Help even the young ones begin to grasp the concept of the water cycle. Of course you can add in all the official terms, but we just used everyday words, such as rain. We did this as part of our water learning theme.
-Some cotton balls (I actually used the fluffy stuff inside a jewelry box because I didn’t have cotton ball on hand: cotton batting from your sewing supplies would also work )
– A shallow dish filled with a bit of water.
Pretend that the dish is a lake (my son wanted one of his animals to swim in the lake so we indulged that for a while too). “Float” some clouds over the lake. Let your child feel the dry, fluffy cotton ball clouds. Explain that when the sun gets really hot some of the water from the lake goes up into the sky and makes clouds. Gently touch the clouds to the water and then raise them back up into the sky. The clouds are now heavy and dripping (raining!!). Where is this rain going?… back into the lakes and rivers.
Extension: Once your clouds have dried off feel free to glue them onto a picture with a lake and or vegetation below and re-enforce the concepts learned above. If you don’t want to draw your own picture use one like this.