General, Science Experiments, Weather Science

Learning about the Water Cycle with Salt

Water cycle experiment for kids. Learn about the water cycle with a salt and water activity that shows kids the result of evaporation.

Water cycle experiment for kids. Learn about the water cycle with a salt and water activity that shows kids the result of evaporation.

Water Cycle Salt Experiment

Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about the water cycle with this simple salt and evaporation activity. During the water cycle evaporated water forms in the sky as clouds. The clouds expel the water as rain back down to the earth where it eventually evaporates into water vaper and rises back up to the atmosphere. Water on earth can take several routes back to the atmosphere including water vaper from melting ice and ocean evaporation.

water cycle

When water evaporates it seems to disappear which can be hard for kids to understand. This activity is a good way for kids to observe the water slowly evaporating leaving only the salt behind in the bowl. Less water means the water in the bowl will evaporate faster, while more water mixed with the salt will take longer to evaporate. Try filling two bowls with different amounts of water and salt to see which one evaporates sooner. Will the water evaporate if it’s placed in the shade? Will it evaporate faster in the direct sun? What happens if the bowl of salt and ice are placed in the freezer? How long does the ice take to evaporate in the sun? There are so many observations you can make with this water cycle salt experiment!

Supplies

  • Salt
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Food coloring

Activity

  1. Pour water into your bowl and add a few drops of food coloring to it, stir it around.
  2. Add your salt to the the water. The more salt you add, the more dramatic the effect.
  3. Set aside for a few days and watch to see what happens!

water cycle

water cycle

water cycle

Using food coloring adds a more dramatic effect to the final part of this experiment but you can use just salt and water to get the same outcome.

Learn about Weather with a Weather Science Discovery Box!

The weather crafts inside this Weather Science Discovery Box are sure to turn any child into a mini meteorologist as they create their very own Weather Station, Cloud Finder, and Wind Sock. They’ll have a blast creating their own, unique weather instruments, then continue the fun as they track and measure the weather patterns using their handcrafted tools.

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