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Time4Learning Demos

Rivers, Streams, Ponds, and Lakes for Kids

Celebrate World Water Day This March 22 or Just Appreciate Water on Any Day with These Free Resources

By: Mindy Scirri, Ph.D. 

Did you know we celebrate World Water Day each year on March 22? The bigger question is why is there only one day to celebrate water—one of the most important resources on this planet. We know that we need water for drinking, bathing, cooking, growing crops, and even hydroelectric power, but we also enjoy water by swimming, boating, fishing, and so many other activities. The truth is that we, as humans, couldn’t live without water. And we are not the only ones….

Water is the basis for a variety of ecosystems. Ocean water, making up about 97% of the Earth’s water, is home to a universe of plant and animal life. Here, though, we are going to focus on the smaller freshwater ecosystems made up of our lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands. You can create your own unit study using the free resources below:


Water Facts for Kids

Freshwater Habitats for Kids Ponds and Lakes for Kids
Rivers and Streams for Kids

 Lake, Pond, Stream, and River Science Experiments for Kids

Water Facts for Kids

Let’s start with the basics of water and the water cycle, the foundation for our water habitats. Take a look at these resources to get started:


Drinking Water & Ground Water Kids’ Stuff | US Environmental Protection Agency 
This is a great place to find games, experiments, and activities to help your K-12 student learn about water. There is also a teacher section where you can find additional ideas.


WABO and IP’s Adventures
Play in the world of Wabo and Ip as they adventure through the hydrologic cycle, discovering water and air.



Water | One Geology – Kids
Learn about water through images, maps, and facts. Take a short quiz at the end.


Water Facts Primary Resource | National Geographic Kids
Explore facts about water by downloading the resource, “20 Cool Things about Water,” along with a sheet showing suggestions for tasks and activities.


Water Topics | US Environmental Protection Agency
For your older kids and teens…. Find out about lakes and rivers, watersheds, oceans, and wetlands. Discover facts about drinking water, water treatment, and water pollution, and find out what you can do to protect this valuable resource.


Freshwater Habitats for Kids

Do you know what limnologists are? Limnologists are scientists who study freshwater ecosystems. They are the ones who give us information about lakes, ponds, rivers, springs, reservoirs, wetlands, and groundwater like in the resources below:


Freshwater Ecosystems | MBGnet
Learn about rivers and streams, ponds and lakes, and wetlands, as well as the water cycle here.





Freshwater Habitats | World Wildlife Federation
Find out about the endangered freshwater ecosystems of our planet and the impacts of pollution, climate change, and human development (e.g., dam building, logging, agriculture).


Water | National Wildlife Foundation
Find out how to create your own Certified Wildlife Habitat® right in your own yard!


Ponds and Lakes for Kids

 Did you ever study lake science? Well, now is a great time to start! Here are some resources on lakes and ponds for you to explore:


Lake Facts for Kids | Cool Kid Facts
Learn what lakes are, where they are located, and how they are formed. Find out the difference between lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. Discover what reservoirs are, too!


Lake Facts for Kids | Facts Just for Kids
Find out 25 facts about lakes. Then there are lots of links to more facts about water.


 Video: What Is A Lake? 
“Science expert Emerald Robinson explains what a lake is.”


Lake Facts for Kids | Kiddle
Discover some facts about lakes, including famous lakes and major lakes on each continent. Browse through beautiful photos of lakes from around the world.


Lake Geography | Ducksters
What do you know about the Great Lakes? How about Lake Baikal or Lake Victoria? Discover some of the deepest and largest lakes in the world.



Pond Ecology
This is a unit on pond ecology designed for a fifth-grade classroom. As a homeschooler, you can easily adapt the unit or just use parts of it—like constructing your own pond community!


Spotted Lake Geography Primary Resource | National Geographic Kids
Discover how natural geographical processes, like the water cycle, can shape a landscape by looking at Spotted Lake through the seasons. Download the primary resource at the bottom of the page.


Rivers and Streams for Kids

What is more fun than moving water? Rivers and streams not only provide us with transportation and recreation, but they have also been the basis for civilizations—human and not human. Learn more about rivers and streams here:


Fascinating Facts about Rivers | National Geographic Kids
Why are rivers different colors? What types of creatures live in rivers? Find out answers to these questions and more.


Information and Facts about Rivers | Primary Homework Help
Use this resource to learn about where rivers begin, why they are important, the stages and features of rivers, river pollution, and much more.


River | Britannica Kids
Find out how rivers flow, river systems, and the relation of rivers to human life.


Video: What Is A River? 
“Science expert Emerald Robinson explains what a river is and how the definition can mean many types of moving water.”


Rivers | Kids Discover
Read this detailed exploration of rivers and explore the many images of rivers from around the world.


Rivers | The School Run
This resource has lots of information about rivers for kids, including facts, a photo gallery, a vocabulary list, a children’s book list, and links to many other resources.


River Facts for Kids | Kiddle
Learn about the parts of a river, underground rivers, how we use rivers, and important rivers in the world.


World Rivers | Ducksters
Identify the basics of rivers and find out the 10 longest rivers in the world.


Lake, Pond, Stream, and River Science Experiments for Kids

River and lake science can be fascinating because we are all familiar with these bodies of water. Hands-on learning can really help us understand these important natural resources. Try these lake and river experiments to round out your unit on water habitats:


River Formation Experiment – Children’s Science Experiment | Fun Science
Explore how rivers form with this fun experiment.




Science Experiments for Kids Living Where Creeks are Orange, Yellow, or Red | US Geological Society
Check out these hands-on experiments to help you understand the environment we live in and how to help clean up problems left from our past. Learn about the effects of acid mine drainage and how to think like a scientist.





Table-Top Biosphere | Make: Technology on Your Time
Create a closed water habitat that will live on your windowsill!


Know of any other great resources for learning about water habitats? Help us add to our collection by sharing in the comments below….

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