Early people thought they could influence the weather by mimicking the sound of rain. Using hollow cacti set with pins and filled with seed, drought-weary farmers summoned rain by tipping their “rain sticks” back and forth. The seeds inside the rain stick sounded like a gentle shower of water falling to the ground. Making your own rain stick is a fun craft project and a great opportunity to teach kids about a gardener’s influence on their plants! Gardeners loosen and improve the soil when they dig and add compost. When it doesn’t rain, gardeners bring water to their plants with hoses or watering cans. When it’s cold, gardeners lay row covers to protect tender seedlings. Gardeners can also accidentally harm their gardens when they add too much fertilizer or ignore signs of stress. Influence can go either way.
What you need:
• One empty, recycled paper towel tube
• One 11” x 6” piece of blank paper
• Pictures and words from magazines suggestive of rain
• Elmer’s glue
• Four rubber bands
• Recycled plastic bags (preferably blue)
• ½ lb. corn seed
- Ask your child how gardeners influence their gardens (i.e. water plants in dry weather). Is all human influence positive or negative on the earth? Ask him/her to give examples of positive and negative influences.
- Create a “rain” collage on the 11” x 6” piece of paper using magazine pictures and words. Let dry.
- When dry, cover the back of the “rain” collage with glue. Roll the completed collage onto the paper towel tube and secure with rubber bands until dry.
- Cut four round pieces from recycled plastic bags to fit over the ends of the tube. Apply glue around one end of the tube, set two plastic bag pieces over the end and secure with rubber bands.
- Fill half the tube with corn seed.
- Secure the other end of the tube using glue, two pieces of plastic bag and rubber bands. Let dry.
- Summon a gentle rain with the rain stick!