Here’s a fun idea for a water shooter toy that can be made out of PVC pipe!
We have had SO much fun playing with this homemade water shooter. It’s simple to build and packs a lot of power. You’ll definitely want to build more than one – Dad and I had as much fun with this as the boys did!
To load – stick the water shooter into a bucket of water and pull on the inside pipe.
Then push back in to shoot!
Adult help is needed for this project.
Here’s what you need to make one:
- 1.5″ PVC pipe – we bought a 2 ft. section
- 1 – 1.5″ PVC cap
- 1 – 3/4 inch PVC pipe – we found red and blue pipes in 2 ft. sections at Home Depot
- A pool noodle
- A drill
- A saw
- PVC cement
- Super glue
- Duct tape
- A serrated kitchen knife (for cutting the pool noodle)
Step 1: Use a saw to cut a 17 inch section from the 1.5″ PVC pipe.
Step 2: Glue the cap onto the 1.5″ pipe. Let it dry.
Step 3: Drill a hole in the cap. We used a 5/16″ drill bit.
Step 4: Use a pool noodle to create an airtight inner pipe.
In order to work correctly, the inside pipe needs to be airtight and yet slide easily inside the larger pipe. First, block off air flow by covering the end of your pipe with duct tape.
Then cut off a chunk of pool noodle. It’s easy to slice pool noodles with a serrated kitchen knife.
This next step is the most important part! The pool noodle will not fit inside the PVC pipe. We actually took our pool noodle to Home Depot with us and could not find a pipe that the pool noodle would fit inside without modifying it, so we chose our 1.5″ pipe based on weight and how easy it would be for a child to hold. So you’ll have to do some adjusting.
Use your kitchen knife to make the pool noodle smaller in circumference. I started by making a slit lengthwise. Then I cut around the inside of the pool noodle to remove some of the foam. Once I had removed some foam, I cut off a lengthwise section so that the pool noodle would wrap tightly around the pipe.
I continued trimming until the pool noodle fit inside the pipe but was still a little tight. You want to stop when it’s still slightly tight.
Attach the pool noodle to the 3/4″ pipe with a little bit of super glue around the top edge. Then wrap the pool noodle with duct tape. Tighten the duct tape as you wrap. The tape will tighten down the pool noodle enough so that it will slide easily.
My first water shooter came out perfectly, but my second didn’t work on the first try. So be prepared to maybe have to do the pool noodle step more than once until it comes out right! One pool noodle will be more than sufficient for a few bloopers! (And the finished product is SO worth it!)
If your water shooter won’t draw water into the pipe when you pull up the inner pipe, you have an air leak somewhere.
Also – ours leaks some water out of the back. The leaking was not enough to diminish the fun, but just realize that some leaking is going to happen unless you get a perfect seal!
We made our shooters while the older boys were gone, and Owen (age 5) had an absolute blast having full possession of our new toy! (Jonathan was home, but age 2 is too young to shoot this…)
We have owned a couple different water shooters that all broke within the first summer of owning them. This water shooter is very durable! The only thing that I can foresee is that the pool noodle part might need to be replaced from time to time. I’ll update this post if ours wears out, but so far so good!
If you don’t feel like building one, the Aqua Zooka has good reviews on Amazon as a water shooter toy that actually lasts longer than one season. (affiliate link)
For more water fun – check out our DIY water balloon launcher!