Here’s how to make a rainstick using a cardboard tube and some crafting materials. The kids loved making this homemade instrument and using it to explore sound!
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Homemade rainsticks make a great craft for kids and a fun science activity too. The kids love the creative freedom of being able to decorate their rainsticks and especially love using them to make music and explore various sounds created by the different materials placed inside the tubes. (This post contains affiliate links.)
How to Make a Rainstick Instrument
Materials for Homemade Rainstick
- Sturdy cardboard tube (We used the empty cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll.)
- Paint (This is our favorite tempera paint!)
- Large, brown paper grocery bag
- Pipe cleaners and/or craft wire
- Beads, rice, beans, or other material for inside the rainstick
Directions for Homemade Rainstick
1. Start by painting your cardboard tube. We pained ours to resemble a piece of hollow wood. Let it dry.
2. Cut out two circles from a large, paper grocery bag. We crumpled the paper up to make it soft and look worn. We also cut some fringe around the outside of the circle.
3. Attach one circle to the end of your cardboard tube using a rubber band.
4. Experiment with different ways to fill your rainsticks.
Lucy’s favorite combination was placing a few twisted pipe cleaners into the rainstick along with rice. It sounded most like a typical sound you’d expect from a rainstick.
In a separate rainstick we tried twisted craft wire with dried beans. This was Theo’s favorite combination because the sound was louder with the hard beans knocking into the metal wire as they traveled down the tube.
5. Once you’re happy with the sound of your rainstick, rubberband the other paper circle to the opposite end.
6. Tie some different colored pieces to yarn to each end.
Create music and explore sound with your homemade rainsticks!
Another Rainstick Craft Option
You can also buy a rainstick craft kit from Discount School Supply that has everything you need to make a set of 12. This set is similar to the project described above in the post, but uses foam stickers as decoration and beads and cardboard as the insert for the tube. It’s a nice option if you’re creating with a large group and want all the materials prepped and ready to go.
I bought this kit to do with my kindergarten enrichment class. I loved that everything was ready to go and it was basically mess-free!
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Be sure to check out STEAM Kids book and ebook for even more creative STEM and STEAM ideas!