As I'm writing this, I'm listening to the pitter patter of raindrops on my roof. Maybe God's answering my little boy's bedtime prayers (see last picture).
Here's how to help your own kiddo make a rain stick:
Step 1: Mom, use a small nail to poke holes in a paper towel roll.
Step 2: Mom, insert plastic toothpicks in one hole and out another. To get the desired sound, make sure that your toothpicks are going all different ways (including slanted) through the roll.
Step 3: Mom, this may sound crazy, but next I heated my accupunctured-looking paper towel roll in the microwave for about 35 seconds. This made the plastic toothpicks flexible. I then slowly bent the pokey parts down (or up) and covered them with a good amount of masking tape. It's not a big deal if they snap off; the toothpicks just stay in place better with the sides bent and taped. Just make sure that any sharp pieces are covered with a lot of tape!
Step 4: Mom, cover one of the ends with a piece of wax paper. Next, cover the wax paper completely with tape. I did a criss-cross method, which seemed to work really well.
Step 5: Mom and Kiddo can now work together to wrap the rain stick like a mummy. This was actually really easy! Just attach the end of the tape to the stick and start turning it (the stick). The whole instrument will be covered in no time!
Step 6: Let your little one add the rain! We used dried beans, pasta wheels, and broken pieces of spaghetti.
Step 7: Work together to cover the open end the same way that you did in Step 4. Landon held the wax paper while I taped.
Step 7: Color the rain stick! Paint won't adhere to masking tape very well (I know you're disappointed), but crayons will work great!
Step 8: Teach your child how to slowly turn the rain stick to make it sound authentic.
Step 9: Snuggling one's newly treasured rain stick while sleeping, is optional. :)
Note: Just a head's up, the mom prep work on this project took me about 20 minutes (steps 1-4). Landon and I usually do our "Special Time" right after his afternoon nap so that I can gather and prepare materials while he's sleeping. Just an idea that works for us.