Make a see-through rainstick that makes the sound of rain falling. The gentle sound of a rainstick sensory bottle can help children focus and learn to self-regulate. Learn how to make a rainstick with this easy musical sensory bottle tutorial.
This musical rainstick instrument has quickly become one of our family’s all-time favorite sensory bottles.
Discovery bottles like this see-through rainstick can be used in many ways. They can be used to help children learn to self-regulate, for no mess safe sensory play, and help children (and adults) calm down and unwind.
For more information about sensory bottles and their uses check out Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101.
Related: Nature-Inspired Sensory Bottles
What is a Rainstick?
A rainstick is a musical instrument that when tipped from top to bottom makes a sound similar to the gentle pitter-pat of rain falling.
They are commonly made in the shape of a tube and partially filled with small pebbles, beans, or rice. A rainstick is often made with small pins or thorns arranged on its inside surface.
This rainstick craft is made with sticks instead of thorns or pins!
DIY Rainstick Musical Instrument
This see-through rainstick musical sensory bottle stimulates both the auditory and visual sensory systems. Tipping it from top to bottom causes the rice to bounce off of the sticks and produce a sound reminiscent of rain falling.
Kids love to watch the rice fall and listen to the gentle pitter-patter of rain.
Speaking of the sound of rain, one of our favorite rainy day rain songs is “It’s Raining Outside” by Nancy Kopman. Click on THIS link to see the video, and THIS link to purchase and download the song.
For more awesome kids music check out Kids’ Music That Won’t Drive You Nuts!
Rainstick Craft Supplies
You probably have everything you need to make a see-through rainstick at home and in your backyard. All you need is some rice, a few sticks, and a bottle from your recycle bin!
- Water bottle (Look for a bottle from the recycle bin that makes a nice sound)
- Goo Gone
- Sticks and twigs
- Super Glue
Related: Recycled DIY Chalk Paint
How to Make a Rainstick: Step by Step Tutorial
To make this rainstick sensory bottle you will need to first need to go on a nature hunt for some sticks and twigs.
I like to have my daughter help me make our sensory bottles out on our DIY Outdoor Art Table & Mud Kitchen.
When we make sensory bottles, I like to add in some homeschool lessons to make it into an educational activity. The rainstick tutorial below shares a few tips about how to do this.
Step 1 – Grab a bottle from the recycle bin.
Peel off the sticker on the bottle and remove any sticky residue with Goo Gone.
Step 2 – Fill the bottle with sticks and twigs
Invite your children to fill the recycled bottle with small sticks and twigs to exercise their fine motor muscles.
Have them tangle them up a bit and going in different directions rather than sticking them all straight into the bottle. This will create more surface area for the rice to bounce off of to produce the sound of rain.
Feel free to add in a science lesson about sound and gravity if you are making these with your children.
Related: Rainbow Rainy day Art
Step 3 – Add rice to rainstick craft
Invite your children to add 5 – 10 teaspoons of rice to the rainstick musical sensory bottle to practice scooping and transferring. Scooping and transferring the rice from a bag or jar into a bottle is a fantastic hand-eye coordination activity for kids.
Shhh… don’t tell them that they are learning. It will be our little secret! 😉
Step 4 – Place the lid on the rainstick DIY sensory bottle
Put the lid on your homemade rainstick and slowly tip your musical sensory bottle instrument from top to bottom to hear the gentle pitter-patter of rain.
Related: DIY Geometric Puzzle Toy for Kids
DIY Rainstick Instrument Tips
Play with your DIY rainstick sensory bottle for a day or two to make sure you like it. You may find that you want more or less rice, or more or less sticks inside of it.
Once you are happy with the way your see-through rainstick looks and sounds, glue on the lid and hand it over to your kids to play with.
A DIY rainstick calm-down bottle is a musical instrument that is fun to watch and listen to… It makes the gentle sound of pitter-patting rain when tipped slowly from top to bottom.
To learn more about sensory bottles, their uses, how to make them, and troubleshooting tips check out Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If You Liked This Rainstick Sensory Botle, You may also like:
- Butterfly Sensory Bottle
- DIY Rainbow Loom Band Ringer Game Sensory Bottle
- Sea Shells Sensory Bottle
- Nature-Inspired Sensory Bottles
- Outdoor Activities for Kids
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the power of the imagination, learning through play, making this world a greener place to live, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…