Let's Make Music

Marbles Rings

Create your own percussion instrument with recycled materials. Strum up your own sounds and dance to the beat.

What You Need: 

  • Cardboard tube 
  • Aluminum foil 
  • Beans, rice or popcorn kernels 
  • Scissors 
  • Tape 
  • Markers, paper, stickers, ribbons for decoration 

What You Do: 

  1. Tear strips of aluminum foil and roll them into spirals.  Push them into the cardboard tube.   
  2. Place aluminum foil over one end of the tube.  Add tape to secure. 
  3. Fill tube with rice, beans, or popcorn kernels. Different sizes and shapes produce different sounds. 
  4. Place aluminum foil over the other end of tube. Add tape to secure. 
  5. Decorate the tube with paper, markers, stickers, paint, and ribbons. 
  6. Listen as you gently tilt the tube from end-to-end producing the sound of gentle rain. 

Words to Use: 

Did you know? 

Traditional rainsticks originated in Latin America and the southern United States. People made them by drying a cactus, which is naturally hollow, and driving the needles into the cactus to smooth off its surface. 

What to Talk About: 

  • Describe the sound you hear.  What does it remind you of? 
  • How does the amount of beans, rice or kernels change the sound? 
  • Does the sound change if you shake the stick instead of gently tilting it? What’s different? 

Change It Up:  

  • Age it Up: Use nails instead of aluminum foil.  Push the nails into the cardboard tube all the way around to create a different sound. 
  • Age it Down: Fill a plastic container with beans or rice and decorate the outside to create a shaker.

Learning Connections:  

  • Critical Thinking 
  • Creativity 
  • Curiosity 
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) 
  • Cultural Understanding 

Curriculum Connections:  

  • Science: 2.P.1 
  • Music: K.MR.1, 1.ML.3, 1.MR.1, 2.ML.3, 2.MR.1, 3.ML.3, 4.ML.3, 5.ML.3 

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