This project didn't turn out as well as I hoped it would, but Austin does like playing with it. Ideally, I would have liked him to decorate it more, but he was only willing to write his name on the side. This would be better for older children.
What you need:
An empty wrapping paper tube
1 Ziploc bag
6 Rubber bands
We started out by pushing a pen threw the tube near the ends and then inserting the straws into the holes (make sure each straw can go completley in and then out again - you don't want to have exposed holes in the tube). We did a lot, I think each end had about 10 to 15 straws inserted. Trim down the straw ends, fold each end down and secure with the packaging tape. Cut a baggie apart so you have a solid square of plastic and place over one end and secure with two rubber bands. Wrap that end up in packaging tape to make sure little pieces of rice can not escape. I put a picture of this at the top.
Fill the tube with 2 cups of rice and then cover the other end with another baggie square and secure with rubber bands and packaging tape. Cut out large squares of fabric and attach them with rubberband at each end of the stick to make it look a bit nicer. Then let your kids use their imagination and decorate it however they want - paint it, color it, wrap it in electrical tape, anything.
Come back tomorrow for more projects!