Water Cycle in a Bag

Seattleites are overly familiar with the water cycle. Specifically the precipitation portion. Yet, carry an umbrella on the streets and you might as well wear a sign proclaiming “Tourist!!”. This weekend during our first soccer games (three of them…how is this possible given I only have TWO children?), my Tennessee transplanted friend commented on the rows of parents shielding themselves from the sweltering (70 degrees) heat, “This is the only time you ever see Seattle people with umbrellas…when it’s sunny.”.  Hahaha! It’s so true!

Water Cycle in a Bag -- Dissonant Symphony

Back to the point. This cycle in Classical Conversations we’ll be memorizing the natural cycles and since it’s our second time through (how is it possible we’re entering year 4 of homeschooling?), I thought we’d add to our memory work with a little hands on example. I found a great idea (thanks Pinterest!) for a Water Cycle in a Bag that only needed a few supplies, all of which I had in the house already. Easy science that costs nothing? Boom. I’m in.

You’ll need a sandwich sized Ziploc baggie, 1/4 cup of water, a smidge of blue food coloring, sharpie (for drawing on the bag), and a piece of tape. Draw a sun and a cloud on the outside of the baggie, add the food coloring to your water, then the water to your baggie. Tape it to a window where you’ll get sunshine and watch the magic!

Water Cycle in a Bag - Dissonant Symphony

If you want to be really fancy, you can label your bag with the various parts of the water cycle, but I just talked to my kids as the process got going. Tiny droplets as water evaporates as it’s heated by the sun. The water turns from a liquid to a gas, but with nowhere to escape from the bag, it cools and turns back into a liquid (condensation).

Water Cycle Evaporation and Condensation - Dissonant Symphony

The droplets that have condensed will continue to grow in size as more water turns to gas, and back to liquid. Usually this process is happening high in the sky, and we know it’s happening because clouds form as a result of condensation.

Water Cycle Condensation - Dissonant Symphony

You can see that our droplets are getting larger. Actually, we were able to watch the condensation happen right before our eyes. Pay close attention to the video and you’ll see the droplets joining together and growing! It’s alive!! Run for your lives!

When the droplets get too big and heavy, they begin to drip down the sides of our bag, leaving trails behind. Precipitation happens exactly the same way when water droplets within clouds get too heavy and fall back to earth as rain. Conveniently, our “rain” fell right beneath our cloud drawing.

Water Cycle Precipitation -- Dissonant Symphony

Who knew water evaporating, condensing and precipitating could be so fascinating? My kids check on our baggie about a dozen times a day and are making all kinds of connections to how temperature affects evaporation based on their observations. This little project has prompted lots of great questions and discussion — which for kids, is what science should be all about anyway!

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How to Change Blue to White and White to Blue

Otherwise known as sunprints! My kids and I enjoyed this fun science project last year. The beautiful weather this weekend reminded me of it, and thus you are the beneficiary of a great outdoor learning activity for you and your munchkins.

You’ll need sunprint paper, acrylic sheet, cardboard, a tub full of water, fun and interesting objects to print. You can purchase sunprint paper from Amazon (who now has free same day shipping to 14 metro areas with Prime Memberships!), they also sell sunprint kits which include an acrylic sheet, you’ll see from the pictures that I used a Pyrex casserole dish thinking it would be just as good…I was so wrong. I ended up with blurred fuzzy edges. Just say no to fuzzy edges!

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Bubbler

One of my favorite things about Classical Conversations is the integration of science experiments. Ok. I’ll admit it. Pretty much everything is one of my favorite things about Classical Conversations. But I really do enjoy the science portion. We use Janice VanCleave’s 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments – which contains easy experiments that (mostly) use normal household items. So the science lessons are very easy to recreate at home. You can check this book out from your local library, but I’d be willing to bet you’ll end up purchasing it.

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Water Filtration Experiment

Ahh The Water Cycle. Always a fun time to do a little hands on science. We decided to talk about filtration and how dirty water ends up clean. Another easy experiment that you probably have all the supplies for. At least, if you drink coffee. Which, I do now. I know. I’m really maturing nicely.

First we needed some dirty water. So we dumped some dirt from the yard into a flower vase filled 2/3 with water. Red solo cup! We’re ready to party!Water Pollution Experiment02

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