The water cycle

The Water CycleThe water cycle for kids learning at Primary School. Key Stage 1 & Key Stage 2 (KS1 & KS2) homework help on water and the water cycle.

What is the water cycle?

There is always the same amount of water on the Earth. The water just moves around all the time. This is called The Water Cycle. The water is either in seas and rivers or as ice and snow. It can also be an invisible gas as it evaporates and turns into clouds. 

How does the water cycle work?

The sun heats up the the water from rivers and seas. This makes the water evaporate turning the water from a liquid to a gas. 

As these invisible water gas molecules go up they get cooler. This makes the gas turn back into liquid and the little droplets of water make up the clouds. 

The wind blows the clouds around. As they move around they collide with other clouds and make bigger clouds. Water stays here for an average of nine days. 

As the clouds get big and heavy they fall as rain, snow, or hail. The rain gathers in streams, rivers and lakes and makes it way down into the sea where it all starts again.

Water Cycle imageWeather Wizkids
Understand how the water cycle works with our facts that help explain the different processes in a way that’s easy to follow.

What is precipitation?

Precipitation is the name for water that falls to the earths surface. Precipitation mainly comes in the form of rain but it can also appear as snow or hail. 

Because we have a lot of rain in the UK we have many names to describe the type of rain. For example we might say it’s a: , drizzle, downpour, tipping down, shower, sprinkle, sheets of rain or it’s raining cats and dogs. Can you think of any more?

Why does it snow?

We get snow when the water droplets in the clouds freeze into ice crystals. The water then falls as snow or sometimes hard balls of ice called hail.

How to make your own cloud

On a very cold day try breathing out. Do you see your breath? This is because your breath has small droplets of water. When you breath out you can see your breath as a cloud. 

Types of clouds

There are many types of clouds.













Also see…

Rivers & Floods
UK Weather