How To Make Rainsticks

Rainsticks for my Kindergarten Music Class

"Many traditional cultures believed the sound of falling rain that rainsticks made could produce a storm. Although that belief has faded from contemporary society, rainsticks are still used to this day. The instrument is usually made from a long, hollow tube filled with pebbles or beads. Walls of the tube are stick with iron nails, cactus needles or something similar. When the stick is turned over, it produces the sound of falling rain.
 Rainsticks may also be made with other common materials like paper towel rolls instead of cactus, and nails or toothpicks instead of thorns and are often sold to tourists visiting parts of Latin America, including the Southern United States." 

For instructions on making Rainsticks, visit

Here are the steps I used in making these fun instruments:

Paper Towel Holder and Duct Tape

 1. First seal off one end of the tube. I suppose fancy duct tape would like nice.

2. Take a strip (like 2" wide) of aluminum fol and bend it like a ladder with many steps.

3. Place inside the tube and adjust the fit.

4. Add a scoop of rice. Not too much, not even 1/2 cup.

5. Wrap some type of paper around. I used card stock (what I had) but any type of scrap book paper.

6. Seal off the top with tape and decorate.

7. I used multi-color yarn that I had on hand.

Paper Wrap. Rainforest theme would be nice here.

Secure top to keep rice inside!

With just a little bit of falling beads or rice, making it's way through a piece of folded aluminum foil, will produce the desired effect of gently falling rain.

So, I had all the boys and girls form a circle. They were very gentle with their new instruments. I went to the piano and played "Aloha Oe", Queen Lili'oukalani, while they swayed to the music with their rainsticks.

Children's Book for ages 4-10

We're Roaming in the Rainforest

Three children embark on a day-long trek through the rainforest, discovering all sorts of exotic creatures in their natural habitats. The charming, rhyming text highlights an adjective for each creature. The story is complemented by educational end notes about the creatures in the story, and the peoples of the rainforest.
Written By: Laurie Krebs
Illustrated By: Anne Wilson

You can order this book online at, 

This Barefoot Book, along with other jungle themes, goes well with rainsticks. I have wooden ones and have seen them at the Dollar Store, too. Have you ever made them before? I'm so pleased that the kids were gentle with them and loved the sound of falling rain. All in all, it was a very peaceful, soothing time at music class!

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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