Make Your Own Rain Gauge

Never let a rainy day stop you from having fun!

Put your innovative skills to work, pull out that recycle bin and get crafting! Rain is nature’s way of refreshing our earth and helping plants to grow.  When raindrops fall that’s part of the Water Cycle, scientifically known as Precipitation

How much precipitation does your yard need to stay healthy? Different climates are based on geography, annual temperatures, and the average amount of rainfall.

Measuring rainfall can give us a lot of data on what’s happening to the climate in any given area.

Are you curious about the rain that falls in your yard?


Homemade Rain Gauge

Follow these simple steps to make a Rain Gauge, to measure your local precipitation.

Materials Needed:
  • Empty plastic bottle (any size will do, but we like a 1 Liter bottle best!)
  • Scissors (with an adult’s help)
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
Make Your Own Rain Gauge

Step 1: With a parent’s help, cut off the top of the bottle about 2 inches from the top.

Step 2: Turn the piece you just cut off upside down and place it back inside the bottle making sure the top edges are flush. 

Step 3: Using the ruler, mark off lines at one-inch intervals from the bottom all the way to the top. Draw lines around the bottle at each of those one-inch intervals. Additionally, add marks at each half inch and quarter inch. (No need to draw lines all the way around for those measurements)

Step 4: Place your new rain gauge outside in an area free from trees and other overhangs where the rain can fall directly into it. 

*Note: to keep heavy rain or winds from blowing it over you can secure your rain gauge between flower pots, or use duct tape to affix it to a stick in the ground, etc…

Now have fun waiting for the rain!

Discussion point: Could there be some mornings you might find moisture in your rain gauge when it hasn’t rained?! Then you’ve observed condensation… another part of the water cycle!

tag_DIY_Water Cycle

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