Creating a Homemade Barometer Simply and Inexpensively

Parents and kids who are interested in a simple family project that is science experiment oriented should consider crafting a homemade barometer. The exercise won't require a huge investment of time and is a fun way to teach kids about predicting weather patterns.


Most of the things you can use to create the barometer can easily be found in your home. You may be able to take a brief look around and find them all. If not, a small jaunt to the store should provide these materials rather cheaply.

You will need:

  • Tape and paper
  • Rubber band
  • Straw
  • Jar or cup
  • Scissors

Creating Pressure Gauge

Start by cutting the neck of the balloon off with a pair of scissors (kids should let adults do this part). Take the rounded end of the balloon and affix it over the mouth of the jar or cup using the rubber band. Make sure the seal is airtight. Place the straw on the top of the stretched balloon, letting 3/4 of it hang off. Tape the straw onto the balloon and place a piece of paper next to the jar. The straw should run parallel to the paper.

You have successfully built you barometer!

Daily checks on straw movement, marked on the paper, will indicate pressure drops and weather patterns. A lowered straw will most often indicate rain whereas a raised one reveals sunny skies.

Other Tests

A barometer can be made using a measuring cup, water, marker or soda bottle filled with colored liquid as well. After filling the measuring cup with colored water, snugly place the bottle into the cup upside down. The water level should just reach the bottleneck. Changes in the water level will reveal changes in pressure. A drop often means stormy weather while a rise could forecasts sunshiny days.

In the end, this educational experiment can help kids and even adults appreciate the invisible constants that exist around us. This alone can make building a homemade barometer well worth an investment of time and effort.

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