Aside from my obsession with new recipes and saving money, my whole goal in life is to trick my second-grader into thinking learning is fun. His teachers have mastered the art of deception. I … on the other hand … well, I’m working on it. Here’s the proof.
What are clouds? Why does it rain? Where do the puddles go? To make understanding the water cycle easier, I designed a puzzle for my son to complete.
First, though, we learned a little from some amazing books.
Evaporation and condensation are tough to explain to a 6 year
old. To help him “see” evaporation, we filled a transparent glass half full of
water and I cut a strip from the sticky part of a post-it note to mark where
the water line was. We’ll be observing it all week to see how much water evaporates.
UPDATE: After one week, 1 1/2 centimeters of water had evaporated from our glass.
To illustrate condensation, I filled a glass mason jar two-thirds
full with warm water and screwed the lid on. It didn’t take long before the jar’s
sides above the water line steamed over and beads of condensation formed.
Afterwards, I gave my son the puzzle and asked him to put
the pieces and arrows in the right order. When my son wasn’t sure, I told him
to turn the pictures over and read the back.
Before long, he had all the pieces
in place. We turned the oval pictures over to double check. He was SO excited
to get it right!
To make your own
Water Cycle Puzzle, you need:
1 large, empty cereal box
2 pieces of sticker paper
Water Cycle Puzzle template (download a 2-page PDF here)
An exacto knife
Cut the cereal box and save the two largest rectangles;
recycle the rest. Print both pages of the Water Cycle Puzzle PDF onto sticker paper. Peel off the
backing from the first page (the one with the large pictures). Adhere this (centering it) to the plain brown side of one of the cereal box rectangles. Cut
off any excess. Carefully use an exacto knife to cut out the ovals and circles
(put a cutting board or cardboard underneath to protect your work surface).
Use scissors to cut out the ovals and circles on the second
Water Cycle Puzzle page. Peel off the backing and adhere these stickers to the
back of the shapes you just cut out. Glue the cardboard Water Cycle page with
holes to the other cereal box rectangle (brown side up). Let dry.