<FONT face="Garamond, Times, Serif" color="#000000" size="4">Make Your Own Rainsticks
<FONT face="Garamond, Times, Serif" size="4">by Cait Johnson

<FONT color="#800080"><FONT face="Garamond, Times, Serif" color="#000000" size="4">The gentle, soothing rain-like sound of beans falling through a rainstick is a wonderful meditation device, helping to calm us and bring us to a place of deep peace. And did you know that you can make your own rainstick for a fraction of the cost of a purchased one? You can, and the process is so much fun.

If you're looking for an easy project that will help you to unwind, try this. You can make rainsticks with your children, too--and the results are beneficial for the whole family. (When Caitâ's son was small, his grade school class spent an afternoon making and using their own rainsticks. Everybody had a blast!) Here are the easy directions:

For each rainstick, you will need:

A heavy cardboard mailing tube with two end pieces
One pound of nails, the same length as the diameter of the tube.
1 to 2 cups of different-sized dried beans and/or raw rice
A hammer
Glue or tape
Duct tape, contact paper, or other craft paper
paints and brushes (optional)

1. Hammer the nails all over the tube, as far as they will go. This is a great way to release pent-up end-of-winter frustration--and the cardboard tube should be sturdy enough to withstand it!) You can make an even pattern or do this in a random way, as you choose.

2. Glue or tape one of the ends in place. Pour beans into the open end.

3. Glue or tape the other end in place.

4. Cover the rainstick with duct tape or contact paper, or glue craft paper on it, to help keep the nails in place. You may want to paint or decorate your rainstick to personalize it.

5. To use your rainstick, simply hold it upright and allow the beans and rice to fall through the nails. Then turn the other end up and allow them to fall through the other way.