Rain Stick

It is believed that Rain Sticks were used by indigenous farming tribes in arid climates with the hopes of calling for rain for their crops. They were often made from dried cacti, bamboo or hollow reeds then filled with pebbles or beans, and beautifully painted with beautiful patterns.

Rain Stick

Skill Level


Time to Make

2 hours including drying time

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Paint the kitchen towel tube with acrylic paint. Leave to dry. Then apply another coat of paint, leave to dry.
  2. Make up a palette of different colour acrylic paints. Have a cotton bud for each of the different coloured paint.
  3. Using the cotton buds, paint and decorate the outside of the tube with different dot patterns. Leave to dry.
  4. Cut the necks off of two balloons. Stretch one of the balloons over the end of the tube securely.
  5. Cut off a long piece of foil, crinkle it up in a long thin sausage. Fold in half and twist to create loops for the rice to fall through. Carefully insert this into the tube.
  6. Now add about half a cup of rice. Put your hand over the end and turn upside down and listen to the sound. If you want to increase the sound, add more rice, but it should have a gentle sound like falling rain.
  7. Seal the end of the rain stick with the other balloon as before. Secure the balloons in place with masking tape, then paint over the masking tape. Leave to dry.
  8. Wrap jute twine or cotton string around the top of the rain stick and securely tie, leaving about 30cm for threading beads onto and tieing feathers for decoration. Tie the end securely to the bottom of the tube.
  9. When complete, slowly turn upside down and listen to the sound of rain!
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Top Tip

Instead of balloons, you could use coloured paper to seal the ends stuck down with masking tape.

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