Evaporation Station

Evaporating water can sometimes appear to vanish into thin air - like magic! This activity will help children think outside the box and use their imagination to determine where a puddle went!

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Where did the water go?

This activity can produce some interesting and very plausible theories around the big question:  “where did the water go?” Children will begin to think outside the box and use their imagination to conclude where the water went. No answer is too absurd!

☀️Thank you sun! The sun speeds up the evaporation process in this experiment. Take this experiment into different environments to explore evaporation (dew on the grass in the morning, water vapor from a power plant etc.).

What is evaporation? Evaporation is when a liquid becomes a gas without forming bubbles inside the liquid volume.

💧 Water cycle: This experiment is a great way to open the conversation around the water cycle!

Materials

For this activity you will need:

Large bucket of water

Open area such as a driveway or sidewalk

Chalk

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Cognitive

Skills

Reasoning Logically

Indicators:

Identifying evidence for point of view

Instructions

Step 1:

Start the conversation around evaporation. Has your child ever seen water disappear? What do they think happened to it?

Step 2:

Take the conversation outside and pour a bucket of water on the ground in an open area on pavement to make a visible puddle. 

Step 3:

Once the water has dispersed in the puddle, take your chalk and draw an outline of the shape of the puddle.

Step 4: 

Revisit the puddle a few hours later - what happened to the water? 

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Bring out the measuring tape! Get some extra math involved in this experiment and have your child measure and record the size of the puddle when you start and after a few hours. Did it get bigger or smaller? By how many inches?

⬇️ For younger toddlers: No answer is too out there! Younger children may have a harder time understanding where the water went since it’s not visibly leaving the ground when it evaporates. Go with the flow when they give an answer, anything is possible in their world!

Playful Questions

Where do you think the water goes when it evaporates?

Would a big puddle take less or more time to evaporate than a small puddle?

How do you know the water went _______?

When else does water evaporate in the air?

Would water evaporate slower or longer on a cloudy day?