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Native American Rain Sticks

Native Americans make rain sticks from dried cactus with seeds inside which, when shaken, make the sound of falling rain.

Use a 2-inch diameter mailing or Christmas wrap tube. Decorate the tube using stickers, decals or paint. If the tube has metal end caps or stoppers, muffle the sound by cutting out pieces of fabric or felt and gluing them inside. Glue one end cap to the tube.

Make a "spine" to place inside the tube by cutting two long strips of poster board the length of the tube. The width of the strips should be the diameter of the tube plus 1/2 inch. Squeeze a thin line of white household glue down the center of one strip. Place the second strip on top. The two strips should be glued together down the center portion only. Let dry.

After the strip is dry, cut 3/4-inch slits, 1 inch apart, down both long sides of the spine, but do not cut through the center. Alternately bend all the cut slits back and forward in an irregular fashion. Stuff the spine into the tube.

Pour spoonsful of dry rice, beans or popcorn kernels into the tube. Each one will create a unique sound. Test the rain stick by covering the open end with your hand and tilting it slightly to hear the contents trickle through the maze. Glue the remaining cap over the open end.

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