Snow Gauge

This month’s craft is all about WATER…Did you know that most of Colorado’s water comes from snow?  The snow falls on the mountains during winter and melts in the spring flowing down Colorado’s rivers and streams and becoming an essential water resource to people, plants, and animals.  Create a snow gauge and measure how much snow falls where you live!



What You Need

  1. Empty coffee can or other large container
  2. Ruler
  3. Tape (packing tape works best)

What You Do  
1. Rain and snow are both measured in inches.  Find the inches marked on the ruler.  Put a piece of tape across the 2 inch mark and across the 5 inch mark.  Step_1_small.jpg
2. Tape the ruler to the side of the coffee can so that the bottom of the ruler is touching the bottom of the can. step_2_small.jpg

3. Set your finished rain gauge outside in a place where snow can fall directly into the can.  (Choose a place that is not underneath a roof, a tree, etc. that may affect the results.)   

4. Reading your snow gauge:

- After it snows, check your snow gauge and use the ruler to figure out how much snow there is.

- Now let the snow melt. How many inches of water are in the can compared to how many inches of snow?

- In the spring time, you can use your snow gauge to measure how much rain falls by reading the ruler the same way as with snow.



How important is water in Colorado?

Very!!  Colorado is a headwater state, meaning all of the rivers and streams in Colorado begin in our state and flow out to several other states.  (Colorado and Hawaii are the only two headwater states in the United States!)  Water in Colorado is used an average of 7 times for lots of different things including agriculture, businesses, parks, and in homes, before leaving our state and heading downstream to provide water for 7 other states including Arizona, Wyoming, California, Utah, New Mexico, and Nevada!  Take a look at the chart to see how water moves through Colorado before moving to other states:


Colorado is a very important state because we provide water for so many other communities around us.  Once we are done using water in our homes, it is sent downstream for someone else to use.  This means it is our responsibility to take care of the water we have because clean water is a limited resource.  This means that unlike sunlight or wind that can be recreated over and over again, there is a specific amount of water on the earth’s surface.


It is YOUR job to conserve and protect our water!!  What can you do?

  • Pick up trash in your street, by your school, or at a park that may otherwise travel down the storm drains and into our rivers.  (Storm drains are holes in the curb where water goes to prevent our streets from flooding when it rains.  These storm drains have no filter or treatment for the water and ends up directly in our rivers.)
  • Make sure not to dump anything down the storm drains- drains lead to streams!
  • Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Recycle what you can to reduce the amount of waste you create.
  • When it comes to water- use only what you need!  We must share this precious resource with lots of other people, plants, and animals.

mary-01.jpgCrusher's Crafts are created by SPREE staffer Mary Palumbo.  Each month Mary comes up with a new craft that can be made from household items and found objects from just outside your front door.


Look on the left column for a complete list of all the crafts!