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The water cycle is an environmental phenomenon that consists of three processes, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Kids are taught about the water cycle phenomenon in school. But if your kid is inquisitive and asks you different questions about water cycle or different forms of water, we have all the information you need to explain him in the simplest way possible. So, get familiar with the topic and explain your child.
What is the Water Cycle?
The water from the various water bodies on the earth gets evaporated because of the Sun’s heat. The water in the form of vapours then cools down at a certain height and condenses to form clouds. The water keeps condensing to form clouds, but when too much water gets accumulated, the clouds become heavy and then the water falls from the sky in the form of rain, snow, or hail. The water then gets collected in oceans, lakes, or ponds. In due course, this water again gets evaporated initiating the whole cycle over and over.
What are the Steps Involved in Water Cycle?
The water cycle process for kids can be explained in a way that will enjoy learning about it. The water cycle explanation for kids can be done using colourful illustrations which may help them grasp the concept better. The water cycle involves the following steps:
In this process, the heat from the Sun causes the water present on the Earth (seas, oceans, rivers, ponds and lakes) to evaporate in the form of vapours and rise up to the sky. The water vapours then accumulate to form clouds.
When these water vapours cool down sufficiently, they turn into the liquid state again. The procedure of converting from a gaseous form into liquid is called condensation.
Precipitation takes place when water vapours condense to turn into tiny water drops, which falls from the sky in the form of rain, sleet, snow, or hail.
The water falling from the sky due to precipitation gathers in different water bodies like oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and so on. The water then evaporates again and the cycle continues.
Other Interesting Facts About the Water Cycle
Some interesting facts about the water cycle for kids are as follows:
- Plants also contribute to the process of evaporation by way of transpiration. Plants may release some water on to their leaves which gets evaporated owing to the Sun’s heat.
- The combination of transpiration and evaporation is called evapotranspiration.
- Sometimes water may convert directly into a gaseous state like water vapours from snow or ice without first melting into liquid. This process is called sublimation.
- Evaporation affects only the water’s surface.
- Hot water tends to evaporate faster than cold water.
- Water trapped in ice caps and glaciers is the purest form of water available on the Earth.
- Some of the groundwater may sooner or later makes its way to the oceans gathering salts and minerals during the journey thereby making the ocean water salty.
- Global warming has impacted the water cycle causing wet places to become wetter and dry places drier.
- About 97% of Earth’s water is salt water. So, 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater out of which 2% exists in the form of icecaps and glaciers. Thus only 1% of the Earth’s water is available for the living beings.
- The process of the water cycle is reversible which means liquid changes to vapours and the vapours condense to form liquid again.
- The water cycle is like a loop with no starting point nor an end.
Teaching the process of the water cycle to kids is important to make them understand the different environmental phenomenon. It may also make them realise the importance of saving water.