DIY: Rain Stick

Make a rainstick using recycled materials and things from around the house! A fantastic musical instrument for young children that sounds just like falling rain!DIY rainstick tutorial

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 I’ve been wanting to try making one of these for so long! A parent of a child I once taught told me how to make a rain stick (or rain maker) while we were doing a project about the rainforest. It is so easy!

You need a tube of any size made from VERY thick, strong cardboard or soft plastic. An ordinary toilet roll is too thin and won’t work. Apart from that you just need a hammer, some small nails (I used panel pins) and something to put inside the tube to make the noise with. We used a big scoop of butter beans and pinto beans (left over from the dinosaur small world play!)

Tap the small nails into the tube at random intervals until there is one every few inches or so. Not very technical, but it doesn’t really need to be!

If your two year old begs to have a go too, then that’s up to you. We went with it and she had a really good attempt at banging (with the wrong side of the hammer lots of the time!) I tapped a couple in part way for her and she had fun bashing them the rest of the way and was pretty impressed with herself.

The right way around now. Look at that concentration!

This is what it will look like on the inside of the tube when you have finished. The more nails you tap in, the longer it will take for the beans to fall through, making the noise last longer.

Then you need to drop your chosen filling inside. I’m sure there are 101 things you could use from rice to macaroni, couscous to beads!

Next she covered some plain paper in glue and wrapped the tube up in it. You can choose to cover it in whatever way you please, but beware that the nails need to be covered somehow to stop little fingers working out a way to pull them out!

We needed two sheets of A4 paper and she needed help to wrap it securely.

Ta da! Ready to be decorated.

Next she covered the whole tube in glue then had a wonderful time emptying the contents of the Jar of Wonder and sticking them all over it.

I had a packet of animal print papers from the £1 shop and we tore them into pieces together (a fun activity all by itself!) and added those too. They seem appropriate and fit the jungly rain stick theme!

A lot of concentrated effort went into this decorating!

The finished product! She could have gone on adding layers and layers of collage if I’d left her to it! Instead I gave her another stack of coloured paper and she started sticking on there instead.

Testing it out! It sounds fabulous, like a slow shower of heavy rain. Just perfect for doing rain dances and adding to our music basket.

“Hear dat Mummy!”

This activity is good for:
* creativity and imagination
* knowledge and understanding of the world: instruments, tools, building, design and technology
* distinguishing and describing sounds
* music making
* dance and movement
* fine motor skills: sticking, tearing, glueing, tapping nails, shaking

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