The Imagination Tree. Noise (that would actually be somewhat soothing!) and hammering and pouring and painting and glueing and decorating and... fun. Perfect.
We gathered our supplies and pretty much followed the tutorial, making just a few changes to adjust to what we had on hand. We started with tall, empty, clean chip/crisps cylinders. Then, carefully hammered in nails and added some screws all the way around and up and down in a random fashion. The addition of screws gave a different texture for the contents to hit and gave the kids an opportunity to 'play' with a screwdriver. Then, we poured in rice, lentils and short pasta noodles (we call them 'chicken soup noodles' in our house), filling the canister about 1/3 full. Next, we placed the lid on and taped it firmly with a couple wraps of duct tape.* After that, we wrapped the cylinders in plain colored paper, painted them with crazy patterns and let them dry.
And, what do you know? We created really cool rain sticks!
*I may have gone a bit over board on the amount of tape used. But, honestly, do you want to risk the chance that you'd have to clean up a huge scatter of rice, lentils and noodles thrown all over the floor after a lid pops off one of these things? Me neither.