• Sarah Caughron

Make a Rain Gauge

It's spring, we are stuck inside, and rain is in our forecast!

So, we fashioned a very simple rain gauge.

This activity reinforces my 2nd-grader's measurement unit and gives my pre-K child exposure to standard units of measurement. Win-win!


  • Empty bottle

  • Scissors

  • Rubber bands or string to tie the gauge outside

  • Sharpie

  • Ruler


Discuss & decide what unit of measurement you will use (cm, in, etc.). We used inches because that is how meteorologists, scientists who study weather & climate, report rain amounts on our local news station.

Use a ruler to measure the units you'd like to measure. We started with inches, and then we went back and added 1/2 inch demarcations.

Mark the units of measurement on the bottle with a permanent marker, and cut off the top of the bottle so you have a nice, wide opening into which rain can fall.

Take the bottle outside, and find an unobstructed (from trees or other plants) place to secure your rain gauge with rubber bands or string.

We used the backside of one of our landscaping lights.

Wait for the rain! Once your gauge fills up, you can discuss how to interpret the amount of rainfall in the bottle by matching to volume of the bottle to the unit of measurement you marked with the ruler.

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