Your tot can enjoy the sound of a gentle rainfall -- without the sogginess -- thanks to this easy-to-make sound-alike instrument. Our twist on the classic creates a noisy, kid-safe maze for falling grain with just a mailing tube and aluminum foil, and gives toddlers plenty of crafting opportunities to "do it myself."
Peel the backing off the Con-Tact paper. Let your child decorate the sticky side with tissue paper. (Alternatively, have her paint the tube, then cover it with the Con-Tact paper.) Wrap the paper around the tube and tuck the extra length inside the ends (for ease, cut small slits around the overhang before folding it in).
Crush the foil lengthwise into a long cylinder, then wrap it around the handle of a broom to form a coil. Slide the coil off the handle, stretch it until it's slightly longer than the tube, then push it into the tube. Use hot glue or masking tape to secure the ends of the foil inside the tube, about 1/4 inch from each opening.
Hot-glue a cap to one end of the tube, then help your child pour the rice and corn into the other end (a funnel or small pitcher works well). Hot-glue the other cap in place.