they get warm enough. Not everything changes, but water is definitely one substance that does. The process of water changing form is called the water cycle and is what we are seeing in our bag.
In the water cycle, water evaporates from the surface of Earth, rises as a gas into the atmosphere, comes together as it cools, and eventually makes its way back to the ground as different forms of precipitation—some liquid, some frozen solid such as ice or snow.
Each stage has a distinct name When we see water on the ground disappearing in the hot sun, it is evaporating. As the evaporated water vapor rises high into the sky, it becomes colder. This drop in temperature causes the water to come together in a process called condensation. This is where we normally see clouds. And the next stage is called precipitation. This stage is very important to how water travels, bringing water to oceans, rivers and lakes, streams, and ponds. And as the water reaches those new places, the whole process begins all over again.