Help your kids learn about the weather and the importance of rain by making a simple rain gauge from a recycled 2-liter bottle. The completed gauge will help kids keep an accurate measurement of rainfall in your area and will help them have fun with science as well.
Things You'll Need
- Sand or small pebbles
- Permanent marker
- Masking tape or packing tape
Rinse out the 2-liter bottle well. Remove the label. Cut the top off the bottle just below the shoulder where the sides become straight. Make a straight and even cut because you will use the top as a funnel for the rain gauge.
Take the large bottom portion and fill with sand or small pebbles for weight. Fill it to a point where it fills the molded shape that gives the bottle strength. You want a level base just above that mark. Fill the sand or pebbles with water to the saturation point. The water level should be slightly above the sand.
Mark the water line with a heavy straight line with a permanent black marker. Measure from the line and mark off the bottle in ¼- , ½- and 1-inch marks. Mark at least 5 or 6 inches up at least -- even more if your area has potential for that much rain in a night.
Invert the top into the base to make a funnel for the water and to minimize evaporation. Tape around the top with masking tape or packing tape to avoid leaving a sharp edge. Make sure the water level is exactly at your start line. Leave the homemade rain gauge out in an open area where nothing will block falling rain.
Check the gauge after a certain time period or after a storm. After you measure, write down the results to keep track and empty the water back down to the base line and set it out again. If there is a long dry spell, make sure the water level stays up to the base line before any expected storm.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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