Skip to main content

Novel Coronavirus — May 16, 2022 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here. Learn more about Scouts Canada's new vaccination mandate.

Water Cycle in a Bag

You can make it rain indoors! In this experiment, you’ll explore earth science and the water cycle. With just a few materials you can create a demonstration that shows how Earth’s natural forces work.

Back to Activity Finder

Plan

  • What do you know about water?
  • What happens in a water cycle? Does anything affect this?
  • What materials do you need for this activity?
  • How long will this activity take?

Do

  • Gather your materials.
  • Smooth the ziplock bag out on a flat surface. Use the permanent marker to draw the water cycle from the Water Cycle Printable on the bag. (Draw carefully to avoid puncturing the bag.)
  • Pour ⅓ cup of water into the bag (avoid filling the bag more than halfway). Put one or two drops of blue food coloring into the water. Make sure to keep the bag upright.
  • Find a sunny window and tape the bag up. Tape the bag at a slight angle to simulate the runoff and collection stages of the cycle.
  • Check in on the water cycle bag at different times throughout the next few days. Do you see water droplets form along the bag from the condensation? Eventually, you’ll see streaks along the side of the bag as the droplets grow and drop down the side, representing precipitation. From there, the water will recollect and pool at the bottom.

Review

  • How does this model of a water cycle mimic the water cycle we see on earth?
  • What did you learn that you didn’t know before?
  • Did you see water droplets in different stages at different times of the day? What could have affected this?
  • What would you change about this activity for the next time?

Materials

  • Ziplock bags
  • Permanent marker
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Blue food coloring (optional)
  • Tape

Keep it Simple

  • Create a poster about the water cycle on Earth. What could you include that people may not know? What are some ways to make your poster attractive and visually pleasing?

Take it Further