Do you love the sound of summer rainfall? Using some dried beans and a cardboard tube, you can make your very own rainstick and create the sound of rain anytime you want: no stormy weather needed! Rainsticks are percussion instruments that were traditionally made in Chile, where long hollowed-out cactus branches were filled with beans or pebbles. Though some people believe that ancient cultures used rainsticks to try to make it rain, it's more likely that rainsticks began as musical instruments. Either way, they sure sound great!
Cardboard mailing tube, 18” (46cm) or larger
22 gauge hobby wire, the quantity will depend on the length of the tube
Dry grains, such as rice, lentils, and split peas; approx. ½ cup for short tube, 1 ½ cups for long
Scrap of recycled cardboard or craft paper
Scissors, pencil, ruler, wire cutters
Clear packing tape, scotch tape
Glue stick or craft glue and brush to spread glue
Ideas of what materials you might use for decorating: Crayons, markers, pictures from magazines or old greeting cards, stickers, plain paper for drawing on, gift wrap, coloured paper.
1) On a scrap of cardboard, trace around the end of the tube twice. This makes 2 circles that will cover the ends of the tube. Cut out the circles with scissors.
2) Tape one circle securely to one end of the tube. Put aside for now.
3) Cut approximately 15” (38cm) pieces of wire. For a small tube, you will need at least 15.
4) Wind wire around your fingers once and secure the end of the wire, by bending the end, to form a loop. Once the end has been secured continue winding the rest of the wire till you get to the end. Secure the other end.
5) Spread out the wire to form a ball shape, crumple it a bit, and insert it into the tube.
6) Continue making balls in this way until your tube is filled to the top.
7) Add your grains into the tube.
8) Tape the second circle over the other tube end to secure all the contents.
9) You can now tip the tube back and forth to hear the lovely rain sound it makes.
BUT YOU AREN’T FINISHED YET!
Now comes the fun, creative part! Use your imagination to add decorations to your Rain Stick. Does it have a weather or nature theme? Or just designs with no theme at all? Your design can be as simple as adding stickers, wrapping it in gift wrap, or drawing right on your Rain Stick. You might do your own drawing on plain paper and wrap it in that or, cut out pictures from magazines or greeting cards and paste them on.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT! YOU GET TO DECIDE! THE ONLY RULE IS TO HAVE LOTS OF FUN!
Download instructions to print: