3 PVC Projects to Keep Your Kids Cool This Summer

Posted by: on July 30th, 2014 | 5 Comments
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DIY Kids' Run-Through Sprinkler

We know that PVC pipe was invented for serious, functional purposes. There’s no denying the importance of durable, inexpensive material for modern plumbing. But PVC has its fun side, too. You can build some pretty awesome stuff with it.

Here we have three fun PVC projects, all created by Michelle Hinckley of the blog 4 Men 1 Lady

She’s among the super creative bloggers we asked to take part in our Outdoor Games Style Challenge here on The Home Depot Blog. The bloggers are inventing DIY outdoor games using simple materials available in the aisles of The Home Depot. 

Michelle serves up three PVC projects, all with outdoor fun on a hot day in mind, including a fun take on volleyball using water as the net and an awesome PVC water balloon catapult. But first, a DIY outdoor game classic– a PVC run-through sprinkler for the kids. 

Summer sets the ultimate outdoor playground backdrop for kids.

But with the scorching temperatures it’s not always feasible to stay outside for too long without getting overheated.

I have three PVC projects to KEEP the KIDS KOOL that you’ll definitely want to complete.



First up, the ultimate PVC run-through sprinkler. It is a little fancier than other kids’ sprinklers– it has not one, but TWO sprinkles of water to run through! 

You’ll need the following materials to make the PVC run-through sprinkler.

DIY Kids' Run-Through Sprinkler

You’ll also need a drill with a 5/64″ bit to drill holes in the pipe.

I used 1/2″ PVC pipe for this but you can also use 3/4″ as well.

DIY Kids' Run-Through Sprinkler

It may seem a little daunting of a project, but trust me, it’s super easy.

In fact, if you take your supply list to The Home Depot, they’ll cut each pipe down to your specific measurements!

DIY Kids' Run-Through Sprinkler

The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating with PVC.

In fact, last summer we built a similar kids’ run-through sprinkler that just had one pass through. The neighborhood kids lined up to take a turn .

DIY Kids' Run-Through Sprinkler

DIY Kids' Run-Through Sprinkler

The only trouble with making a sprinkler of this size and scale is where to store it (especially in the winter). I actually didn’t cement/glue this together at all because I wanted to be able to take it apart after sprinkler season.

To my surprise it didn’t leak. When we were transporting it from the front yard to the back yard it did fall apart, but once set up it was fine.

The cement will add some extra strength and support, but if you’re concerned about storage, see how it does without cement.


PVC Project: "Water Volleyball"

This is a “get wet” optional game. There’s lots of variations to playing but my little men rule “you’re out if the ball gets wet.”

3 PVC Projects to Keep Your Cool This Summer

You make this “water volleyball” set similarly to the sprinkler set up, except you drill holes on the top of the pipe so water shoots up.

The higher you want the water “net” the stronger you turn on the water.

Here’s what you’ll need to build this PVC project.

PVC Volleyball Game

I suggest using no less than 3/4″ pipes for this PVC project.

3 PVC Projects to Keep Your Kids Cool This Summer

This PVC cement really is strong. There’s no chance of it coming apart.

Again, if you’re concerned about taking it apart and storing it after summer, see if you can get away without cementing it together.

DIY PVC "Water Volleyball" Game

Another variation we like to play is using a balloon instead of a ball. You can really tell when the water touches it, plus it’s a little easier for little ones.

DIY PVC "Water Volleyball" Game

This backyard game has been a big hit at our house (and also the cause of a few competitive brawls).


You didn’t think I could get away without building something like a PVC water balloon catapult living with 4 men did you?

PVC Water Balloon Catapult

What’s a mother to do?

Here it is folks, a boy’s dream toy. It isn’t enough being able to throw water balloons.

Oh no, we’ve got to see how far we can possibly launch them with a catapult.

PVC Water Balloon Catapult

The idea is simple…put a balloon in, pull the arm down as far as possible, let it fly.

PVC Water Balloon Catapult

We had a competition to see who could launch their balloon the furthest.

Suffice it to say, it was a big hit.

PVC Water Balloon Catapult

You want to see a boy smile…build him a catapult.

Three-Year-Old Wants to Play With a PVC Water Balloon Catapult

You want to see a 3-year-old pout…tell him Dad has to help.

Don’t let your kids play with this catapult without adult supervision (for obvious reasons).

Here’s what we used to build this PVC water balloon catapult.

Three-Year-Old Wants to Play With a PVC Water Balloon Catapult

The catapult ended up being most popular with my boys.

It was a bit tricky to get right. There’s some physics to getting it to work. I’m sure an engineer might look at this and chuckle.

Even cementing it together can effect the movement of it so make sure you’re right on.

Again, don’t let your kids play with this without adult supervision.

Now head on over to The Home Depot and start building!

Michelle Hinckley writes about bringing beauty to a house full of boys — her husband and three boys — in the blog 4 Men 1 Lady. Take a look at her blog and you’ll see her passion about decor and DIY.

For more DIY outdoor games, see other Outdoor Games Style Challenge articles here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. Browse our Outdoor Recreation Department, too, for everything you need for fun in the outdoors. Of course, PVC pipe and cement are available at The Home Depot in the Plumbling Department.  

Michelle received a Home Depot gift card to complete her outdoor game projects. The ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Sera says:

    Do you remember how far the water balloons went? I’m hoping to build a catapult that goes about 50 yards and I can’t really tell how far your water balloons landed in the picture.

  2. Kelly says:

    Was it hard to make the 35″ pipe pivot? My son wants to make this, but I don’t know how catapult arm is going to rotate backwards to shoot if those pipes and fittings fit snugly together. Any help/suggestions you can give would be great!

    • oberlisc says:

      I would think you don’t glue the 2 outer connections or may be the 2 inner, looking at the picture I’d say the 2 outer aren’t glued, the frame should be rigid enough with the cross brace close to the pivot point.

  3. Michael says:

    These looks like a blast! Especially that awesome catapult at the end. Do you have any issues with the back of the catapult jumping up right after it’s fired or is the arm light enough to not cause too many issues?

  4. [...] the beginning of the summer we had the wonderful opportunity of participating in another one of Home Depot’s Style Challenge again.  This time it was all about the Outdoor Games Style Challenge.  Our challenge…make [...]