Making a rainstick is easy to do, and the results are totally worth it – with a tube this long, you get a really soothing rain sound.

Ever since I saw this post from Counting Coconuts on how to make a rainstick, I have been wanting to make one with the boys!  I led an “instrument time” with Gresham’s choir at church tonight (4 & 5 year olds), so I decided that this was just the excuse we needed to make one!  Well, two, actually!

Make a Rainstick

A rainstick is so fun for toddlers to explore!

Make a Rainstick

To make one, you will need:

  • A heavy cardboard mailing tube – we found ours at a postal store
  • Nails
  • A hammer
  • Something to fill the rainstick – we used a mixture of lima beans and some smaller beans from a soup mix.  Other options for filler are pebbles or rice.  I think the sound is neat if you use something large (like lima beans) and something small as well.
  • Duct tape.  We’re all about utility here – I wanted it to be sturdy enough to stand up to lots of use (since I teach music and will have a lot of opportunities to use this), and since I wanted the nails to be well-covered.

Step 1:  Hammer nails into the mailing tube.

We used a LOT of nails.  I bought a 1 lb. package, and we had to run back to Walmart for more!  But then again, we did make two rainsticks, and our tubes were large.

The inside looks pretty scary!

Step 2:  Fill your tube with beans/rocks/etc. Experiment with different amounts if necessary to see what gives the best sound.

Step 3:  Decorate your rainstick! I wasn’t sure if paper would hold up very well with all the nail heads sticking out, especially since we were taking them to a preschool choir class!  The duct tape option worked pretty well, I think.  They aren’t very pretty, but the texture is interesting to hold, and they’re sturdy!  We taped the lids down on the tubes so that there is no chance of beans spilling or little hands getting poked on all those nails!

There’s something attractive about the sound of a rainstick – this is one noise-making toy that I can stand to listen to (over and over)!

Linked to Frugal Friday

4 Comments

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  1. Deborah Apr 14, 2011

    I love that it is so tall!! Full body rain:)

    Reply
    1. michele Aug 25, 2015

      What do u put in the ends

      Reply
      1. Sarah Aug 25, 2015

        The mailing tube came with caps on both ends. Then we taped them shut.

        Reply
    2. Linda Jan 5, 2012

      These look neat. Any ideas if of what to use if you don't have mailing tubes?

      Reply
      1. Karin Jan 27, 2012

        You could use wrapping paper tube rolls as well.

        Reply
        1. Sharon Apr 5, 2013

          Tried this with my grandkids last night and they had fun hammering all the nails. Hint: The more nails they hammered the better the results.

          Reply
          1. Sarah Apr 5, 2013

            That is definitely true. We used a LOT of nails for ours! I'm glad they had fun!

            Reply

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