How to make a rain catcher

It's bound to rain now the summer holidays are here so celebrate the weather with this easy activity.

How to make a rain catcher

Now the summer holidays are stretching lazily in front of us it's safe to assume the heavens will open. And while I don't want to jinx things, it's best to have a few wet weather activities up your sleeve.

You can always do a spot of indoor gardening, or make a kite or a bird feeder. Or you can use the weather to help entertain your children and make a rain catcher, like Jen at The Madhouse.

You will need:

  • A plastic drink bottle, with the label removed
  • Sharp knife
  • Duct tape
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent pen and felt markers
  • Stickers, pipe cleaners and PVA glue (optional).

This is what you do:

  • Cut the top off the bottle with the knife, about a quarter of the way down and remove the lid
  • Decorate the bottle with the stickers, adding a layer of PVA glue to help protect them
  • Put marbles, stones or sand in the bottom to weigh it down
  • Place the top of the bottle upside down in the decorated part
  • Stick them together with duct tape
  • Mark centimetres along the handle of the spoon with the tape measure and permanent marker
  • Decorate the spoon with a cheery face (we also added pipe cleaner arms)
  • Place against a wall and do a rain dance (we keep the wooden spoon in a nearby flower pot so it's ready for use).

The information can be used in a weather book or charted, there's printable graph paper if you don't have any to hand. But why stop at making a rain catcher? Here's an activity showing you how to make a weather station.

Photo: Debbie Webber


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    Ready for Ten admin

    23 July, 2010

    Thanks for this Deb - my children have seen these being made on Cbeebies and wanted to make some, so this is great timing!

    Ready for Ten Team

  • Maggie


    Maggie Christie

    24 July, 2010

    This is definitely something we should make. We have plenty of rain here in Wales and the summer holidays is always a great opportunity to measure it! What a great idea.

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    Mrs O

    26 July, 2010

    does anyone have any ideas for group work activities with children 7-13yrs. a group where children have a parent/sibling/grandparent etc who is terminally ill - we are planning a day of fun, delight and laughter for these children so that they can enjoy themselves without worrying about sad events in their life on that day.

  • Deb


    Debbie Webber

    28 July, 2010

    Hi Mrs O, what a wonderful thing to do for those children, I hope they have a memorable day.

    You don't mention if you will have to be inside or out but parachute games are always a big hit (does require one of those large, colourful parachutes though), or perhaps a game of rounders, or a sort of sports day (without being too competitive), or a nature scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt (with clues and chocolate).

    I guess if you're inside it's probably a bit trickier but t-shirt painting is a good one and appealing to younger and older children, or perhaps a scrapheap challenge using materials from the recycling bin (scapstores are a wonderful source of cheap or free materials, if you Google it there are ones nationwide) or get them to make a huge piece of artwork together. Perhaps you could think of a theme for the day (like movie stars or rock stars) and have them dress up, do art and craft activities centred around that. Or perhaps they can put on a mini play? Perhaps they could form a band (not sure how many children you're working with) and could design their costumes (painting the t-shirts), doing outrageous hair, face-paints, make the instruments then put on a very mini concert.

    Goodness, I seem to have got a bit carried away there! Hope you find something helpful amid my ramblings! Good luck.

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