Build a Wacky Waterworks

Get wonderfully wet while creating a system of pipes, waterfalls, and reservoirs with pieces of hard plastic pipe and a garden hose. Take it apart and rebuild the waterworks again and again.

What You Need

  • Three or four each of elbows, caps and connecting pieces that fit the pipe size
  • Garden hose
  • Duct tape or pipe tape
  • Four 10-foot pieces of PVC water pipe

What You Do

  1. Measure the hose and hose end
    Before purchasing water pipe, know the diameter of the garden hose and of the metal hose end. Pipes are sized by their inner diameter, while their outer
    diameter is about a ¼ inch wider. Pipe fits within connecting pieces. So a hose end that measures 1 inch will fit within a ¾-inch pipe elbow.

    Measuring pipe

  2. Select pipes and cut to different lengths
    There are health and environmental concerns about the use of PVC – find more information here. However, you can mitigate some of those concerns by reusing the pipes instead of throwing them away.
    Ask your hardware store to cut the pipe to varying lengths, from about 8 inches to 3 feet. Or an adult can use a small saw to cut to desired lengths at home. To prevent contamination of the soil from the plastic, cut PVC pipe over newspaper and throw away in trash.

    Finished waterworks

  3. Attach connecting piece to hose
    Water pressure will be strongest here, so use tape to seal up leaks and keep the water flow strong throughout your waterworks.

    Taping pvc

  4. Fit together pipes and connectors to extend the waterworks up, down and around
    Younger children may need assistance building, but even the very young will enjoy removing smaller components or using their hands to alter the flow of water. Older children may set about constructing sewer systems, water falls, garden irrigation canals or spray sculptures. Apply tape to leaks.

    Waterworks build

  5. Take it apart, and start all over again
    Let the pipes dry in the sun before storing. When they come out again, expect to end up with a completely different water feature every time. What wading pool, water slide or spray toy can do that?

    Waterworks waterfall