Rainsticks from Recyclables

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by: Andrea Mulder-Slater

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Finally, it's decorating time! Paint fun designs using bright bold colors and attach whatever is at your fingertips: fabric, tree bark, raffia, sand, shells, feathers ... found objects. All that's left to do is shake your color rhythm rainstick and wait for the thunder.

Younger children can use small cardboard tubes instead of large carpet tubes. Paper towel rolls, gift-wrapping or mailing tubes will all work wonderfully. Poke holes using an awl (or a sharp pencil) and use toothpicks instead of nails. You may need to add a dab of glue to hold the toothpicks in place.

Facts

Legend has it that the Chilean People invented the rainstick to make rainy weather. The rainstick is a type of tubular rattle that has been used by many cultures in various ways. The rainstick has an unusual internal structure: an interior maze formed of cactus spines, wooden pegs, bamboo, or palm slivers is what makes the rainstick different from other tube rattles. The cylinder is filled with pebbles, hard seeds, beans, sand, rice, or tiny shells.

One traditional method of making rainsticks is to use cactus. The spines or thorns are "hammered" inward and lava rock is poured inside the hollow tube. The sounds created when the lava rock hits the many thorns inside the cactus tube mimic the sound of rain falling on the leaves. Now you know.

© Andrea Mulder-Slater | KinderArt | http://www.kinderart.com