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Rain sticks are those fun instruments that you turn upside down to make it sound like rain.
Today I’m showing you how to make kid-friendly rain sticks that actually work.
Note: You’ll find more weather-related activities on my Weather Unit Study page.
To make these rain sticks, we gathered the following supplies:
- Paper towel roll
- Aluminum foil
- Clear tape
- Wooden spoon
- Broom handle
- Colored paper
- Optional: Funnel
We started by tearing a sheet of foil about 10″ long.
We twisted the foil into a stick-like shape.
And we wrapped it around the handle of a broom to make a spiral.
Then we tore a small piece of foil about 7″ long.
We twisted this piece of foil into a skinny, wire-like shape.
We wrapped this thin piece of foil around the handle of a wooden spoon in order to make a tight spiral.
We then inserted the smaller spiral into the larger spiral.
Note: This is the key step that makes the rain stick work.
Next, we placed the end of the paper towel roll onto a sheet of paper and traced a circle around it. We did this twice (once for each end).
We then drew a bigger circle around the small circles we had just drawn.
We cut out the larger circles, and used scissors to make a lot of cuts from the edge of the paper to the inner circle.
We then taped the paper to the end of the paper towel roll, wrapping the flaps we had cut up the sides of the tube and securing them with clear tape.
Once one end of the tube was secured, we inserted the two foil spirals we had created.
Then we added about 1/4 cup of dried rice to the tube.
We then secured the other end of the tube with the other circle of paper we had cut.
We used lots of tape to make sure everything stayed together.
We then wrapped a sheet of colored paper around the outside of the tube to make it bright and colorful.
The kids decorated their rain sticks with markers and rubber bands.
And then the rain dance began!
More weather resources
More weather posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Books about the weather
- Weather 3-part cards
- DIY weather station
- Water cycle demonstration
- Two ways to make a cloud in a jar
- Cloud classification activities
- Cloud classification craft
- DIY weather vane
- Wind resistance experiment
- Make a tornado in a bottle
- How do hurricanes form?
- Make a hurricane
- Printable weather Bingo game
- Printable weather I Spy game
You’ll find more resources for learning about weather on my Weather Unit Study page or my Weather Activities Pinterest board.
Love the rainstick.
Do you think this would work just as well with toilet paper rolls? Thx. Super fun idea!
I imagine it would work, although you’ll get a better sound with longer tubes. In fact, I think doing it with wrapping paper tubes would be awesome!
Try the tubes from the artificial grass from the hardware stores even. Fun challenge… )
I just made one with a wrapping paper tube, and it came out awesome! Thanks so much!
Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it.
Toilet paper rolls would be too brief… Maybe tie a few together- lengthwise and horizontally…greater duration of enjoyment??
And get the band together fora rockin’ monsoon storm! Exciting!!
Did you tape the tin foil down inside? Very neat idea…I love that there are no crazy materials required!
I do no believe we taped the coils of aluminum foil inside the tube.
This looks so much easier than the one I made w-a-y back when I was a Kindergarten teacher in the 1990’s. We had to push what seemed like hundreds of straight pins in the tube. Can’t wait to try the aluminum foil with my grandchildren!
Do you recommend for preschool ages?
Looks like a fun project!
Preschoolers would need some support with the project to be able to do it successfully, but it could work with the right supports in place. And I’m sure they’d have fun using their rain sticks when they are done.
Do you think you could cover this with duct tape..to make it sturdier? I have toddlers.
Just an FYI – I used your tutorial as a link on my blog today. One of the best designs for a home-made rain stick out there and seriously is better than the ones my kids brought home in preschool!
Thank you! We thought they worked pretty well too.
I’ve made rainsticks with Pringles cans. They are sturdy and would eliminate needing to cut circles for the ends. They sound great too!
Can’t wait to try these!
Updated it too include an additional set of the tin foil so that it touches both ends. Now it really sounds like rain. Awesome quarantine project, thanks for sharing
Hi Rachel, If you could please, What do you mean you included an additional set of foil? Do you mean you used two of the skinnier foils? Another large foil spiral? Did you make them all longer? I appreciate that you commented though. I want to do this with my grandson. He’d love this. Thanks.
Thank you ? sounds like the best way to make rainsticks with my middle school 6th grade students. I researched other ways and decided that you have the best way. I will post when I try this.
GENIUS!! Love this idea. My grandson will enjoy this craft. Will try some of the suggestions on the comments also!! Thanks for sharing, appreciate the step by step photos.
Cool can’t wait to try it!
I love making rain stick’s! they are so fun to make! I also like to make them with other things.