Water Falling from the Sky

Friday, January 18, 2019
We woke up Monday morning to the gentle sound of rain. The forecast predicted four days of bliss. It is so rare that we get rain for more than a few hours at a time, maybe a day at most, that I decided to devote our week to celebrate...
 water falling from the sky.  

Collecting and Measuring Rain Water

Shortly after breakfast Monday morning we put out a bowl to collect and measure the rainwater. Eight hours later I went out and brought the bowl back inside. Time to measure! We collected almost two inches of rain water in that eight hour time frame. We imagined how much more rain water we could catch if we left the bowl out longer. My son (S6) thought a smaller bowl would have been better so that it could have filled to the top.

Reference Books

The two reference books I had on hand were The Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia (an older version I found at a library sale) and The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature. The pages referencing rain and the water cycle were quick introductory reads. We read what the difference between a drizzle, a shower, and a downpour is and how rain is the same water over and over again. 

Rain in a Jar

This rain in a jar experiment was something we have done in the past. It is a fun and visual way to understand how clouds become too heavy and need to release their weight in the form of rain, sleet, hail, or snow. In this case, rain. The photo is pretty self-explanatory but a quick explanation of what we did is this; took a glass of water, placed a “cloud” of shaving cream on top, took some food coloring and slowly let the drops fall in until it broke the barrier and fell into the water. 

Educational Media 

The Youtube channel Crash Course Kids has a video on the water cycle. We watched it and did the experiment they suggested at the end. The experiment was taking a glass of hot water, cover with plastic wrap, and place ice on top. Condensation is formed in the glass and water droplets fall back into the water. Similar to how rain falls back to the earth in the water cycle. It took a little while for the condensation to form so I began tidying up the kitchen. I asked my son (S6) if he could see any droplets fall and he said, “No, but it’s falling outside!”  We were having a lovely downpour as we were doing this experiment. 

Backyard Play

Our backyard play in the rain didn’t go at all like I imagined it would. So it goes! I was enthusiastic about playing in the rain reassuring them that it wouldn’t be for too long. They were resistant to it from the moment I first mentioned it. It was very cold, dark, and wet out. They were good sports about it though and went out with me. We were out for less than five minutes then we all hurried inside to watch the rain from the window which was much better. 

Nature Play

A few years ago before my last child was born I took my older two children to a local marsh the day after a good rain. I remember the puddles at this marsh being spectacular for running and jumping in. I deemed that would be the place we would return to when it rains. We went back to the marsh this week on a rainy day and just like before the puddles were fantastic. They are big and fun. There are smaller puddles too but my children had the most fun in the big ones. We sloshed around for a little while before we decided that being at home warm, dry, and cozy sounded like the best place in the world to be.

Picture Books

The two picture books in the photo above were fantastic! I checked them out at the library and I'm so glad I came across them. The Snowflake a Water Cycle Story is such a lovely picture book which shows the journey a drop of water makes throughout the year. What on Earth? Water was equally lovely with all of the experiments offered as well as plenty of information about any water study you would want to do.

Stories, Verses, and Fingerplays

A Rainy Day by Lucy Fitch Perkins found on The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project 

The Water Nixie by Grimm's

The Rain and Rain Clouds from A Child's Seasonal Treasury 

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (classic fingerplay)


I had the children draw their own version of the water cycle with Mr. Rainy Raindrop as the main character. My son (S6) drew an entertaining picture of Mr. Rainy Raindrop coming down the mountain, flowing into the river and then down a waterfall. Mr. Drop then proceeded to go through underground pipes into a house where a little boy drank a cup of water and then pee'd Mr. Rainy Raindrop out. The little boy had the chicken pox and was also on his way to a monkey themed party. I thought I would save the picture for our personal collection but wanted to share the written version here. My daughter's (S4) Mr. Rainy Raindrop ended up being a picture of what she loves to draw the most - our family.


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