This summer has been hot, hot, hot! And I've tried every which way to cool down: drinking ice-cold drinks, opening the windows at night and shutting them in the morning, cranking up the air conditioning, putting tarps over the pergola, etc. etc. Of these, the one that works best is cranking up the air conditioner, but that's expensive, and we have to ration our electricity.
Directly across the street from us is a house with one of those above-ground swimming pools. All summer-day long we can hear the screams of delight from the kids splashing about in the cool water. It has been sheer torture to hear the neighbors enjoying their summer while we are just sitting in miserable sweat. But the pool made me realize that the best way to keep cool is to get and stay wet. Period. But how to do it without a pool?
That's how the water-squiggler / rainbow scarecrow was born.
I have one of those expandable hoses (thank you THEDIYOUTLET.COM) that go wild under pressure, so I made a "holder" for the hose that would have multiple purposes as a kid's water squiggler and garden scarecrow. We tried it out on a bunch of kids on a sweltering hot day, and guess what--while the adults sat in the shade drinking ice water and sweating, the kids ran around in the sun, got soaked by the squiggler, and within 20 minutes were shivering with cold! It worked!
Who needs an above-ground pool when you can do with a water-squiggler?
Below is a video showing how to make the Water-Squiggler / Rainbow Scarecrow. It's inexpensive, a great craft activity to do with kids (painting, etc), and can be used even when it's not being used. : )
FOR THIS SQUIGGLER, YOU WILL NEED:
- A small rake or broom
- A dowel the same diameter as the broom handle
- One eye bolt and nut
- One metal or nylon spacer (optional)
- Two wall broom grippers
- Two ping-pong balls
- Three eye hooks (that can be pried open)
- Craft paint
- A 10 inch (or so) piece of PVC to slide the broom handle into
- A hacksaw
Step 1: Cut and Paint Your Water Squiggler
- Think of your squiggle as a body with the broom handle as the torso. Cut two pieces of the dowel to serve as arms. The length is your choice.
- Paint the "body" and "arms" of your water squiggler (and scarecrow) as colorfully as you can. Think rainbow colors all trapped and squeezed onto the cylinder shapes of your project. You may want to spray a clear protective coat over the paint when it is dry.
- Glue two ping pong balls to the head of the rake or broom.
Step 2: Add Hardware to Your Water Toy/Scarecrow
- Drill a hole into the broom or rake handle about 4 to 6 inches below the "head."
- Insert a metal or nylon spacer into the hole (optional)
- Slide the eye bolt through the hole and screw the nut to the other side. Leave it loose to it can rotate freely.
- Screw two boom wall hooks to one end of each of the "arm" pieces.
- Screw an eye hook to the other end of each "arm"
- Screw an eye hook right under the eye bolt on the "body" but on the other side.
- Open and attach one arm to the eye bolt and the other arm to the eye screw. The eye that is attached to the eye bolt is the one that will hold the water hose.
Step 3: Put the Squiggler to Work
Pound an 8 inch (or so) piece of PVC into the ground.
Slide the broom handle into the PVC.
Attach an expandable hose to the "arm" that is attached to the eye bolt. Leave about six inches of hose forward of the "hand". Optional: attach the hose further down to the other "hand." You may need to tie the hose to the "hands" with a couple wire ties.
Turn on the hose and BACK OFF.
Get wet! Scream! Have fun! Towel off and do it all over again.
Step 4: Put the Scarecrow to Work
After you're done using the Squiggler as a water toy, move it to the garden. Insert the handle into the ground and attach other garden tools to the arms of the [now] scarecrow.