With Northeast monsoon rains kick-starting and Pooja hoildays around the corner, this could be a wonderful time to do some weather-related activities with your kids. You can read out good books on weather. You can try simple science experiments to learn how tornadoes are formed or how rain is formed. Or, try a simple DIY rain gauge like the one we did last year.
We made a simple rain guage using a 1 Litre plastic bottle. We were inspired by a book on weather by Macaw Books. The child character in the book makes a rain guage to measure how much it has rained all day. And our little boy was all so curious for one, to create something exciting and two, to find a reason to get out into the rains.
If this should interest you, try this DIY rain guage with your curious littles. Before you begin, you may want to have a discussion about what a rain gauge does and why we need to measure rainfall.
Here’s what you would need:
A plastic bottle, pebbles/stones, measuring scale, marker and cello tape.
Step 1: Cut the top part of the bottle carefully as shown below. This is going to act like a funnel for your rain gauge.
Step 2: Using a marker, mark the bottom line of the bottle. This will be our bottom line from where measurement of rain water begins.
Step 3: Add the pebbles or stones to the bottom of the bottle, till the bottom line. This is to prevent the bottle to topple down during heavy rains or winds.
Step 4: Pour water into the bottle up to the bottom line..
Step 5: Make markings starting from the bottom line in inches or centimeters using a measuring scale.
Step 6: Invert the part cut from the top of the bottle on to the lower part. This acts like a funnel to collect maximum rain water within the area of measurement. Make sure you tape the top cut edges of the bottle together. The cut edges would be sharp; taping them together makes it safer for your kids to handle and also keeps the funnel intact with the bottle.
And your rain gauge is ready!
How do you use the rain gauge?
- On a rainy day, place your rain gauge at a safe spot in the open air, on a flat surface.
- Make sure, rain drops fall directly into the funnel.
- Let there be no obstacles like tress, roof or building parts that would block rain water from falling into it.
- When you begin measurement, there must be water up to the bottom line mark.
- Leave the rain gauge to do its job for 24 hours. You can’t help your kids checking it every now and then though 😆
- Read how much rain water has been collected after 24 hours (Ex. 1 inch or 2 cm).
- Cross-check with the rainfall measurement for your area by the meteorological department.
- Pat your back – you’ve been a small weather scientist today!
- Share your knowledge to others.
You may want to check our other DIYs for kids here
If you tried making a rain guage, please leave a comment about your experience. Here are more DIY rain gauge ideas from pinterest: