The Water Cycle | Cloud Craft | Online Story |
Alphabet Letter S Snow, W Water, U Umbrella, Nursery Rhyme
Preschool Lesson Plan Printable Activities

Themes Activity Materials

I Icicle
S Snow
U Umbrella
W Water

Bible > Water in the Bible

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Nursery Rhymes >
*Rain, Rain Go Away

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'l Water Quality Month

Science > Water > Online activities

Finally, a wonderful story about the water cycle for young children without the big words:  condensation, evaporation, precipitation and the last one I always forget, collection!  These mouthfuls can be gently introduced after the story at your discretion, for children 3.5 or maybe even 4+.  Children 5 and 6 can definitely have an expanded introduction and presentation of these terms in a fun way.

Drippy the Raindrop is also a  great introduction of how wonderful and important is water as a resource.  They will fall in love with this wonderful character as they join him in his wonderful adventure!

Activity #1:  Online Story: To the Mountain and Back - Drippy the Raindrop by - The Water Cycle by Joel Kimball (click on the link to meet the author)

The story of Drippy will speak very clearly to the children about what happens in the water cycle.   

Activity #2:  Discuss the Water Cycle -  Drippy the Raindrop & The Water Cycle at Kidzone's  (adaptable to 3.5 and older)
After reading the story, casually go over the four stages of the cycle.   For more specific information please visit KidZone:  The Water Cycle -- keep it very simple and for very young children (2 - 4) you can even skip the big words and concentrate on the process  using Drippy as part of the discussion.  

Materials:  KidZone:  The Water Cycle Color Posters & Coloring Pages
For this discussion you may want to use and display the KidZone's Water Cycle Posters found at the bottom of the page in the link provided.   Also read the content of the display posters that suggest different activities  (boiling some water to see evaporation, for example) You can also put some of the pages together for a fun coloring book!

1.  Evaporation:  Drippy evaporates.  Why?  The heat of the sun causes him to evaporate and become a vapor that goes up and he becomes part of the cloud.  (illustrate:  boil some water in a kettle so children can see the vapor rising).

2. Condensation:  Drippy is now in the cloud and meets another raindrop who has also evaporated -- Captain Salty.  While in the cloud,  it is colder and Drippy is condensing and turns into water again (read poster for activity that demonstrates condensation).

3.  Precipitation -  What happens after a while in the cloud?  Yes, it starts to bounce and shake.  Why?  It gets very heavy now that Drippy is water - (and all the other raindrops that have accumulated have also turned into water) the air cannot keep Drippy and the other raindrops up there .  The cloud bounces and shakes - (precipitates) and Drippy and all the water in the clouds come down as rain drops or rainfall.  Now sometimes it comes down as  rain, or it can be hail, sleet or snow, it just depends on how cold it is.

4.  Collection:  Finally, Drippy ends up falling on a stream and then unto the river, which carries him back to the ocean and this will happen all over again -- this is called collection.  It is important to add that some of the rain will fall on land and become ground water - the water we, animals, and plants use.

Activity #3:  Science - The Cotton Ball & Water Activity Ages 2+
This is a really easy and fun activity for the youngest children.

Materials:  One cotton ball for every child, some flat pans or containers filled with about an 1/2 inch of cold water.

1.  Give each child a cotton ball to hold.  Tell them to pretend that they are holding a cloud.
2.  Ask them how does the cloud feel:  heavy or light, soft or hard.
3.  Instruct the children to place the "cloud" (cotton ball) gently over the cold water.  Explain that water that has evaporated has traveled up to the cloud and it is a lot colder up in the sky, so the vapor turns into water, and it is filling up the cloud.  Ask: Can you see the "cloud" (cotton ball) filling up with the water.   
4.  Ask the children to gently pick up the "cloud" (cotton ball) from the pan.  Ask:  How does the "cloud" feel now?  Light or heavy.  Warm or cold?  What is happening with the water?  Yes, the water is dripping from the "cloud".  Why?  The cloud cannot hold all that water, is too, too, heavy.  What do we call when water falls  from the clouds because they are too heavy with water?  Yes, you are right, rain!  It is raining! And what happens to the water?  Yes, it is coming right back into the pan, and the pan could be a stream, river, ocean or the ground.

Activity #4:   Language Arts:
The water cycle activities present the opportunity to introduce or reinforce alphabet letter and early handwriting skills related to this topic.
Here are some suggestions and related lesson plans and printable materials are:

Letter I is for Icicle (is a pike of ice formed by the freezing of dripping water)

Letter S is for Snow (a type of precipitation in the water cycle)

* Letter U is for Umbrella (rain theme:  to protect us from the rain)

* Letter W is for Water

Activity #5:  DLTK's Bluster the Cloud Craft  - Ages 2+

I love this craft, perhaps because every time I have presented it to children they just love to do it and they love the results.  Give it a try and then make a beautiful blue sky bulletin board and fill it with all this beautiful clouds!  

I will suggest to print template 1 (cloud and hat) in white paper and template 2 (facial features and limbs) using blue construction paper as Leanne recommends.

Another important variation to Leanne's instructions is that I have the children glue and fill the cloud with cotton balls after the arms and legs are glued in place.  Then glue the facial features and hat over the cotton balls, it looks so cute! 

Suggestion:  If you happen to conduct this activity and craft during the Winter holidays, dress up Bluster with glitter and add a ribbon to the back to hang in the Christmas tree or dress a gift package.  Write a nice holiday sentiment and glue a small picture of child in the back.

Activity #6:  Nursery Rhymes:
Rain, Rain Go Away or April showers bring May flowers

After the cloud craft is assembled, ask the children to pretend the cloud is filled with water and it is going to rain and sing:
* Rain, Rain Go Away Nursery Rhyme 
Color poster | Coloring Page w/text
Discuss the rhyme > April showers bring May flowers

Additional nursery rhyme activities:
A Rhyme a Week - Rain, Rain Go Away - Ages 4+
Nursery rhyme poster | coloring page
External resources:  Lesson Plans and activities by Laura B. Smolkin for Core Knowledge.  PDF Format Only
*Nursery Rhyme Card/Poster
*Rain, Rain Go Away Lesson Plans
*Ay Picture Card Set
*Ay Riddle Cards

Optional > Activity #7:  Bible Stories - Water in the Bible
Incorporate W is for Water lesson plan.

Here are online and off-line coloring pages with links to Bible scripture that related to the significance of water in Bible stories:
* The Baptism of Jesus - Passage: Matthew 3  coloring page with text  no text

Activity #2
External links
The Water Cycle Color Posters & Coloring Pages (bottom of the page)

Activity #3
*one cotton ball per child
*flat pans filled with 1/2 of water

Activity #4:
Select an alphabet lesson plan:

* I is for Icicle
* S is for Snow
* U is for Umbrella
* W is for Water

Activity #5:
Winter precipitation
Snow theme crafts

External link
DLTK's Bluster the Cloud Craft
Rain theme >
Bluster the Cloud Craft

Umbrella theme craft

Activity #6:
Nursery Rhyme: Rain Go Away
Color poster Coloring page w/text

Activity #8
Water in the Bible - review links in the lesson plan

*something to color with

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