Apr 5, 201708:00 AMStyle Girls
What we're up to—recipes, projects and more!
This is the perfect project to do with kids to learn and appreciate how the water cycle works—just in time for Earth Day April 22. Even if you don’t have little ones, it makes a pretty centerpiece.
- Take any old or new jar (make sure it’s tall enough for at least one plant) and fill with pea gravel or rocks your child collects outside. (Our canister jar happens to be from Michael’s but you could use a big old salsa jar even from the recycling bin, whatever you have around.)
- Add potting soil on top.
- Insert miniature plants found at your local garden center and plastic toys. Have fun with the theme—could be an astronaut, dinosaurs, fairies, whatever your kiddo is into. *We found a great selection of mini plants and accessories at Stauffers of Kissel Hill—they have a whole section dedicated to fairy gardens with cute accents to choose from. (The flamingo was one we had laying around from Michael’s craft store.)
- Replace lid and watch the water cycle in action!
Things to watch for:
- Water moves from the soil into the plant, into the air inside the jar and back down onto the plant during the processes called the water cycle.
- Evaporation: Tiny drops of water that transform from liquid to gas, a vapor that leaves the plant
- Condensation: Water vapor trapped inside the lidded container collects on the inside and turns gas back into a liquid
- Precipitation: When a mass of condensation forms, just like when clouds fill up with too much water, drops of water rain down the sides of the jar (like rain falls from clouds). The plants then soak up the precipitation through their roots and the process begins again.
*Another way to demonstrate precipitation is to take a cotton ball and count how many drops of water you can add before the cotton ball “cloud” begins to “rain!”