This fun DIY water toy can be built and re-built again!

After building a wall with tubes and funnels for playing with rice, the boys and I wanted to build something similar that we could use with water.  We used a pegboard as the backing for our rice tube wall, but pegboard will deteriorate in water.  I thought about coating it with sealant, but I really wanted to find something where the boys could re-build the water wall in different ways.  Then I had a thought – plexiglass and suction cups!

This water wall works great, and you can use it in the bathtub too.

How to build a changeable water wall

So relaxing and fun to pour water on a hot day and watch it flow through the tubes!

How to build a changeable water wall

We made these mix-and-match parts.  Mixing the clear tubing with the PVC connectors was my hubby’s idea, and it made the water wall SO much more fun!  The clear tubing allows you to see the water, but the PVC connectors make it much easier to build interesting turns.

How to build a changeable water wall

Here’s what you need to make a water wall:

  • A 36″ x 30″ sheet of acrylic – We bought ours at Home Depot
  • Clear vinyl tubing – 1 inch outside diameter, 3/4 inch inside diameter
  • PVC connectors – 3/4 inch
  • A saw
  • Super Glue
  • Suction Cups – We bought packs of 3 at Home Depot
  • Plastic funnels – We bought a two pack of white ones at Walmart for 97 cents, the green ones we already had

How to build a changeable water wall

Notes: 

  • We super glued the suction cups to the PVC connectors.  I had to show the kids how to peel the suction cups off the acrylic sheet from the edges – if you yank on the PVC piece the suction cup may come off.  We had to re-glue a couple of ours.  Another option would be to drill holes in the PVC and stick the suction cup through the holes.
  • Use a saw to cut the vinyl tubing into whatever lengths you want.
  • The suction cups we bought came with hooks which were perfect for hanging the funnels!
  • The vinyl tubing is not a tight fit in the PVC connectors.  Some water will leak out.  It fits tight enough that it’s not frustrating at all to play with.  We could have used all PVC pipe, but it’s more fun to watch the water flowing through the tubes!

We also attached a suction cup to a plastic container with holes in the bottom. There are tons of possibilities for “add-ons” for this set – empty water bottles, etc.  My husband really wants to add one of those sand toy wheels that spins when you pour sand or water over it.  We couldn’t find one at Walmart but will keep our eyes out for one.

How to build a changeable water wall

I still like our pegboard pouring wall for indoor use, especially for rice.  But we’ll be trying this set up indoors with rice too!

8 Comments

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  1. Almost Unschoolers Jun 23, 2014

    Fantastic idea - we could do this right on our sliding door!

    Reply
    1. Sarah Jun 23, 2014

      Yes! We were wishing we had a sliding door, or a big window even. But the plexiglass works well for those who don't!

      Reply
    2. Pop Jun 24, 2014

      Love the idea for my Grandchildren in our bath

      Reply
      1. Phyllis at All Things Beautiful Jun 24, 2014

        That looks like fun even for my boys, who are quite a bit older. My James (13) would probably enjoy building it!

        Reply
        1. Sarah Jun 25, 2014

          My 10 year old wanted a turn! And I thought it was fun too! :-) I hope they enjoy it.

          Reply
        2. Katharine Wise Jun 24, 2014

          This is fabulous! I've been wanting to make a water wall but most of the ones I've seen are either fixed or too difficult for young children to adjust. It will be great to be able to use it indoors in the tub during the winter, too. (I also have 5 -- all boys.)

          Reply
          1. Lisa Jun 25, 2014

            I LOVE this! I have been saving a few plastic containers to make a water wall but haven't gotten any further than that. I really like how the suction cups make everything re-positionable too.

            Thanks for sharing! Your blog is one of my favorites :-)

            Reply
            1. Kate Mar 13, 2015

              I wish I'd found you ages ago. This will make life with my autistic grandson much easier. Great things you do. Thank you!

              Reply
              1. K Kenealy Jun 2, 2015

                I thought I would share that I found PLASTIC pegboard so that it won't rot! I loved your idea of being able to keep changing and re-creating the water wall, but the suction cups were too much to handle for my kids. Check out Home Depot--Everbilt 16 in. x 16 in. Black Plastic Pegboard
                Model # 17961for $5.69 each

                Reply
                1. Sarah Jun 6, 2015

                  NICE! Thanks for sharing this tip! I agree - the most stable way to build it is definitely with pegboard. I will check this out!

                  Reply
                2. Nicole Jun 25, 2020

                  Thanks! I have gotten it all set up but have tried various gluing methods with no success, even when peeled off, the suction cups come unglued. Suggestions?

                  Reply

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