Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fun with Pipes: Pinned it and Did it!

It's already starting to get hot here, and by hot I mean in the 80s and 90s.  In looking for some fun ideas, I remembered this Pin from Pinterest on making a Kid/Carwash:

When I coupled that Pin with a convo from one of my super-creative friends and a trip to Home Depot with the hubs, we now have the coolest water and life-size tinker toy set ever!

Yesterday's Waterpark Construction Project!
Here is what we have learned:

1. We used 3/4" pipes.  These are sturdy enough and yet the kids can still help manipulate them.

2. Make sure you get the right attachment to connect the hose to the pipes.   We got the wrong connecting piece to connect the hose to the pipe.  You need a piece that has no threading on one side and then the threaded "female" end on the other side.

3. Buy the "Contractor Packs."  We only bought a few pieces on Sunday to try out the pipe toy and see if we liked it.  I went back for more parts on Monday and found "Contractor Packs" of straight, "T", and elbow connectors.  These are packs of 10 and you basically get a connector or two for free when you buy these packs.

4. Cut the majority of the pipes a standard size. We decided to cut the pipes to 2' long sections.  By having the majority of the set of basically the same size, it is easier to construct different contraptions.   We have a few pieces that we just use at the end of pipes to provide stability and they are random short lengths.  We also left  the "carwash" pipe 4' long as it goes over their heads and we didn't want it to be able to break to easily above them.

5. Don't forget the end caps.  We forgot end caps the first day and had to rely on duct tape to close off the ends of the pipes.  (Duct tape totally worked, but it is so much easier with the end caps)

6. Don't glue them together.  The pipes stayed together well enough that we didn't have to glue anything together, which is awesome since now we can create something new tomorrow.

7. Spray-painting the pipes.  I painted the pipes that have holes in them so it would be easier to pull them out of the box as we create.  The paint on the ends of the pipes makes it just a bit harder to get the connectors off at the end of playtime, but otherwise has added some fun to our set.

My kids are 3 and almost 5 and have played with these pipes for two days in a row.  Although they cannot connect the pipes by themselves yet, I know its not going to take long before they are creating their own waterparks.   It has probably taken us about 10 minutes to set up the waterpark and then they have played with it for at least an hour each time.  We already had three pipes, and then spent about $20 on all of the connectors and another pipe.  Pipes are about $1.50 each, and we have a lot more connectors than we can use at one time.  Its good to have options, right?

A special thank you to ComeTogetherKids for sharing this great idea I found on Pinterest.  I have just spent some time poking around her blog and she has some other super fun ideas that I know we will need to try out!  Please swing by her blog or Facebook page.  

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