Rainy Days Lead to Musical Fun!

Rumbling thunder and the faint pitter-patter of rain may often be bad news for any kid during the summer, but there are plenty of other fun activities to be had while Mother Nature waters her flowers. Weather has long been the inspiration for numerous pieces of music throughout history. There are all sorts of ways to create sounds similar to the noises you hear during a thunderstorm. Here are some fun ways to have your own personal thunderstorm in your living room!

First, let’s start by making it rain! Below are the instructions on how to make a rainstick (a special thanks to buggyandbuddy.com for their great tutorial.) Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sturdy cardboard tube (We used the empty cardboard tube from an aluminum foil roll.)
  • Paint
  • Large, brown paper grocery bag
  • Yarn
  • Rubberbands
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners and/or craft wire
  • Beads, rice, beans, or other material for inside the rainstick

1. Start by painting your cardboard tube.
2. Cut out two circles from a large, paper grocery bag.
3. Attach one circle to the end of your cardboard tube using a rubber band.

rubber band one end with a paper circle

4. Experiment with different ways to fill your rainsticks. You can start by placing a few twisted pipe cleaners into the rainstick along with rice. This creates the typical sound you’d expect from a rainstick.

fill your rainstick with rice

You can also use twisted craft wire with dried beans. The sound for this will be louder because the hard beans will be knocking into the metal wire as they travel down the tube.

fill your rainstick with beans

5. Once you’re happy with the rainstick’s sound, use the rubber band to secure the other paper circle to the opposite end.
6. Tie different colored pieces of yarn to each end. Create music and explore sound with your homemade rainsticks!

Rainstick Craft for Kids (and Science Activity)- Explore sound with a homemade instrument! ~ BuggyandBuddy.com

Really get into the spirit of things by also making a Thunder Tube!

If you don’t have supplies at the ready to make these rain and thunder projects, don’t worry – use body percussion instead! Gather your family together and have everyone start by rubbing their hands together, to create the sound of wind. Then, one by one, start to snap your fingers and it’ll sound like sprinkles of rain. One by one begin patting your thighs- and rain sounds heavier. As your storm picks up, try jumping up and down or stomping feet to create thunder. Let the storm pass through, by reversing the actions until it is all calm and quiet once again. In no time, you’ll have your own storm concert just like the choir in this video below:

Peruse the following list and find music that includes instrumental imitations of the sounds of rain and thunder.

Check out Classic FM’s list of 15 pieces of classical music inspired by the sound of rain.

Classic Rock and Roll: Rhythm of the Falling Rain

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