Summer time! It is finally warm enough to get outside to enjoy the sunshine. One thing my toddlers absolutely love this time of year is water play. Sprinklers, swimming, splash pads… you name it. I was looking into purchasing a water table when I made a startling realization: they can get pretty pricey! Rather than accept defeat, I decided to make one myself. Check out my adventures in making: The DIY Water Table made from PVC Pipe.
As usual, I found the idea for this project on Pinterest. (Click here to see my inspiration!) All of the materials can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s. This is a fairly simple project to assemble, and was finished in under an hour. I paid around $60 including the materials, pipe cutter, and the bin. I still have a lot of materials left over that I plan to use for additional projects.
Once the table was assembled, I filled the bin with water. I cut basic shapes from sponges and sliced up some pool noodles for the kids to play with. I also threw in a couple of bowls, cups, a boat, and toy cars. I think it is pretty safe to say that this was a huge hit!
Planning to try this project? Here are my suggestions based on my experience:
1. Choose cutting tools wisely!
There is a huge variety of PVC cutting tools out there, ranging in cost from $7 to insanity. Unless you enlist the help of someone with super human hand strength, you’ll want to make sure you choose a tool that is easy enough for you to manipulate, yet strong enough that you won’t be sawing away at the material for hours on end. I chose this tool: Lenox Plastic Tubing Cutters.
It’s not too heavy and I was able to operate it myself. It took about two squeezes to cut all the way through the pipe. Cost was about $20 – worth it to me, because I plan to use it again for other projects.
*Also: Make sure your tool is compatible with the size tubing you’re using. For example, if you are using 3/4″ tubing, make sure you have the appropriate size cutting tool. It’s pretty frustrating when you get all the way home and figure out that the tool you just bought is too big for the pipes you bought! (Not that I’d know from experience or anything…)
2. Don’t freak out about measurements.
The exact measurements of your table are determined by the size and shape of the bin you want to use. Sites like the one I mentioned earlier will share the measurements of the bin they used. It’s a great starting point, but don’t worry if yours doesn’t measure exactly the same. Just make sure it fits your bin.
3. Invest in PVC glue.
While the table will be sturdy enough on its own, you run the risk of it stating to come undone as you move it or if the children lean or climb on it. Here is what a friendly Home Depot team member suggested to me: Oatey Regular Clear PVC Cement.
4. If you decide to glue your table parts together, I highly suggest that you only glue the main section of the table the holds the bin. Leaving the legs and top part with funnels unglued allows for easier storage and portability – you can pull those pieces off and store them in the bin with the funnels and toys.
5. Don’t pack it away when summer time comes to a close.
This table can very easily become a sensory table (or “Science Table”, as my kids have nicknamed it) by filling it with beans, pasta, or water beads. The DIY Water Table made from PVC Pipe can bring year-round fun!
I hope you enjoy this idea as much as we do. If you decide to try it, please come back and share your success story, comments, questions, or related ideas.
Looking for other fun ways to use PVC Pipe for water play? Check out some ideas I’m planning to try this summer: PVC Projects
Happy Splashing! 🙂