Complicated topics like the water cycle are difficult to comprehend, but they are still essential concepts you must teach your children. While they are real-world concepts and easy to visualize, teaching them can still prove tricky. Read on to learn how you can easily teach the water cycle to your kids.
Use Real-World Examples
While the water cycle is all around us, that doesn’t mean it is easy to gain an understanding of. A lot of the process is somewhat invisible, and the visible parts like rain are hard to connect to the bigger picture. To simplify things for your child, consider using real-world examples. For example, boil a pot of water to show how water evaporates, track the rain going to the ground/plants/rivers, and look at clouds and weather patterns. It can be challenging for your child to understand these independently, but when they’re all connected, it is much easier to interpret.
Create an Isolated Example
Beyond showing real-life examples, you can model the water cycle in a clear box to illustrate the natural recycling system on a much smaller scale. With a small transparent container, add a small amount of water, some soil, and a tiny plant, and then outside the box, you can use a heat lamp to kickstart the process. With this, your child can observe how water evaporates, condensates, rains down, feeds the plant, and returns to the start, only to begin again. You could go a step further and have your child create the box themselves so they can understand the cycle even better.
Don’t Shy Away From the Dirty Details
Water and waste treatment is one part of the water cycle that isn’t as natural as its counterparts. While it may not be directly part of the traditional water cycle, it is an aspect that you should not shy away from. Humans harvest usable drinking water from natural sources like rivers and lakes, which then turns into sewage after we use it.
Sewage is all wastewater that leaves a property containing solid waste. Then, through the treatment process, solid waste is separated from water; this solid waste is sludge, as it is different from untreated sewage. After this point, the water is cleaned and sanitized before returning to natural waterways to join the water cycle again. It may seem unpleasant to teach your kids about this aspect, but it does help put everything else into perspective.
Teaching the water cycle to kids is not easy, but with these tips, it should be at least a little more simplified than it was previously. The water cycle is constantly going on and contributes a lot to the world around us. Teach your kids, and you’ll also learn a little more about the complicated world around you!