Make a Rain Stick

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Around this time every year, people around these parts start begging for rain.  Whether it is to green up their browning yards, replenish their drooping crops, or simply to have a break from the stifling heat…a forecast that includes rain in late July typically has people jumping for joy.  :)


I’ve teamed up with Babble’s Virtual Summer Camp to demonstrate how to make your very own rain stick.  It’s way easier than you might think and lots of fun!  Whether or not it helps precipitation to fall from the sky, it does make a beautiful musical instrument!


Here’s what you’ll need:  a thick and sturdy cardboard tube (like from an empty roll of plastic wrap or wrapping paper–do not use a paper towel roll, it is not thick enough), hammer, nails, thumb tacks, rice, popcorn kernels (not pictured), 2 beverage caps (not pictured) and duct tape.  

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1.  Carefully hammer in nails into the cardboard tube.  Big Brother isn’t old enough for me to trust him using a hammer and nails, so I did this step (I involved him in the process later on as you’ll see).



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2.  Remove (yes, I said remove) the nails from the cardboard tube (I know, I know…the things we do for our kids).  :)



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3.  Let your child put the nails back into the pre-hammered holes.




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 I even let him “hammer” a few of the thumb tacks.



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4.  Secure one end of the cardboard tube.  I have been saving our milk jug and beverage caps for a long time.  Thankfully, the Odwalla caps fit inside the end of the tube perfectly!




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5.  Add your rice.  I put approximately 1/2 cup of rice into the tube.




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 I also added some popcorn kernels (approximately 1/4 cup).




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 6.  Cover the cardboard tube with duct tape.  Big Brother chose gold…I was hoping to find something like this.  :)




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7.  Decorate your rain stick.  We used yarn for a tribal look.




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 All done!




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 Big Brother decided to combine the rain stick along with a rain dance


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Less than 5 hours later, look what happened!  Coincidence?  I think not!  :)



Literature Link:

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain Aardema Verna 9780140546163 300x238 Make a Rain Stick

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema

This intriguing book about a drought in Africa has a soothing rhyme that builds on itself.  Although there aren’t any rain sticks in this story, it is a great book that introduces African culture.

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The Rain Stick by Sandra Chisholm Robinson

 This book is another one that teaches elements of African culture, but it is much longer and less-appropriate for young children than Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain.  There are also instructions for making your own rain stick at the end of the book (although you could use this tutorial instead).  :)

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I am honored to be a camp counselor along with some other amazing bloggers- Mama MissMeaningful MamaTutus & Tea PartiesFun at Home with KidsCoffee Cups and CrayonsInspired by Familia, and See Vanessa Craft.

Here are some of the activities and crafts that have already been posted by these wonderful bloggers:

Tin Can Lanterns by Coffee Cups and Crayons

DIY Recycled Box Playhouse by Inspired by Familia

Crate Lemonade Stand for Kids by See Vanessa Craft

DIY Homemade Sparkling Beads by Mama Miss

Snow Cone Sensory Play by Tutus & Tea Parties

Water Obstacle Course by Meaningful Mama

You can also join our Facebook Summer Camp Online Community. Our camp counselors will be linking up more activities there, and we welcome you to add your summer fun ideas. Click on the right hand corner of the Facebook page where it says “Join Group,” to join this private online community.

Finally, be sure to link up your own summer fun ideas here.


  1. says

    Wow this is great fun for my 3.5 year old and I! He keeps playing with it in between decorating it. :) Love that you include books to go with the craft (although, unfortunately, my library doesn’t carry them). Thanks for sharing!

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