Mother Bat’s preschool class has been learning about weather. Last week they learned that clouds are made of drops of water that are so tiny they get caught up in the air. If a lot of tiny drops get caught up in the same place and rise way up into the sky, they form big puffy clouds. If they go even higher up, the air gets so cold that they freeze and make feathery looking clouds. Sometimes they even hang out very close to the ground and make fog. This week Mother Bat will be teaching that when a cloud gets too many tiny drops of water, those drops will start sticking together and getting heavier. When the bigger drops are too heavy for the air to hold up, they fall back down to the ground as rain. Since it’s been raining a lot in Fiddlebug’s Forest lately, Mother Bat thought of a fun project for her class to celebrate the rainy weather. She will show them how to make a rain gauge so they can see how much rain has fallen during a storm! If you would like to make one too, just follow her easy directions below.
What you need:
1 clear plastic container with smooth, straight sides (I chose an empty sugar free drink mix container) NOTE: To be accurate, this clear container should be exactly 1 inch in diameter. My rain gauge is more for fun than for accuracy.
A permanent marker (and a big person to help keep it off of anything it might stain)
A craft stick
Water proof glue (and a big person to help)
A sheet of star stickers
Clear nail polish
A notebook to keep track of your rainfall (optional)
What you do:
1) Place the ruler inside (or next to) the plastic container with the 1 inch mark closest to the bottom. Make sure the ruler is pressed tightly against the inside wall closest to you and that you can read the marks through the plastic.
2) Ask your big person to help by making a mark on the outside of the plastic at each inch mark on the ruler. This is so you will know where to put your decorations in order to be able to read your gauge.
3) Stick 1 star on the bottom mark. Mother Dragon is using the two side “arms” of the star as her inch mark. That way she will know when the rain water is right at each inch.
4) Put 2 star stickers at the second mark, 3 at the third, and so on. If you add a star at each mark you will be able to easily see how many inches of rain water are in the container.
5) Now paint a coat of clear nail polish over your stars to help them stay waterproof.
6) When the nail polish is dry, ask your big person to glue the craft stick onto the back of the container so it sticks down about 3 inches on the bottom. That part will poke into the ground or a potted plant and hold the rain gauge upright.
7) Now all you have to do is find a nice place that is out in the open where rain can fall into your container during the next storm. After the storm, take your big person outside with you. Check your rain gauge carefully. You will be able to see how full of rain water the container is just by looking through it to see which line of stars is closest to the top of the water.
8) If you are keeping track of how much rain has fallen in your area, have your big person help you mark it in your notebook. An easy way to do that is to draw a picture of your rain gauge on each page. You can color in the same amount on your picture as the container is holding and fill in the date and time of your storm!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!