Early Childhood Programs Blog

Playing in the Water Cycle!

May 18, 2018 - Forest Dreamers

With all the precipitation and thunder storms this week, we decided to explore the water cycle. We talked about what we know about the cycle and shared with each other. We knew some different places water can be stored (ocean, river, puddles, lakes, ponds) and even learned a few new ones (underground, in plants, and in animals). Looking up at the sky we saw rainwater precipitation, but we talked about other forms of precipitation such as snow, hail, and sleet. We sang a song to help us remember our water cycle vocabulary: Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, Storage, hhhuuhh!

We were able to create our own water cycle in a bag to take home. We labeled the bag with evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Then we added some water to be stored in the bag and a drop of blue food coloring. We sent the bags home with each Forest Dreamer to have them hang the it in a sunny place, where the heat will begin the evaporation. The water cycle will continuously happen in the bag and everyone can observe the water cycle in action.

In honor of the Thunderstorms that many Forest Dreamers heard the night before, we read a story about overcoming fear of the sound of thunder called Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. We learned that if you start counting after seeing a lightening flash and continue counting until the thunder claps, you can estimate how many miles away a storm is. We used watercolor to create our own rain/thunderstorms in our journals, using colors to represent the thunder and lightening. Then we were so inspired by the storms, we used instruments to create our own thunderstorms! Video of our thunderstorms can be found at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/uFVvmnNYgUVIai3a2

We also explored clouds and condensation. We read a story called Little Cloud by Eric Carle, which explored the journey of a cloud as it changed into many shapes. It eventually condensed with the other clouds in the sky to make a big raincloud and created a rainstorm. We did an experiment with a shaving cream cloud, where we slowly added colored rainwater to the shaving cream and watched as the ‘cloud’ became saturated. As more water was added, the cloud became so saturated that it had to release the water and ‘rain’. We also created puffy cloud paint and had fun making cloud art in our journals.

While on the trails at Irvine we explored all the places that water is stored. We noticed that one of the wetland ponds that had completely evaporated the week before, had refilled with all of the rainwater. We talked about how important these water storage areas are for animals, and looked for animals that rely on them for habitat. We found tons of frogs and tadpoles that could not live without that water storage!