Water Cycle Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

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  • 0:04 The Water Cycle
  • 0:41 Evaporation
  • 1:13 Condensation
  • 1:34 Precipitation
  • 1:49 Collection
  • 2:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stephanie Matalone

Stephanie taught high school science and math and has a Master's Degree in Secondary Education.

This lesson goes over how water moves through the environment. It reviews the different parts of the water cycle, including evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection.

The Water Cycle

Water rains down to the earth on stormy days. It gets soaked up into the ground. Water movement is part of the water cycle. The water cycle is important to all living things on the earth!

There are other cycles in your life. Your daily routine is a cycle: You wake up. You go to school. You ride the bus home. You go to soccer practice. You eat dinner. You go to bed. These events are part of a cycle. This cycle repeats itself every weekday. The water cycle is also a set of repeated events that happen over and over again.

Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection are the repeated events in the water cycle. These events happen over and over again.


Water is stored in bodies of water, like lakes. Water floats up to the top of the lake. The water turns into a gas and the gas rises up into the air. This happens because there is less water in the air than in the lake. Water does not like being around too much other water. Water wants to go where there is less water.

When liquid water is turned into a gas, this is during evaporation. The gas is called water vapor. Leave a glass of water out overnight. You will see the level drop. This is an example of evaporation. The water in the glass will turn into vapor. The vapor will be in the air.


Water gets cold as it floats in the air. The gas turns back into a liquid, and the liquid becomes a cloud. This is called condensation.

Condensation happens on the outside of a cup of soda with ice. The cup looks like it's sweating.The sweat comes from water vapor from the air. The vapor gets cold when it hits the icy surface of the cup. The vapor turns into a liquid!

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