We spend hours in our backyard exploring, collecting items, playing in our mud kitchen. So when I read about a backyard water wall for kids in the book 365 Outdoor Activities You have to Try it was only a matter of time before we had our very own backyard water wall.
Benefits of a Water Wall
Many parents simply assume that a water wall is just a bunch of splashing around with no real educational benefit. Wrong!! The beauty of a water wall for kids is not only does it provide hours of fun in the fresh air, but it’s also educational play at it’s finest. In fact, various forms of water play (such as a water wall) encourages learning in so many different developmental areas. For example, it allows kids the chance to experiment with math and science concepts, work on strengthening their physical skills, works on their social and emotional skills and also increasing their language development (Crosser, 1994; Hendrick, 1996). So what are you waiting for, get your tool belt ready to make something magical.
Materials Needed to Make a Backyard Water Wall
It doesn’t cost a lot to make your backyard water wall because so many of the materials you need will already be around your home. If you don’t have the materials at home, before you go shopping look on Gumtree to see if you can get any materials for free or at low cost. The items you need are:
- wooden lattice (you can also use wooden pallets, old fencing etc)
- a variety of recycled plastic bottles, containers or both
- cable ties
- staple gun
- scissors or sharp knife
- PVC pipes (you can also use garden hoses, plastic tubing etc)
- paint (if you want to paint your water wall, but you don’t have to)
- paint brushes
Constructing Your Water Wall
Putting together your water wall is super quick (if you choose not to paint the lattice or wood you use) and should take no more than 30 minutes.
Step 1 – Painting the lattice of Your Water Wall
This is something you don’t have to do, but I had some left over paint from our mud kitchen so I thought we might as well use it. I also like the idea of the kids getting involved even though the OCD side of me doesn’t ha ha.
Step 2 – Cut Your Recycled Plastic Bottles and Containers
The important thing to remember when cutting holes in the plastic bottles and containers to ensure you have a big enough hole for the water to get into. If you don’t make the hole big enough, this could compromise the water having a flow on effect.
Step 3 – Assembling Your Water Wall
This part should take no more than 20 minutes. You can either use the staple gun or cable ties to secure your bottles/PVC pipes. Just remember that once you secure one bottle/PVC pipe that before you secure your next bottle/PVC pipe below to test run where to position it by running water from the top of the water wall down.
Step 4 – Creating Childhood Memories with Your Backyard Water Wall
Now that your backyard water wall for kids is completed; gather some scoops, sand pails or cups from around your home and let the memory making begin (even if you must wear your super hero kids costume). Don’t forget if you’re already outside there are a million other backyard ideas you can implement like building a fort with sticks, having a tea party, or even reading books in your teepee.
What’s your favorite childhood memory? Do you have any other backyard ideas I could try with Finlee and Chloe?
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Crosser, S. (1994). Making the most of water play.Young Children (July): 28-32.
Hendrick, J (1996).The whole child: Developmental education for the early years.Columbus, OH: Prentice-Hall, Inc.