Do your children know how rivers form? Some of them form with underground springs and others start when rain falls over mountains. Here is a fun and easy science experiment for your children to understand river formation!

You will need:Equipment for a River Formation Experiment

  • Three sheets of paper
  • Tape
  • A pen
  • Water
  • A small spray bottle, you can find one on Amazon


  • Stack two sheets of paper on top of each other.
  • Make your hand into a fist and cover your fist with the two sheets of paper.
  • Crumple them around your fist, then remove your fist and crumple them even more.
  • Unfold the crumpled sheets a bit and stick them down to the remaining one with tape.
  • Take your pen and colour in the ridges of your mountains. The ridges are the long and narrow parts of the moutains, usually they’re quite high up.
  • Now using the spray bottle, spray some water over your mountains until drops start to trickle down. The drops on the sheets show you the path rivers would take on your mountains! The big drops at the bottom could be lakes. Well done, you’ve made a river formation experiment!

The science bit:Final Result - River Formation Experiment

    • As rain falls over the mountains, the water trickles down the ridges of the moutains into streams. As the streams grow bigger and bigger, they become rivers.These rivers take up speed and run all the way down the moutains! They will eventually reach lakes and seas on their way, completing the water cycle.

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