If you have ever lived through a summer in Texas, then you understand the lack of rain. You might also understand my desire to make rainsticks. You might have empathy for me if you, like me, have purchased iTunes files with rain falling. I sleep much better when my brain thinks it is raining outside; it's probably related back that the whole germphobia ;-).
It is a widely accepted idea that if you sing "Johnny Appleseed" and/or shake your rain stick, it will start to rain. To test this theory a few weeks ago at GS Camp, I rode around camp singing, "Oh! The LORD'S been good to me and so I thank the LORD for giving me the things I need like the sun and the RAIN and the appleseed!" all the while shaking a home-made rain stick. It rained...no lie...it was the last day after all the campers left, but it rained. I thought I might have to swim home.
So to encourage the wettest summer on record, help a gal out and let's make homemade rain sticks today! The New Oxford Dictionary tells us the following: a rainstick is a percussion instrument made from a dried cactus branch that is hollowed out, filled with small pebbles, and capped at both ends. When slightly tilted, it makes the sound of falling rain. It originated in Chile, where native people had long used the sticks to serenade the gods in hopes of bringing rain. My hubby dearest is on the look out for a bamboo that he can dry out and hammer in nails so I have a Fancy-Nancy rainstick that lasts. However, let's go simple and use things you have around your house today!
Materials for the Non-Fancy-Nancy Rainstick:
empty paper towel roll
rice, beans, or buttons
shoe polish if you want to make it look authentic
Poke your pins in a spiraling pattern down your empty paper towel roll. Use the masking tape to close off one end of your roll. Pour in your noise makers (I like rice!). Use more masking tape to close off the other end of your roll, securing your rice inside the roll. Now, at camp, I ripped more masking tape and layered it onto the roll to give a kind of log texture to the roll. I also gave it a light coat of shoe polish. Once this dried, My Daddy couldn't tell it wasn't a real stick. Either that or he was just making me feel good!