How to Make Musical Rain Sticks
April 17, 2019
Rain sticks have long been part of the musical cultures of people in South America, Southeast Asia, Australia and Africa. They’re made by using hollow tubes partially filled with pebbles or beans. When the tube is upended, the sound made by the items inside tumbling down is reminiscent of the “music” of falling rain.
This activity, which is appropriate for children ages 4-6, also provides an opportunity to discuss the benefits of rain and how it supports wetlands.
To make your rain stick, you’ll need:
- Empty paper towel roll
- Aluminum foil
- Masking tape
- Small amount of birdseed or rice
First, crumple the aluminum lengthwise so that it will fit into the paper towel roll from top to bottom. Use the masking tape to cover the bottom end of the paper towel roll. Next, pour the birdseed or rice into the tube. Then use the tape to cover the top of the tube. To make the “rain music”, upend the tube, letting the seeds tumble over the foil as they move from one end to the other.
You can further customize your rain stick by having your child decorate it with crayons or paint.
Here are some questions you can ask your child during the activity:
Why is rain important?
How does rain affect wetlands?
What would happen to the wetlands if there was no rain?
Thanks to Mr. Colby and the children at Kiddie Academy of Abingdon for letting us come in and watch them make their rain sticks.
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