Rain Sticks

These rain sticks are one of my favorite crafts we’ve done so far.  I love them!  I always thought it would be fun to make rain sticks but couldn’t think how to make them sound like a real one.  My husband and I started brainstorming and this is what we came up with.  The only thing is that there is quite a bit of prep so plan ahead.

  • Paper towel tube
  • Toothpicks
  • Exacto knife (helped to put in the toothpicks)
  • Rice
  • Some cardboard
  • Wire cutters for toothpicks (scissors could work)
  • Newspaper & Starch (for paper mache)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint
What to do:
  1. Stick the toothpicks through the inside of the tube.  Be sure to put them across going all different ways so that the rice will trickle through them and to line the tube from the top to the bottom.  I found it was easiest if I poked holes in the tube with the exacto knife and then pushed the toothpick through.  After the toothpicks are in, you want to cut off the point tips that are sticking out either side.  Don’t cut right against the tube or the toothpicks won’t stay in.  It’s alright if they are sticking out a bit because the paper mache will cover them.
  2. Trace the tube on the cardboard and cut out two circles.  These will be the ends of the rain stick.  Hot glue one circle to the end of the tube.
  3. Add the rice to the tube.  I did between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of rice.  I’m sorry I can’t be more specific but I started with a 1/4 cup and didn’t seem like enough so I added more.  You can close one end with  your hand and practice tipping it to see if you like the amount of rice in there.  Then seal up the other end of the tube with the second circle of cardboard.
  4. Paper mache the tube.  We covered the paper towel tube in paper mache for a few reasons.  It covers up the toothpick bits that are sticking out around the tube.  It also made the whole thing stronger so that little preschoolers could play with it without worry.  And finally it made the whole thing look more like real wood.  We also papermached over the ends so that the rain stick became one solid piece and the ends couldn’t come off.
  5. Finally the kiddos can paint it!  The girls picked out a few colors and then we encouraged them to paint the entire thing.  I think they look beautiful.  And they sound super cool!

The girls love playing with them, especially after we listen to the rain during this monsoon season.  And I’ll admit it, we love playing with them too.  They sound so relaxing, both of us have found ourselves just tipping the rain sticks back and forth.

Having a wild dance party with their rain sticks


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