Water, Water Everywhere—Water Cycle Experiments

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This activity is just one part of the Young Explorers page featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Explore.

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Here are a few ways to experiment with the water cycle!

Be a Puddle Watcher

Observe what happens to the water in a puddle on a sunny day. In the morning, draw a chalk circle around the edges of the puddle.

Check back later. Is your chalk circle still along the edges of the puddle or has the size of the puddle changed?

If the puddle is smaller, that’s because some of the water has evaporated. Whoa—that liquid water turned into a gas!

Bag a Leaf

Leaves contain a lot of water, and they release water molecules into the air in a process called transpiration.

To observe this, place a small plastic baggy over a bunch of green leaves (on a tree branch or shrub) and close it securely with string or twist tie. Come back a little later and you’ll likely find some water in the bag!

Make a Cloud in a Jar

This is a super fun experiment to do with an adult. You will need a glass jar, oven mitts or a towel, a box of matches, and a bag of ice.

Watch this video for step-by-step instructions.