This morning my two oldest kids were itching to do an art project. After a couple minutes trying to figure out what to do I decided that we had all the necessary ingredients for making Rainsticks.
Rainsticks are ceremonial musical instruments that are/were used to invoke the rain spirits. They are typically made by people who live in the deserts of northern Chile. And they are traditionally made from dead cactus tubes with hundreds of cactus spines hammered into the tube. Tiny pebbles or stones cascade gently through the tube, sounding much like rain. I am sure you have probably seen them before at arts and crafts festivals.
We did not have cactus tubes on hand unfortunately. When we lived in Arizona we could have found these easy within the state land that formed our back yard but alas Ohio is short on cactus. ;) So we used cardboard mailing tubes, nails, and rice. We decorated our tubes with Tempera paint.
We hammered a couple dozen nails into our mailing tubes, filled with a cup or so of rice, tested to hear the lovely sounds they made, and then painted. Here are some pictures. The kids are quite proud of their rainsticks and we had a fun time making them. They are out trying to invoke the rain spirits right now. We could use the rain!
If you have any mailing tubes laying around this is a great way to recycle them.