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Activity: Rain gauge

Materials:
Empty two-liter plastic bottle, scissors or knife, permanent marker, wooden stake, large rubber bands, hammer, notebook, ruler
Time:
30 minutes
Skills:
Earth science, measurement

Engage your child in the science of meteorology. Following these directions to make a homemade rain gauge that will record daily rainfall:

  1. Cut off the top third of the plastic bottle. Invert the top inside the bottom to form a funnel.
  2. With the permanent marker and the aid of a rule, mark the side of the bottle with in 1-inch increments, from the bottom up.
  3. Drive the stake into level ground in an open area.
  4. Set the bottle beside the stake and use the rubber bands to secure the bottle to the stake. This will keep the rain gauge upright.
  5. Record daily readings of the amount of rainfall, remembering to empty the gauge after taking each reading.

To enhance your child’s understanding of weather, encourage her to compare her readings to weather reports from television, the newspaper or the Internet.