Winter is here and those days of rain—sleet—snow—or the dreaded “wintry mix” are upon us. Keep the kids (and yourself) from going stir-crazy with an arts-and-crafts project that’s easy to follow and will provide endless amusement, even once the weather has cleared…
Sharon Lovejoy’s Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars offers 130 child-friendly activities including how to make rainsticks, a primitive musical instrument, which are traditionally made from cactus-branches and filled with small objects to reproduce the sound of rain, hail or rushing water when shaken. But no worries, you don’t have to procure dried cacti to keep your young ones entertained. Instead, kids can get crafty and make their own version of a rainstick with items found around the house.
To make the rainsticks you’ll need:
- Empty cardboard tubes from toilet-paper length to wrapping-paper length (mailing tubes with end coverings are great.)
- Colorful papers, stickers
- Crayons, markers, or paint
- Paper muffin cups
- Rubber bands (thick)
- Packing tape
- Aluminum foil
- Small pebbles, beans, lentils, rice, seeds, coarse sand
- Beads, feathers, ribbons, buttons or shells
Decorate the outside of the cardboard tubes with bits of paper, paint, crayons, stickers, or markers. Let the tube dry. Then place a muffin cup over one end, secure it with a rubber band, and wrap it with tape to hold it in place.
Tear off a piece of aluminum foil twice as long as the tube. Roll the aluminum foil into a thin snake and kink and twist it until it is like a long, loosely coiled spring. Push the spring of the foil inside the tube (it should reach from end to end) to act as an inside sound diffuser.
Fill the tube with a few tablespoons of beans, lentils, pebbles or rice. Each ingredient has its own sound. Cap the open end with another paper muffin cup, secure with a rubber band, then wrap it with tape. Once the rainstick is filled and capped, additional decorations can be added, such as long strips of ribbon or twine, feathers, shells, beads, buttons and bells. Colorful papers can also be painted or pasted to either of the ends.
Check back tomorrow for more from Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars