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Monday, 17 April 2017

Make a fun water play garden feature for children

Easy to make garden water play feature
Looking for a way for the children to have fun in the garden during the Easter holidays? If it's not yet hot enough for swimming costumes, paddling pools or hosepipes, why not try this simple but fun water play feature using guttering. You can make it for only a few quid, and in less than an hour. It can be fixed to any wall or fence, and they'll love pouring the water on and watching it flow down to the bottom. Read on to see how its done...

Most children love playing with water, but it's still a bit chilly to spray each other with the hose, or run through the sprinkler. Instead you can easily make this water play feature with a bit of guttering, and enjoy watching the kids mess around with it. Here's how it's done:
Easy to make garden water play feature
Lay out the supports
1. Work out how big it will be. Look at how much space you have on the fence or wall where your feature is going to be. How wide will it be and how many levels will it have? Add up the total length of guttering you will need so you can make sure you buy enough. The plastic guttering is fairly easy to cut with a Stanley knife or small hacksaw, so you can make it any size you like.

2. Work out how many supports you need. For each length of guttering you need at least 2 support brackets - more if you are going for longer lengths which need support in middle.
Easy to make garden water play feature
Add downpipes or anything you like
3. Plan your water cascade. You need end pieces to stop water flowing off in the wrong direction. You can use downpipes as well if you like. In fact you can use closed pipes, downpipes and any other type that are available in your chosen range of guttering.

Easy to make garden water play feature
A gentle incline, with overlaps, works well
4. Experiment with the positioning by holding the guttering lengths against the fence. A gentle slope is what you should aim for as this will give a steady flow. Work out where the support brackets need to go under each end and mark the position of the screws on the fence. You need to make sure there is an overlap so that water carries on flowing down rather than splashing over the end.
5. Fix your cascade. Once you are happy that your layout will work, drill the holes and screw the brackets to the fence or wall. Then slide in the guttering lengths and put on the end pieces and any other attachments.
Easy to make garden water play feature
Pour water in at the top, and watch!
6. Pour on water! If your kids are anything like mine, they'll love pouring the water in, floating all sorts of things along the channels, and watching it splashing out at the bottom.  If you're lucky, they'll enjoy catching it in a bucket underneath and re-using the water. Be warned - if they don't enjoy doing that, you could be making numerous trips back to the tap to fill up the watering cans again, so site it as close as you can to your water source!
So that's all you need for a simple and cheap way to provide the children with some fun in the garden. There are some other ideas below, and if you have your own, please share them using the comments box. Have fun!


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