World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22 March to observe the importance of fresh water and its conservation. The theme of the 2021 World Water Day is “Valuing Water.”
Teaching children about water is important - not just for academic purposes but also in order to expose them to its valuable resources. It’s nothing but another step in the direction to slow down numerous threats to our environment. Here are some interesting educational activities that will help educators and parents teach children about fresh water available on the Earth, its value and its preservation:
Ocean vs Freshwater
The Earth is majorly covered by water, and it is saltwater that’s present in the oceans. To help children understand the fact that there is a difference between the salty water and freshwater, take the help of the gustatory system or sense of taste. To explain that the taste, turbidity and density of both types of water vary, you may try this simple activity.
Take two transparent glasses and add salt to one of them, add until the water is turbid. Ask the children the physical difference they see and then ask them to drop an egg in each of the glasses (saltwater & freshwater). The egg in freshwater should sink immediately while the egg in saltwater will not. Explain the science behind this activity to them. This way, they will realise that though there is an abundance of water on Earth, there is only a finite source of freshwater which is usable and wasting it shall prove irreversibly catastrophic.
Teaching children about the four stages of the water cycle namely ‘collection, evaporation, condensation and precipitation’ shall be easier if they can witness the process happening. The water cycle is an important aspect of our environment and several other topics like weather change, rainwater conservation, etc. can be taught along with the water cycle.
To explain the water cycle in a fun way, ask them to take a transparent zip-lock bag and draw Sun, clouds and surface water on it. Now, fill the bag with a little water without getting the sides wet. To give it a more dramatic look, add some blue food colour. Hang the bag on a sunny porch/window for a few hours. Next, ask the children if they see condensation droplets like rain on the surface. It is fun to hear a child’s thought on a matter-of-fact kind of topic, as kids tend to give it a whimsical creative twist in their mind.
How Much Water Do You Use?
Talk to children about freshwater percentage and the total population on the planet. Then tell them about the water wastage percentage that is deduced per year. Ask the children why wasting water should be counted as a big NO-NO. Then ask them to chart out how they use water per day, what all they do that requires water and if there is a way to reduce this usage/wastage. Teach them various ways of using and reusing water in small amounts that may ultimately help our planet. Talk to them about all the water conservation movements that have happened around the world and their significance.
Wax Paper Landscape
When talking about the water cycle, the topic of ‘where does water collect’ is inevitable. To teach children about the rivers, lakes and ponds that collect water from rain, you may perform a simple experiment like this.
Take wax paper and crumple it, then straighten it out a bit. Now ask the children to circle those areas with a marker where they think the water might collect from the rain. Explain to them that the crumples on the wax paper represent our planet’s geographical features.
Take some water in a spray bottle and add blue food colour to it. Spray on the wax paper evenly. Ask the children to check where all the water gets collected. To explain rainwater conservation, place a plastic cap from a bottle in the middle of the wax paper and spray again. Talk to the children about how much water did the plastic cap collect and how this cap represents the roof part of the rainwater conservation system.
We hope you will try these ideas in your classroom or while homeschooling. Tell us how you like them!
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