Ours are not as fancy as the ones at the museums, but were a lot of fun to make and sound just as nice.
What you need to make it rain!
paper towel roll
markers or paint
2" foil squares (2 per rain stick)
dried rice and beans
First we used liquid water colors to paint the rolls, we had a little snack while they dried and got right back to work. Next take a foil square and cover one end of the roll. Use the masking tape to seal it on and cover the foil completely so little fingers are not tempted to poke holes. Now take about 4 pipe cleaners and twist them a bit before placing them into the roll (you want it to be a snug fit, but lots of holes for the beans and rice to come down.) Place them in one at a time so they are in different positions in the roll. Time to add the beans and rice. We did a few spoonfuls of each, make sure to use both as they work together to create the rain like sound. Take your other sheet of foil and cover the open side just the same with the masking tape.
Now flip your rain stick and listen to the soothing sound of rain drops.