Make your own rainstick!

Share: Email Print

The rainstick is a musical instrument played in the belief that it could bring about rainstorms.

Before starting this activity, be sure to get permission and ask for help.

What You Need

  • Cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels or a poster tube
  • Aluminum foil (scraps will work if you have enough of them)
  • Cardboard scraps (for end caps)
  • Popcorn kernels (unpopped)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers, paint, stickers or other art supplies to decorate your rainstick.

What You Do

  1. Place the end of your tube on a piece of cardboard and trace around it. Do this twice, so you have two circles. Then, cut out the circles. These will be the end caps of your rainstick.
  2. Glue one of your end caps on and let it dry. You will use the other one later.
  3. Using aluminum foil scraps or new foil, roll your aluminum foil into a long "snake." Your "snake" should be twice as long as your tube and about 1/2" in diameter.
  4. Push your aluminum foil "snake" into the tube, zig zagging it back and forth so it will fit.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels into the tube. Glue on the other end cap to the open end of your tube.
  6. Finish by decorating your cardboard tube using any kind of materials you want—be creative!

To play your rainstick, tilt it back and forth. The popcorn kernels falling over the foil will sound like rain!

County Links for Educational Resources

  • Anoka
  • Carver
  • Dakota
  • Hennepin
  • Ramsey
  • Washington