Make a Lake


Make a Lake

Where rainwater goes after the rain stops? And why there are rivers and lakes in some parts of the land but not in others? In this activity, learners will make a model landscape using a plastic bin, sheet of plastic, and markers & food coloring to investigate the movement of water and find out how watersheds are formed. Step-by-step instructions are included with photos along with safety recommendations. Activity guide includes a “What’s going on?” explanation and relevant connections to healthy watersheds, runoff, and the effects of pollution.

Materials List:

  • Plastic bin (at least 45 cm long × 30 cm wide × 10 cm deep)

  • 10-15 pieces of newspaper or scratch paper

  • Thin sheet of plastic, approximately 70 cm × 70 cm (tablecloth or shower curtain)

  • Black, blue, and green permanent marker

  • Tap water

  • Spray bottle filled with water

  • Two drinking cups (coffee mug or larger)

  • Blue and yellow food coloring

  • 30 mL (2 Tbsp) of coffee grounds

  • Rags or paper towels for cleanup

  • Scissors (optional)

  • Liquid measuring cup (optional)


Topics: Rivers, Lakes, Oceans & Water, Weather & Climate, Ecology

Grade Level: Grade 1 and Up

Activity Type: Model

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Activity Time: 20 minutes