Last week, my 4-year-old daughter and I read about rain and worked on rain learning activities. My daughter remarked that we haven’t had rain in along time, but she had fun describing the fun sounds that she heard on our rooftop! Since we rarely get rain in California, I thought it would be fun to make rain sticks together to reinforce the concept. I remember making rain sticks in elementary school with cardboard rolls. But then I saw these musical rain stick sensory bottles on Rhythms of Play with clear water bottles and knew both of my kids would love it! These rain stick sensory bottles were a wonderful auditory, visual, and tactile learning experience for both my 4-year-old daughter and 20-month-old son!
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- 雨 (Yǔ / rain)
- 敲 (Qiāo / knock)
- 落 (Luò / fall)
- 浇灌 (Jiāoguàn / pour)
- 滴答 (Dīdā / tick-tock)
- 簌 (Sù / rustle)
What you need for the rain stick sensory bottle:
- Voss water bottles – they are so pretty, and the label peels off easily compared to other bottles!
- Rice, beans (eg, pinto, garbanzo, lentil), seeds, sprinkles, sand, salt, sugar, rocks, etc.
- Tray (ours are similar to this one)
- Bowls (we have these and these)
- Optional: Adhesive remover – there was very little sticky residue on our bottles, so we skipped this step that was suggested by Rhythms of Play. However, for non-Voss bottles which sticky residue, I did find this to be very effective.
How to make the rain stick sensory bottle:
- Remove labels from bottle; wash and dry bottle
- Set up everything in the tray
- Insert branches
- Scoop and pour desired elements (This is currently my 20-month-old son’s favorite activity!)
- Close lid tightly
- Let your child explore!
Our favorite musical sound is the bottle with the bell pepper/chia seed mix. This seed mix was left over from a Chinese activity about 子 (this post) from last year! The rice and beans were expired, and these are items that we store in our sensory bin drawer. I do not want to encourage food waste, so please do not buy large bags of rice and beans just for this activity! Instead, see what you have at home, and before throwing out expired food, see what you can repurpose for educational play!
I have seen other people use plastic straws in their rain stick bottles. However, I kindly suggest using natural elements instead whenever possible and minimize the use of plastic if you have a choice.
Here’s another version of a rain stick sensory bottle from @happytotshelf!
If you make Rain Stick Sensory Bottles, please let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag @CHALKAcademy on Instagram and Facebook! We love to see how other families do educational activities!
Want more rain-themed activities? Here are fun and easy learning activities that you can do with your child:
- Bottle Cap Raindrops Word-Matching Fine Motor Activity
- It’s Raining Paint!
- Learning About 雨滴 with Raindrop Stickers
- Water Painting Chalk Raindrops – Sight Word Activity
- Parts of a Flower Sensory Bottles
Click here to see all of our favorite nature learning activities for kids!
For all of our hands-on learning activities, click here!
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Happy learning, friends!