I found a delightful story that can help you teach your child the concept of water cycle. I found it on internet and am typing it here for easy and quick reference.
Drippy the raindrop was having fun. He was busy doing his favourite thing, floating on the ocean. Looking up, he smiled at his friend, Mr. Sun, who had just come up.
As the day wore on, Mr. Sun rose higher and higher in the sky. Drippy became hot, very hot. “I’m hot”, said Drippy.
Suddenly Drippy saw a cloud moving across the sky. Drippy said to himself “The cloud looks so nice and cool. It’s so hot down here; I wish I could fly to the cloud and cool off.”
And just as he was thinking of this, Drippy was flying… up, up in the sky to the cloud. Drippy was evaporating.
Soon Drippy landed on the cloud and saw another drop wearing a cap. The other drop said “Hi. So you have come for the cruise. Everyone calls me Captain Salty. What’s your name?”
“I’m Drippy and I have come to cool off.” the captain asked “And where have you come from?” Drippy leaned over the edge of the cloud and pointed to the water below “I was floating on the ocean there.”
Drippy asked the Captain “Where is the cloud going?” The captain told him that the cloud is sailing to the mountains “Looks like a storm is coming. If it gets rough, please feel free to leave the ship.”
Drippy said “Sure, it would be nice to visit the mountains.”
Suddenly the cloud started bouncing and shaking and Drippy jumped off the cloud waving Bye to the Captain. Drippy fell to the ground along with rain. He looked down to see a stream going through the trees in the mountain below. “That would be a nice place to land” thought Drippy. But he landed on a tree and bounced from one leaf to another and fell to the ground. Sliding from rock to rock Drippy gently fell into the stream he had seen from the cloud. Drippy said “Hurray, this is fun.”
Drippy enjoyed floating on the stream and watching the trees and mountains. Drippy found a leaf floating on the water and climbed on it. Soon the stream merged with river and the river merged with the Ocean and Drippy was back home.
There are a lot of things you can discuss with the child after you have told the story.
1. Evaporation: Drippy evaporates. Why? The heat of the sun causes him to evaporate and become a vapor that goes up and he becomes part of the cloud. (Illustration: boil some water in a kettle so children can see the vapor rising).
2. Condensation: Drippy is now in the cloud and meets another raindrop who has also evaporated — Captain Salty. While in the cloud, it is colder and Drippy is condensing and turns into water again.
3. Precipitation – What happens after a while in the cloud? Yes, it starts to bounce and shake. Why? It gets very heavy now that Drippy is water – (and all the other raindrops that have accumulated have also turned into water) the air cannot keep Drippy and the other raindrops up there . The cloud bounces and shakes – (precipitates) and Drippy and all the water in the clouds come down as rain drops or rainfall. Now sometimes it comes down as rain, or it can be hail, sleet or snow, it just depends on how cold it is.
4. Collection: Finally, Drippy ends up falling on a stream and then unto the river, which carries him back to the ocean and this will happen all over again — this is called collection. It is important to add that some of the rain will fall on land and become ground water – the water we, animals, and plants use.
There is a really easy and fun activity for young children that can be done with cotton ball & water. Take cotton balls, some flat pans or containers filled with little cold water.
1. Give each child a cotton ball to hold. Tell them to pretend that they are holding a cloud.
2. Ask them how does the cloud feel: heavy or light, soft or hard.
3. Instruct the children to place the “cloud” (cotton ball) gently over the cold water. Explain that water that has evaporated has traveled up to the cloud and it is a lot colder up in the sky, so the vapor turns into water, and it is filling up the cloud. Ask: Can you see the “cloud” (cotton ball) filling up with the water.
4. Ask the children to gently pick up the “cloud” (cotton ball) from the pan. Ask: How does the “cloud” feel now? Light or heavy. Warm or cold? What is happening with the water? Yes, the water is dripping from the “cloud”. Why? The cloud cannot hold all that water, is too, too, heavy. What do we call when water falls from the clouds because they are too heavy with water? Yes, you are right, rain! It is raining! And what happens to the water? Yes, it is coming right back into the pan, and the pan could be a stream, river, ocean or the ground.