Create Your Own Rain Gauge

Take advantage of those rainy days by making a rain gauge out of recycled materials you can find around home! Learn about measurement, capacity, and weather and track the amount of rainfall over time with this easy-to-make rainy day project.


  • Empty plastic bottle (2 litre bottles work great)
  • Permanent markers (you'll need black for sure!)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler


  1. Find a large, empty plastic bottle, remove the cap, and rinse the bottle.
  2. Using a pair of scissors, cut the top of the bottle off approximately 10cm down from top. (Be careful, the edges might be sharp!)
  3. Now use the cut off piece of the bottle and simply turn it upside down and place it back inside the bottle (make sure it is flush with the edges of the bottle).
  4. Using your ruler and a black permanent marker, label your bottle with equal intervals of measurement. Make sure to label it with both a line and a number value.
    • You can chose to label it every 5cm or 10cm. As long as it shows the amount of water in your bottle.
    • If your ruler isn’t long enough to reach the top, move the bottom of your ruler up to the next drawn line.
  5. Your child can now chose to decorate their rain gauge with other color permanent markers.
  6. Next, put on your rain gear and go find a good place to put your bottle.
    • It might be a good idea to put some rocks in the bottom of your bottle to keep it from blowing over!
  7. Now you wait and observe your rain gauge as it collects water throughout a storm!

Ask Yourself

  • When is it going to rain next? Keep track of local weather forecasts to know when big storms are coming. You can use weather apps, newspapers or local news channels.
  • Can you think of all the kinds of precipitation that come from clouds?
  • Why do you think rain is so important to nature?