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Make It Yourself: Rainstick with a Thunderstorm Song

Updated: May 11, 2020

I love rainy days! Raindrops on the roof and thunder in the air are some of the best sounds in the world. One of my favorite musical activities is "making a thunderstorm" out of instruments. We will be making a rainstick for today's "Make It Yourself Monday"! In this blog and the first video below, I will show you what you need and how to put together your new instrument. Then, in the second video, we will sing a thunderstorm song, complete with rain, thunder, and lightning!

Every good thunderstorm needs some rain! To make it yourself, you will need:

1. A paper towel roll

2. Tape or glue

3. Aluminum foil (2 pieces, 6" wide x 18" long)

4. Scissors

5. A pencil

6. Construction paper, copy paper, or lined paper

7. Popcorn kernels, rice, lentils, beans, or beads

Optional: decorations for the outside of your rainstick!

Now, let's "make it yourself"!

1. We are going to start by making the coverings for both ends of the paper towel tube. Use the paper towel tube ends to trace a circle onto your paper. Make two circles on your construction paper - and make sure to space them out!

2. Draw a larger circle around each of the circles you just drew on the paper. They should look like big Cheerios!

3. Draw 12 (or so) straight lines connecting the outer circle to the inner circle.

4. Cut out the circles along the outer circle border.

5. Next, cut along each line from the outer circle to the inner circle. It should kind of look like a sun!

6. Cover one end of your paper towel tube with one of the cut circles. You will need to "cup" the circle to get all of the paper to fit snuggly around the tube.

7. Tape or glue the paper to the paper towel tube to close one end of your rainstick! 8. Twist your two pieces of aluminum foil (6" wide x 18" long) into a spring shape.

9. Place both aluminum foil springs inside the paper towel tube.

10. Pour your kernels, rice, beans, lentils, or beads into the paper towel roll.

11. Close the other end of the paper towel tube with your other circle just as you did in steps 6 and 7.

Optional: Now decorate! Make your rainstick look unique!

Watch the first video below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your rainstick. In the second video, Abigail Loyd, MT-BC, leads a thunderstorm song - a perfect chance to try out your new instrument and make some music!

For more information about music therapy, explore our website and send us a message. We would love to hear from you!

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