Cultures throughout history have developed a variety of means of rainmaking, or welcoming and celebrating the coming of the rain or the ending of the rains. Because of the seriousness of droughts effect on agriculture and the food supply, since earliest times people have practiced an assortment of rainmaking rituals.

The rainstick was probably made originally from a natural occurring plant that has internal fibers and mature seeds. When the ends were sealed off, the stick was tipped over so the seeds would bounce around inside. This created a sound similar to falling rain.

You can build your own rainstick and create the sounds of a thunderstorm in your own house!

You will need

1. One cardboard tube (from birthday wrapping paper)

2. Two plastic cups with the bottoms cut out

3. A selection of seed, beads or other small items (called fill)

4. Glue (wood glue works the best)

5. Flexible tape measure or string

6. Pencil

7. Masking tape

8. Scissors

9. Nail Clippers

10. Hand or Electric Drill (have mom or dad help you with this)

11. Toothpicks

12. Paper, markers, sand, yarn, feathers, paint and other items to decorate the outside of the rainstick

Here is how to make it!

Drill or poke holes in the cardboard tube. Be extra careful not to collapse the tube by pressing too hard.

Put the toothpicks through the holes. Leave a little bit of the toothpick sticking out. You can insert the toothpick into the tube at different lengths. This will produce a variety of sounds.

Next, glue around the outside of toothpick where it sticks out of
the tube. Wait until it dries then clip off any toothpick that sticks
out more than 1/4" from the tube.

Take one of the cup bottoms and tape it to one end of your rainstick. Next turn the tube upside down and pour in the "fill". Tape or glue the other cup bottom to the open end of the tube.

Carefully turn your rainstick over and over and listen to the sounds.

The last item for you to complete is decorating your rainstick. You can coat your stick with glue and roll it in sand (that's a little messy but great fun.) After it dries add any decorations you would like. One good idea is to decorate it with natural items, such a small pebbles, corn kernels, nuts, bark and leaves.
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