In this fun and easy geology science experiment for kids, we’re going to investigate and understand why rivers are crooked.
  • Tall mound of dirt, mud, or sand
  • Water hose and water supply
  • Flower watering can
  • Camera


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  1. Mound the dirt. Make sure that the mound is not uniform. You can add rocks or other obstacles for the flow of water to work its way around.
  2. Take a picture of the mound and determine where you think a river may form.
  3. Fill the flower watering can with water and sprinkle the water over the top of the mountain.
  4. Repeat this step several times if needed and determine if any rivers begin forming as the water works its way down the mound. Take a picture before each round of adding water to the mound.
  5. Now turn on the water hose with a steady stream of water.
  6. Hold the hose in a way so that the steady stream starts at the top of the hill and works its way down the mound.
  7. Do this for a few minutes and take a picture of the mound.


I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun investigating and exploring why rivers are crooked!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons about rivers, landforms, erosion, geology, and more!
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Happy Excavating!
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