Water Walls

by Deb on April 1, 2011

Water Wall

I got this idea from the lovely Let the Children Play, a preschool I would love to send my kids to. We’ve been waiting for the weather to dry out a bit so we could get out there and this week we’ve started.

In the beginning ...

In the beginning ...

This is definitely an on-going project, it’s quite fiddly to try to attach things and the little one doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skills to really help.If I were doing this purely with preschoolers or younger I would make it by myself and just let them play with it.  The big girl (5) is having a great time directing and helping set it up. She especially likes putting the water in and deciding where we need to put the next piece!

She’s capable of cutting the bottles up if I get them started and we’re using cable ties to attach everything to a lattice, so she’s helping thread them and pull them tight. It would be easier to nail or bolt everything, but I’m trying to do it with her and I’m not very good at drilling.

Big girl pouring

Big girl pouring

I would love to have something that tips when it fills up, my challenge is to get that working. I know it needs to have a pivot down low and be weighted, but attaching it is going to be tricky. I’ve made water wheels before so we’ll get one of those in, I’m just trying to think of a way to make it more permanent. I might need to take some of the sandpit toys apart!

And if you’re horrified at the number of bottles we seem to have, please remember the whole living in the middle of nowhere thing 🙂 We don’t have recycling out here so I keep all plastic bottles ready for when inspiration strikes. Most of them are in the fridge filled with water at any given time, and when they build up I’m allowed to chop some up.


Little girl pouring

Little girl pouring

What aren’t they learning with this one –

  • Gravity
  • Liquids
  • Predicting
  • Questioning
  • Planning
  • Persistence
  • Problem solving
  • Collaboration
  • Gross motor skills (climbing up and down on that chair!)
  • Fine motor skills

And it’s just plain fun.

This post is part of the We Play linkup at Childhood 101.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sun Hats and Wellie Boots via Facebook April 1, 2011 at 7:47 am



@playbythebook April 1, 2011 at 8:16 am

RT ScienceMum More Sciencehome: Water Walls http://bit.ly/hHKnoZ < here’s a lovely book to go with it http://bit.ly/9njHPZ


Lauren @ Hobo Mama April 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

That is such a cool idea! Reminds me of an indoor ramp thing I saw using cut-up cereal boxes, but I know Mikko would get a kick out of playing with water outdoors.

Also, I have full sympathy for the kids-doing-things-with-you situation. 🙂
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jenny April 3, 2011 at 7:33 am

Love it! Our water wall is sadly no longer (it was played with to death!) but I really want to get it up and running again next term. The kids are busy experimenting with tubes and pipes in the sandpit, so I would love to make some kind of tube / pipe / container wall with them. Thanks for the link love.


Jennifer Kable via Facebook April 3, 2011 at 7:34 am

I love seeing water walls popping up!


April April 3, 2011 at 9:50 am

For the feature that tips, maybe try attaching a toy dump truck that you cut in half?
I’m currently working on a cardboard maple tree for the kids to tap and get “sap” running down a tube and into a bucket!


Deb April 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

What a good idea. I know I’ve got some somewhere, a good excuse to clean out the playroom.


katepickle April 5, 2011 at 11:37 am

ooooooooooooh way cool! I want to come play with you!!
I remember making something similar when I was teaching that included bits of clear plastic tubing and rubber gloves with holes poked in the fingers!


keepcatebusy (Cate) April 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm

this is such a great idea!! I might get my big girls onto the problem of ‘tipping’ and see what they can come up with – will get back to you if we work out a plan 🙂
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Christie-Childhood 101 April 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Oooh, I so want a water wall. Tying it to the lattice is a fabulous idea.
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