My daughter really likes playing in the water when it gets hot outside, but we've had the worst luck with kiddie pools. The local wildlife keeps getting into the backyard and tearing them up . . . or worse.
After the demise of our last kiddie pool I decided I'd try another route. With a tape measure in hand, I scoped out the big old playground in our yard, hit the Home Depot, and two days later we had a water park, complete with a water slide!
Here's a quick video tour:
Step 1: Planning and Parts
The big idea was to string a bunch of PVC pipes around our playground and attach sprayers every so often. At one end there would be a place to attach the garden hose.
Since I was building mine around a playground that was already in place, I simply took a pen and paper and a tape measure outside and started measuring, marking, and noting down what sort of fixtures I'd need. If I was planning a new playground, I'd have included this into the original design.
The final design required about 45 feet of 1/2" PVC, a number of 90 and 45 degree angles as well as three way splits and end caps. Home Depot or Lowes or whoever should have a pretty big selection of these. I didn't know it, but garden hoses have a different thread than standard 3/4" pipe thread, but they've got an adapter for that too.
I found the sprinkler heads further down the same aisle. I guess they're designed for those below ground watering systems, but they worked just fine for me!
The final thing you'll need is PVC cement and primer. I bought the smallest cans of them that I could, and there's enough in there to last me until the sun explodes.