Our urban water cycle activity for kids

December 11, 2019

In this simple “water cycle in a bag” experiment, we will observe the different stages of the water cycle process up close.


- prep time: 15 minutes 
- active time: 40 minutes
- total time: 55 minutes
- difficulty: low





You’ll need

  • A ziplock plastic bag (re-use one from your lunch box)
  • Textas (permanent markers work best)
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring (optional)
  • Packing tape
  • Adult supervision for young children when handling hot water


1. Draw the water cycle elements onto your bag.

2. Warm up the water until steam starts to rise (don’t let it boil).

3. Add blue food colouring into the water if you want.

4. Pour the water into the ziplock bag and zip it up.

5. Hang the bag upright on the window using packing tape.

6. As the water evaporates, look for the vapors rising and condensing at the top of the bag. A white patch can be seen resembling clouds in the upper atmosphere.

7. After a while, water droplets appear on the inside of the bag. This is condensation

8. As the water drops become bigger, they will eventually slide downward. The sliding down resembles the flow stage that brings water back down to the ground. This is precipitation (rain). 


9. If it’s a hot day, leave the bag against a sunny window and it will keep cycling through the different stages of the water cycle.