Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Literacy Activities, Preschool Letter Activities, Science Activities, Spring Crafts and Activities, Tactile Alphabet | 0 comments

The weather has been pretty unpredictable these past few days: warm and sunny, cold and rainy, and even some large fluffy snowflakes (sometimes all in one day!) M doesn’t seem to mind though. No matter what the weather is, he’s just happy to be outside!



On one such rainy morning, I decided it was a good time to recycle those paper-towel tubes I had been saving and transform them into rainsticks. We experimented by making two different types of rainsticks to produce different sounds: one with pieces of accordion-folded card stock, and the other using popsicle sticks.


  • cardboard tube (I used paper towel tubes but wrapping paper tubes would work even better!)
  • pieces of card stock cut into long strips, or popsicle sticks (I’ve made them with toothpicks before too, but you need a lot of them and you have to make sure to snip off all of the pointy ends when you are finished)
  • rice, popcorn kernels, macaroni noodles (anything you have that is small and light to reproduce the relaxing, trickling sound of rain)
  • stapler (I used staples to hold the card-stock in place, but tape would work too)
  • aluminium foil
  • masking tape or packing tape
  • stuff to decorate your rainstick with (we just wrapped ours in pieces of painted paper that M made when we tried out our homemade watercolour paints; but you could also use feathers, markers, beads, stickers, etc.)

First, I let M feel the texture of the materials so he could choose what he wanted to put inside of his rainsticks

For the first rainstick, we took strips of card stock and folded them accordion style before stapling them into the tube (we stapled two long pieces onto each end of the tube)

For our other rainstick, I cut slits into the sides of the tube and we inserted pieces of popsicle sticks, that had been cut into shorter pieces, in a criss-cross pattern

When we were finished pushing the popsicle sticks through, I ¬†encircled the tube with packing tape to secure them in place and to pad the pointy edges (I forgot to take a picture of this step… oops!)

Then we covered one end of each tube with tinfoil ( I used tinfoil because it’s pliable and easy to form around the round edge) and taped it on with a layer of packing tape

Now comes the fun part: dropping the materials into the rainstick and making it rain!

Once M was satisfied with the amount of materials in each of the rainsticks, we put another piece of tinfoil onto the top of the tube so he could test them out

Finally, we wrapped each rainstick in a watercolour painting that M had made a couple of days before with our homemade watercolour paints, and glued them closed

Lava Lamps

Another fun, rainy-day experiment to try is making your own lava lamp! Click here to see how to make them.

U is for Umbrella!

I started this activity by first verbally labelling each of the pictures that start with the letter U, with M. Then I had M go through them on his own by first exaggerating the /u/ sound and then saying the name of each picture:


The dinosaur is called an Ultrasaurus, just in case you were wondering ūüėČ

Then, using a bingo dabber, M put a dot on all of the sight words that start with the letter U:

When he had finished practising the letter U sound, I had M trace over the U, which I had cut out from a piece of card stock, a few times with his finger before decorating it with shiny, puffy umbrella stickers:

Yay! Another letter done to add to M’s tactile Alphabet wall

And that’s how I kept my bugs busy (and dry) these past couple of wet, chilly days!