DIY Science: Water Cycle in a Bag!

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In this activity, learners will simulate the processes of the water cycle at home in a plastic sandwich bag. Learners will decorate their bag to model a water basin, fill their bag with colored water, and hang their bag of water on a window. Over time, learners will notice their water turn to vapor, condense back into liquid, and precipitate back into the water basin at the bottom of the bag. This activity includes step-by-step instructions with pictures and a "what's the science" section to explain the scientific processes that are occurring. There are suggestions for turning this activity into an experiment at the end of the guide. This activity is also part of the Wonderful Water Cycle Activities how-to video listed below.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Plastic Ziplock bag
  • Sharpie (to draw clouds and waves)
  • ¼ cup of water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic ziplock bag
  • Sharpie (to draw clouds and waves)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Painter’s tape


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


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