It has been hot, dry and dusty in my part of the woods. As I was helping my husband put in a food plot last week, I almost choked on all the dust while driving the tractor. After a full day of work, the seeds were in the ground and we started wishing for rain. And then, nothing. So, I did what any normal, rural gal would do, I grabbed the kids and the rainsticks and started dancing.
The rainstick is believed to have been invented by the Aztecs with the belief it could bring about rainstorms. Traditional rainsticks are usually made from any of several species of cactus. The cacti, which are hollow, are dried in the sun. The prickly spines are removed, then driven into the cactus like nails. Pebbles or other small objects are placed inside the rainstick, and the ends are sealed. When the rainstick changes direction vertically, it sounds like falling rain.
Since we lack a plethora of cactus here in Arkansas and I tend to gather what many call trash, yet we call recycling, we just made them ourselves. We have an amazing librarian, Ms. Trinity, who gathered the kids and supplies together, and got to work. She read a few books and told them stories, then wrangled all the laughter and creativity in her library room to work on the rainsticks. You should all be so lucky to have a Ms. Trinity at your library. We are blessed indeed.
Here is how we made our Recycled Rainsticks. It’s a fun, easy craft project with kids and I would appreciate it if you danced an extra little jig for us, I can still taste the dust in my mouth.
Here's what you need to make one Recycled Rainstick Craft:
- 1 empty paper towel tube
- Black marker
- 30 -35 straight pins
- Masking or painter's tape
- 1/3 cup Riceland rice
- Craft items to decorate your rainstick: such as, colored paper, paint, brushes, stickers, markers, ribbons, etc.
1. Take your empty paper towel tube and find the seam on the outside.
2. Use your black marker to draw along seam so that it's easier to see, especially for younger kids.
3. Beginning at one end, poke a straight pin through the seam about 1 inch from the end. The pin should be inside the tube with the head on the outside of the seam.
4. Following the seam, poke pins through seam an inch or less apart all the way to the other end of the tube.
5. With a piece of tape, cover pin heads along the seam of the tube to hold them securely in place.
6. Completely cover one end of pinned tube with tape.
7. Add rice to tube.
8. Completely cover the other end of the tube with tape. Shake and make sure rice doesn't leak out.
9. Tape around ends to hold tape securely.
10. Cover paper towel tube rainstick with colored paper. Tape to secure paper.
11. Decorate with paint, markers, sticker, ribbons and a lot of imagination.
Photo by Sue Anderson
12. Make beautiful Recycled Rainstick music!
As we all know, water is essential to life. And, it is very important to our farmers. Learn more about how Riceland farmers utilize and conserve water here.