Be Your Own Weather Person

Make a Rain Gauge

Find an open spot to catch your rain and be sure it is not placed under a tree or other type of shelter.

*Have a grown up nearby to assist with this project*

Supplies Needed:

  • An empty 2-liter plastic bottle                                                            
  • A handful of clean pebbles, gravel, or marbles
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Permanent Marker
  • Water


Step 1: Use the scissors to cut the top from the bottle.  Begin cutting where it starts to narrow. 

Step 2: Place the pebbles/marbles/gravel in the bottom.  This is the weight to keep it straight and should fill just enough to covers the bumpy bottom and be level.

Step 3: Remove the cap from the bottle top if its still there.  Turn the top upside down and place in the bottom part of the bottle (spout should be facing down.)  This will help funnel the rain into the bottle.  Line up the cut edges and tape together, to hold in place. 

Step 4: Use a long piece of tape on the side of the bottle and stick from top to bottom.  You will mark your measurements on this.  Mark the tape just above the top of the gravel. This becomes the starting point for measuring.

Step 5: Line up the ruler along the side of the bottle.  The zero should be at the starting point made in the last step.  Using the permanent marker, mark and label increments on the tape.

Step 6: Slowly add water into the funnel until water level reaches the zero.  Your rain gauge is ready to measure the rain!

Step 7:  Place the rain gauge in an open spot where the rain will not be blocked (or added to by a roof spout!) and it is not likely to be knocked over. 

Pay attention to the forecast.  If your rain gauge has been left out for a while, check your water level to be sure it starts at zero.  After the rain (or every 24 hours if its been raining for days) observe the level in your gauge.  Keep a chart to record rainfall levels each day over one month.