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Whispering Rain Stick

Quick Crafts

overview

make the most magical of sounds with this whispering rain stick! close your eyes and imagine your very own magic realm with the pitter patter of rain all around

purpose: rain sticks are a percussion instrument believed to be used in ceremonies to bring forth rain. when the stick is tilted, the softly falling objects inside sound like falling rain. you can control the volume, length, and quality of the sound by how fast you tilt the stick, and at what angle.

origin story: although they can be found in many cultures, rain sticks most likely came from the Diaguite, an indigenous people from northern Chile. traditionally, rain sticks were made using dried, hollow cactus shells. spikes were hammered into these sticks, in a spiral shape, to create the obstacle inside . in other places, rain sticks are made from bamboo and reeds. things like pebbles, seeds, and sand, have been used to fill the sticks.

30 minutes

maker checklist

  • cardboard tubes
  • aluminum foil
  • dried rice or lentils
  • rubber bands
  • tape
  • cardstock
  • craft foam
  • crafty bits

instructions

1

tape together two or three cardboard tubes to make one long tube.

2

trace the end of the tube on a piece of cardstock, and draw a bigger circle around it, about 1.5 inches wider all around. Cut it out and fringe the space between the two. Make two of these for end caps.

3

seal one end of the tube by placing the circle over it, folding down, and securing with tape or a rubber band.

4

roll a sheet of foil into a long snake. twist it around a marker, to make a coil. pop the coil into the tube and add rice or lentils. these should only fill up about 1/10 of the stick.

test the sound by covering the open end with your hand, and tipping the tube over! tweak as needed.

change the sound by trying different fillings or coil shapes.

find a balance so that the coils slow down the falling objects, but still let them all through, for a fuller and longer sound.

5

seal the open end and decorate with color and crafty bits!