A homemade water wall is a fantastic addition to a backyard play space! With a recyclables, you can make a water wall for toddlers and preschoolers to play with at home or preschool. It makes a great STEM activity, teaching kids about gravity, angles and water flow, and it’s a great water activity to keep kids cool on a hot day.
Our water wall keeps my daycare hooligans entertained for hours when the weather is warm. They’ll spend the good part of a morning just scooping and pouring water over and over again, watching the water travel through the various pathways I’ve configured for them. They find it fun and fascinating and it’s a wonderful way to keep cool.
What is a water wall?
A water wall is a structure that holds containers, tubes and funnels, and when the children pour water into a container at the top, it pours, flows and drips through the series of containers below it until it empties out into bin or bucket placed on the ground. Of all the backyard water play activities we’ve done over the years, our water wall remains one of our very favourites!
I first heard about water walls over at Let the Children Play, and I was so inspired by the creative contraptions there that I decided to make one for my home daycare. It’s been an absolute hit with the toddlers and preschoolers here in my daycare, and it’s provided countless hours of scooping and pouring fun.
Today I’m showing you how easy it is to make a homemade water wall for your own backyard!
Don’t think for a minute that making a water wall is complicated. It might look like it is, but it was a really easy DIY project that came together quite quickly after I figured out what I would use for my actual “wall”.
What can you use to make a water wall?
I used two pieces of an old bench which worked out really well as there are two sides for the kids to play at. Mine also folds up and tucks away at the end of the day, which is a bonus. You could also attach your water wall to a board, a wooden fence, a chain link fence, a baby gate, deck rails, or a piece of lattice.
How to make a homemade water wall for kids:
I went through the recycling bin and rummaged through our cupboards to find various bottles and containers to use. I also had an old piece of pool-hose which worked really well.
I attached the containers to the wood with a staple gun, by lining things up and pouring water through to make sure the placement was right before I stapled.
If you’re using lattice or chain link fence for your wall, you can attach your containers by punching holes in them, and fastening them with zip-ties, heavy duty twist ties or florist’s wire.
Reycycle that water!
To keep water consumption down, I place a couple of plastic bins at the bottom of the water wall so the water can be re-used as they play. The kids LOVED it. The first day that I introduced the water wall, the hooligans played at it for over an hour. It was a huge hit!
What are the benefits of a water wall activity for kids?
develops motor skills and strength
- develops hand-eye co-ordination
- language development
- learning about gravity
- keeps kids cool and entertained
- social development when playing in a group
You can make a sand wall too!
Our water wall was so popular, I used a similar process to make a sand wall for our sandbox!
I had a piece of scrap lattice which I fastened to the sandbox/playhouse with screws, and I attached the containers by poking holes in them, and securing them to the lattice with long twist ties.
Both the water wall and the sand wall were easy to make and they provide hours of entertainment and fun!
More ways to keep the kids entertained this summer:
Here are 100 fun summer activities that kids can do at home. Print the checklist, and stick it on your fridge, and they’ll never be bored again!
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.