What if a mighty river could begin as nothing more than a small spring bubbling water out of the Earth? That’s just the case of the Danube River, which begins at a spring in the Black Forest of Germany.
How does a river begin? Usually, they start from a glacier or snow melting high in the mountains. The water has to go somewhere and gravity carries it downhill. After millions of years, the water carves a path, creating a river. Sometimes rivers form from a lake. The giant Mississippi River starts at Lake Itasca in Minnesota. No matter how rivers form, rivers are powerful. They bring freshwater to people and help prevent flooding. All rivers eventually run into a larger river, a lake or the ocean.
Fun Facts About Rivers for Kids
- A river is a large stream of freshwater. The beginning of a river is called the head. The end of the river is known as the mouth.
- The current describes how fast and powerful the river is. Rivers that have a lot of water and a steep decline can be very fast.
- Rivers change over time. Floods may make them larger, droughts cause them to shrink or dry up. People and animals change them too. People build dams, as do beavers.
- Rivers can carve out canyons in the landscape. The Grand Canyon in Arizona was carved by a roaring river.
- The longest river in the world is the Nile in Africa. The Amazon River in South America carries the most water.
- Spring: a place where water emerges naturally from the Earth
- Carve: cut out
- Flood: when excess water spills out of rivers onto the surrounding land
- Drought: lack of rainfall and water
All About Rivers Video for Kids
Watch this awesome Rivers video for kids to learn more about Rivers:
Question: Are rivers important to people?
Answer: Rivers have always been important to the people who live near them. They provide water for drinking and washing. People also catch fish and shellfish there and use river plants for weaving baskets. Rivers help people move. People travel on rivers with canoes and boats.
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