ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Learn About the Water Cycle for Kids

Updated on March 5, 2013

Two thirds of the Earth's surface is covered in water. That's a lot of water. Yet we can't drink most of it. We need fresh water to drink and bathe. Most water on Earth, like that found in the oceans, is salt water. Only a small amount of water is usable by us. So, how come fresh water doesn't run out even though we use so much of it?

Water doesn't run out because it's constantly renewed by the water cycle. A cycle is something that happens over and over again. Water is continuously being evaporated into the sky and sent back to the ground as precipitation.

These are the steps in the water cycle:

Water Cycle Song

Step 1: Evaporation

Water evaporates from the Earth's surface. This means that it turns into a gas called water vapor and rises into the air. Much of this evaporated water comes from the oceans. It also comes from lakes, rivers, ponds, the soil and even plants.

You might be surprised to see plants on the list of sources of evaporation. But they release water vapor into the air through a process called transpiration. In this process, moisture is carried through plants to small pores on the bottom of the leaves. It changes to water vapor and is released into the atmosphere. So, transpiration is the evaporation of water from a plant's leaves.

Water Cycle Animation

Step 2: Condensation

Condensation is the opposite of evaporation. Water vapor condenses when it turns back into water. Water vapor in the air cools and condenses into tiny droplets. Have you ever seen steam from a shower turn to water droplets on a mirror? The steam condenses or turns into water droplets when it hits the cold mirror. Water vapor in the air condenses and forms clouds.

Step 3: Precipitation

Water from the clouds falls back to Earth as precipitation. Precipitation includes rain, snow, hail and sleet.


When rain falls, some of the water seeps into the ground. This is called groundwater. When it hits rocky layers, it can't go down any further, so it starts to build up and fill all available space. The top is called the water table. Whenever the water table reaches above the surface a lake, pond or stream forms. This usually happens when water fills low lying areas.

Streams flow downhill, often meeting other streams. They become larger until they turn into rivers. Rivers eventually reach the ocean. All these bodies of water become sources of evaporation in the water cycle.

Simple Water cycle
Simple Water cycle
Detailed Water Cycle
Detailed Water Cycle | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)