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Water Cycle in a Bag

Source Institutions

    New York Hall of Science

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Water Cycle in a Bag

In this activity, learners create a biosphere in a baggie. Learners add soil, seeds and a little water in a ziplock bag, tape the bag to a sunny window and observe a microcosm of the water cycle (hydrologic cycle) that sustains life on Earth. This resource includes tips for using this activity with older children as well as useful web links.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • Ziplock bag
  • Permanent markers
  • Sand
  • Perlite (can be replaced with potting soil)
  • Grass seeds (or other quick growing seeds)
  • Soda bottle cap
  • Water
  • Sunny window


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
      • Biosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • TryScience


  • All Rights Reserved, Queens Botanical Garden,


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