Posted by: Jacquie Fisher   

Teaching Kids about Water Conservation & the Water Cycle

Activiites & books about that teach our children about water conservation and the water cycle!

March 22nd is World Water Day.

It's a day for all of us to remember that water is an important resource in our life and clean water is a limited resource for many around the world. 

Everyone can make a difference in preserving this natural resource, even the youngest among us! 

In fact, our kids might even teach us adults a thing or two.

Join us as we explore some great books, learn about the water cycle and share tips for easy ways to conserve water.

 

Teaching Kids about Water Conservation

When you can turn on a faucet and have water flow right into your home, it's hard to understand how water can be considered a finite resource on our planet. 

And it can also be a challenge to explain this to our kids which is why teaching them about the water cycle (how water recycles itself within our atmosphere) is so important.

 

Water conservation and the water cycle for kids

Learn about the Water Cycle

Use this LEGO water cycle science activity to build & understand the different parts of the water cycle. 

By talking through how water changes its' form and travels, kids quickly begin to understand that the water in their bathtub is the same water that previously existed in the ocean. 

And the same water that could have very well been in Mom & Dad's bathtub when they were kids!

We created a free printable water cycle vocabulary sheet for both younger kids and older kids to help them learn the terminology as they build.

 

Books about Water Conservation

As with the introduction of any new concept, starting with a great book is always a good idea ;) 

Here are a few of our favorites for the topic along with affiliate links so you can learn more about each one:

 

The Water Hole by Graeme Base is a beautiful book about all the animals in Africa who depend on one body of water. 

Children will have fun trying to locate the animals in the illustrations as you read.  A wonderful story that shows how animals depend on water as much as humans do.  For ages 4 - 9.

For younger kids, the book is available in a board version for ages 1 - 3 years: The Water Hole Board Book

 

Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? (Wells of Knowledge Science) by Robert E. Wells is a great look at the earth's water cycle and how water has recycled itself over billions of years. I love the title question -- appeals to the gross aspect kids like ;)

It's a book that really makes your kids think about where water comes from.  For Ages 6 - 10.

 

The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks by Joanna Cole is fun field trip for kids as they see Ms. Frizzle and the class travel through the water cycle.  We love how the Magic School Bus uses facts and fun to introduce various science concepts like this one.

These books are very informative with great illustrations -- kids will learn a TON as you read this!  For Ages 4 -10.

 

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (CitizenKid) by Rochelle Strauss talks about how all water is connected on the planet, and how each of us can do things to conserve water.

We loved how the book looked at water in a small area and then explained how use of this resource can impact other areas of the world.  It's a great book for global learning!  For Ages 8 and up.

 

Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Arthur Dorrus teaches children that the water they see in their neighborhood stream or creek is all connected to the ocean. 

This is an important lesson for kids - if you throw something in the stream, it will end up in the ocean and do damage along the way.  A great read that will encourage families to be more involved in stream clean-ups!  For ages 4 - 9.

 

 

Water Conservation Tips

Finding hands-on ways to get involved in environmental topics is a must in order to have a lesson like this hit home! 

Talk to your kids today about a few easy ways that they can help conserve water at home and school.  These are super easy things that kids of all ages can do.

And appeal to their giving side too.  You might discuss how kids in other countries have to walk a long way to get water  and why it's important that we don't waste this resource.  Really, it's no different than sharing our toys or snacks with friends :)

Here are a few ways that kids & families can get involved in saving water resources:

 

1.  Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your hands

There's no reason to keep the water running while you brush or scrub off the grime.  Turn it off for those 30 seconds and you'll save a lot!

 

2.  Don't overfill the bathtub or take long showers

Kids love to feel like the bath is a swimming pool, or soak away in the shower (heck, I love to do that!) - but it's important to remember that we use a lot of water to get clean. 

Shaving a few minutes off the shower and lowering the bath water by a few inches goes a long way.

 

3.  REUSE your Shower Water

Save all that good, clean water from going down the drain - put some of it in a bucket to water the plants in your house or your yard, or to rinse off the driveway or patio.

 

4.  Wash Full Loads of Laundry

Yes, your child may be cranky because their favorite shirt isn't clean, but don't just wash a few items at a time. 

Run the washer with a full load and use cold water whenever possible when washing clothes. 

And remind kids to only put dirty clothes in the wash (sometimes they can wear an outfit more than once before it needs to be washed).

 

5.  Water the Lawn & the Kids

My daughter loves it when we let her run through the sprinklers while watering the lawn during the summer - try to water in the evening so less water evaporates and more gets into the soil, and let the kids play for a while! 

If you want to use less water in the yard, look into plants and trees that require less watering (ask about Xeroscaping at your local garden store)!

And install a rain barrel to capture all that wonderful rain water.  We put ours next to the garden so we now have a built-in water supply without turning on the hose each time we want to give the veggies a drink ;)

 

6.  Take a Water Field Trip (if you're brave!)

Call your city and see if they offer tours of the water treatment plant in your area. 

This is a great way for kids to learn about how we get the water in our house, and where water goes once we use it!  I warn you -- you may be grossed out but it's a very eye opening experience.

 

7.  Learn How Water Conservation Impacts Others

It's important for kids to understand that this is a resource that shouldn't be wasted. We need to remember that water is a finite resource -- meaning that we can't just "make more water".

There are many people in the world without running water so it's important for all of us to realize that we share the water that exists on our planet.

Discover Education has a great online game that teaches kids about the water cycle.

The EPA has a whole page of games & activites about water that are perfect to use at home or in the classroom!

 

More Earth-friendly Ideas You'll Love:

5 Ways to Inspire Kids to Go Green

Going Green:  Websites & Books for Kids

10 Awesome Kids Movies with Environmental Themes

 

This post is part of the AMAZING Storybook Science series at Inspiration Laboratories!  Be sure to visit to find TONS of great ways to connect kids books to science activities.

20 Fairy Play & Mini Garden Ideas
12 Awesome Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

Comments

 
Guest - Stephanie on Friday, 22 March 2013 12:38

Is that Alberta Falls in Rocky Mtn National Park? It sure looks like it.

Is that Alberta Falls in Rocky Mtn National Park? It sure looks like it.
Guest - Seemi on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 14:34

Thank you for sharing the great suggestions for a dialogue about water conservation. Great book recommendations too!

Thank you for sharing the great suggestions for a dialogue about water conservation. Great book recommendations too!
Guest - Erica on Friday, 26 April 2013 15:13

Great tips. I grew up in CA during a drought, and I remember from a very early age, water conservation was pressed on us. Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf.

Great tips. I grew up in CA during a drought, and I remember from a very early age, water conservation was pressed on us. Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf.
Guest - Trisha on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:52

I love your book recommendations! I especially want to read One Well.

I love your book recommendations! I especially want to read One Well.
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