Create Your Own Water Cycle

All of the water found on Earth is recycled through the water cycle.

When the sun heats the water on the earth’s surface, some of the water changes into a gas or vapor. The change from a liquid to a gas is called evaporation. After water evaporates, it rises into the air. This warm vapor mixes with cooler air in the atmosphere to create moisture or condensation. The moisture that falls back to the earth as rain, hail, sleet, or snow is called precipitation. When it reaches the earth, it returns to oceans, rivers, lakes and wetlands or flows into the ground. This process of water moving from the earth into the atmosphere and back to earth again is called the water cycle.
This is nature’s way or recycling one of its most important natural resources.


  • Describe how the water cycle works.
  • Discover how water is recycled in nature.

Materials Needed

  • Glass jar with lid
  • Bottle cap
  • Small stones
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Few small plants


  1. Using a large jar with a wide top (example: pickle jar) layer small stones in the bottom and then cover with sand.
  2. Fill jar with soil until half full. Place a few small plants in the soil.
  3. Fill the small cap (example: soda bottle cap) with water and place next to the plants.
  4. Tighten the lid on the jar. Place jar in the sun for a few days.

Topics for Discussion

  • Make an educated guess about what will happen.
  • Over the next few days observe what takes place.
  • Did condensation form? Explain where, why and how it formed. Describe the water cycle and how it affects living things.