Here are the science experiments we did to help my son understand the processes of condensation and precipitation. These are some pretty difficult concepts for a 4 year old to grasp so I tried to model as many things for him as I could.
We started off by simply observing condensation form on a cup filled with ice water. We talked about the cup being cold and cooling the air around it. We also talked about there being water vapor in the air all around us and how it condenses and turns back into liquid water when it gets cold enough.
Dude also observed the condensation that formed when he breathed on a cold mirror.
Next we talked a little bit about water being “sticky.” I didn’t worry about any technical terms, but I did put a small amount of water on a piece of wax paper and let Dude move it around with a q-tip to observe these forces and how the water naturally wanted to “stick” together.
We first demonstrated precipitation with a simple sponge. After getting it wet Dude squeezed it (to connect all the tiny water droplets into bigger droplets) and “made it rain” into a pan.
Our final science experiment for this unit was to make it rain….inside a jar! This was not only really neat to watch, but also a great way to model every aspect of the water cycle, making the the perfect finale for our week. You can see all the details for this project HERE.