Make a Rainstick

You’ll need:

  • Cardboard tube about 18” long
  • Flat head nails
  • Hammer
  • Dried beans, dry rice, unpopped popcorn, dry tiny pasta
  • Brown paper from a grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers, crayons, construction paper, stickers, paint, magazine cutouts, yarn, etc.

1. Carefully hammer nails into cardboard tube. If needed, use phone books or blocks on either side of tube to stop it from rolling. You can place the nails randomly or in a pattern, but when you look into your tube you should see a maze of nails.

2. On the brown paper, trace the end of your tube. Then draw a bigger circle around it. Cut out larger circle.

3. Draw lines between the circles. Then cut along lines to make spokes.

4. Put glue on spokes and glue the cap to one end of tube. Let dry.

5. With one end of the tube sealed, put a mixture of dry rice, beans, seeds, or corn kernels into the tube. Cover the open end with your hand and tip over to hear how the stick sounds. Add or remove mixture to improve sound. Remember, you don’t want your rainstick to be too heavy, so don’t put in too much filling.

6. When you’re happy with the sound, repeat steps 2-4 to seal the other end of the tube.

7. Decorate the outside of the tube using markers, crayons, paint, construction paper, magazine cutouts, yarn, or stickers.

8. Now play your rainstick by tipping it back and forth. Sounds are made by the beans, rice, and seeds hitting the nails inside of the tube.