Introduction: Water Playground!

About: depotdevoid is short for The Depot Devoid of Thought, the place where you go when you lose…
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.

Step 2: Assembly

With my measurements in hand, I cut the various pipe lengths.  After that was done, I drilled 5/16" holes in the pipes where I wanted sprinklers, pressed those in and used epoxy to seal them in place. 

I did as much as I could in the shop (with good lighting), priming and cementing ends and installing the joints, but some of that I just had to do on the park.  The pipes are held in place on the park with rope and staples, or just laying across it in some spots.  Once all the parts were glued in place there was very little chance of them falling off!

Step 3: All Done!

Well, I think it turned out pretty good!  My daughter seems to agree, and especially likes the waterslide part!

Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Step 4: Final Thoughts

As I mentioned in a previous step, if I had the luxury of designing and building a new playground from the ground up, I would absolutely include this in the design. As it is, it's a good and cheap way to have some water to play in, but not have to worry about raccoons falling in and ripping up the bottom of the pool!

Total cost for this project was about 30 to 40 dollars, which is about what I paid for the last kiddie pool I bought.  I was hoping that higher price meant higher durability.  It didn't.  I wish I had the time to take more pictures during the construction process, but I was trying to get the thing built in the evening, so it would be ready for the weekend and I didn't really get around to taking pictures.

As always, I look forward to comments, ratings, and subscriptions!  Please let me know what you think of the idea, if you have any questions, or anything else!

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