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How to Clean Water: A Fun Science Experiment for Kids!

Teach your kids about water filtration

Teach your kids about water filtration

Seawater and Freshwater

Seawater covers most of our planet Earth – nearly 97 percent of it.

As you probably know, seawater is very salty and is unfit to drink. But the good news is that the remaining 3 percent of water is fresh and can be used for drinking, cooking, and washing without any issues.

It is a case of concern that drinkable water is now getting depleted faster than before. "What about all the seawater?" you might wonder. Can it be filtered for drinking? Salty water from the sea is not suitable for all living beings – but few plants can thrive in it. It cannot be used in industries or even at home. The cost of filtering seawater is enormous and is a prolonged process. The time has come to be more mindful than before of our water consumption.

In many parts of the world, it is common to store rainwater or river water and use it later for different needs. Some regions pump out the water from the underground.

In contrast, other regions store water from the nearby rivers in reservoirs or large artificial lakes. Waters in reservoirs may not be fit for drinking. They may contain substances from rivers that may be harmful to intake. In such cases, you need to remove these particles and substances to clean the water.

Filtering is the act of cleaning water. To kill dangerous bacteria, people often add a small amount of chlorine gas to the water. After filtering, it gets pumped into the taps.

Learn how to make a water filter to clean water at home. It is an educational experiment for children that can help them understand the science behind water filtering. The experiment is simple and easy to carry out for kids but might require the guidance of a parent.

Making a Filter to Clean Water

To take soil particles and other substances out, you need to filter the water. You can make a water filter at home with the help of sand, gravel, pebbles, and some cotton wool.

Please note that the water filtered may not be clean enough for drinking – so do not attempt to drink it.

This is just a simplified method. The actual filtering that happens in our everyday lives is a much more complicated process.

Things you need to make a water filter:

  1. Scissors
  2. Cotton wool
  3. Glass
  4. Some pebbles
  5. Gravel
  6. Sand
  7. Water
  8. A small jug
  9. A teaspoon
  10. Soil
  11. A plastic bottle

Instructions to Make a Water Filter

Got all your materials? Now it is time to assemble.

You can make a water filter to clean water using the following instructions.

  1. Take the pair of scissors and cut off the bottom of the bottle. Be cautious. A cut bottle can be very sharp. Children should perform this step under the guidance of an adult.
  2. Stuff some cotton wool into the neck of the bottle.
  3. Turn the bottle upside down and place it into the glass.
  4. Fill the bottle up with layers of small clean pebbles, gravel, and sand.
  5. Pour some water into the jug. Put in two teaspoons of sand. Stir well.
  6. Pour this sand mixture into the sand in the bottle.
  7. You should see water dripping into the glass.

Something Extra: Measure How Much Water You Drink

It is always helpful to take note of how much water you drink per day.

Our body is composed of 70% water. It is vital to drink enough water for optimal health. The recommended daily fluid intake is around 11.5 to 15.5 cups (2.7 to 3.7 liters) per the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Are you drinking enough? Let's find out.

With the help of a measuring vessel, measure how many drinks you are taking in a day.

Drinks can include any milk-based drinks because, as you would know, milk is about 95 percent of water. It can also include drinks like fruit juice, tea, coffee, lemonade, or just about anything water-based.

You can make a note of each measurement and write it down in a notebook.

You might be surprised at how much you are taking in!

Apart from liquids, you also take in water through solid foods. It is not easy to measure your exact total intake of water in a day. You might be getting it into your system through several food products. For example, in an apple, water content is nearly 85 percent. In the case of a green vegetable like lettuce, water comprises nearly 95 percent. It is why green leafy vegetables are good for you, as they give you an adequate amount of water needed for your body.

Some ways to help you drink enough water:

  • Always keep a water bottle next to you.
  • Set reminders to drink water. There are many apps available nowadays that can help remind you to drink your daily quota of water.
  • Replace soft drinks and unhealthy sugary juices with water. To make it more interesting, you can try infused water.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Kalpana Iyer


Kalpana Iyer (author) from India on April 19, 2015:

Yes :)

poetryman6969 on April 18, 2015:

An interesting way to show the kids a little science.

mansur on May 31, 2013:

it is very good for kids and it is perfect also i love this !!!!!!!!!.....

Kalpana Iyer (author) from India on September 13, 2011:

Nicole - Yes definitely ! :)

Nicole Burke on September 12, 2011:

does it work

Middlespecialist on March 22, 2011:

I love this! Perfect spring activity for the kids.