How to Make a Backyard Water Wall for Hours of Play

A homemade water wall is a wonderful addition to any outdoor play space.  We have our kids water wall in the backyard and it has provided the toddlers and preschoolers in my daycare with countless hours of wet, watery, educational fun!  The cool thing about a water wall is that it is great for kids of all ages.

Water walls are easy to build, modify and customize.  It took about 20 minutes to build our DIY water wall, and it didn’t cost me a dime!

Build a backyard water wall for hours of fun and learning - Kids Activities Blog - child pouring water into a container at the top of the homemade water wall
Let’s make a water wall for summer backyard fun!

Kids love water-play, right?  Well, a water wall takes water-play to a whole new level!  The hooligans have passed many a hot, summery morning scooping, pouring and splashing away at ours.  It’s 4 years old now, and it’s held up well!  

What is a Water Wall

A water wall is a configuration of containers, tubes and funnels, which children can pour water and observe the way it drips and flows through the containers below until it empties out into a container on the ground.

Happy Hooligans <–that is me!

Let me show you how easy it was to make!

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Make a Backyard Water Wall

The goal with creating your own homemade water wall in your backyard is to use things you already have around the house or in your recycling bin. I will show you how we created ours, but think of it as inspiration for your water wall project, not exact instructions!

Supplies Needed

  • vertical surface to serve as your wall (see below)
  • variety of plastic bottles, hoses and containers (see below)
  • large container to catch the water at the bottom (see below)
  • variety of scoops and containers to move the water to the top of the wall (see below)
  • staple gun
  • scissors or Exact-o knife
  • hole punch, zip ties or twist ties may be necessary depending on the type of surface you’re using
water wall for kids - water wall shown with multiple containers attached to wooden vertical surface fence and child with cup in hand
The paths for the water to follow are endless!

Materials for Vertical Water Wall Surface

For my wall, I used the seat and the back of an old bench that was falling apart and destined for the trash.  It’s L-shaped and stands upright, on its end, quite nicely.

If you’re not fortunate enough to have an old bench kicking around, there are a number of things you can use as the play surface for your water wall:

  • wooden fence
  • sheet of plywood
  • piece of lattice
  • wall of a playhouse or play-structure
  • any flat surface that you can attach a few plastic containers to with either a staple gun or zip ties or twist ties will do!
homemade water wall for kids - how to line up containers so the water falls through them on the water wall.
Line up the containers so the water can fall down the water wall.

Materials for Attached Containers

I used a variety of containers on our water wall:

  • milk cartons
  • yogurt pots
  • shampoo bottles
  • salad dressing bottles
  • water bottles
  • pop bottles
  • old pool hoses or vacuum hoses
  • whatever you have on hand that you want to use!

Directions for Making Water Wall

Step 1 – Prepare the Containers

Using scissors or an Exact-o knife, simply cut your plastic bottles or containers a couple of inches from the lid to form a funnel-like container.  

If your bottle has a lid with a large hole in it (i.e. a shampoo bottle or salad dressing bottle), perrfect!  Leave that lid on!  The water will flow slowly through the hole in the bottle lid.

If the lid does not have a hole in it (i.e. a water bottle), remove the lid.  This will be a bottle that the water flows quickly through.

water flowing down the water wall - water flows from one container to the next on the water wall
See how the water falls!

Step 2 – Attaching the Containers to the Wall

If you’re using a piece of wood as your water wall, you can attach your containers easily with a staple gun.  

Simply line your containers up vertically so water will flow from the top container into the one underneath it, and secure in place with a couple of staples.

If your wall is a piece of lattice or a chain link fence,  you can attach your containers by punching holes in them, and securing them to the wall with a zip tie or twist tie.

Once all of your containers are secured in place, you’re good to go!  Find a stable vertical surface to lean your water wall up against if need be.

Step 3 – Recycle that Water Wall Water

I like to place a large, shallow bin at the base of the water wall, and I fill this with water.  This provides the kids with a good amount of water to use at the water wall, and it all flows down and back into the bin to be used time and time again.

water wall project - water is captured at the bottom in a big container so that the water can be poured again at the top
Water falls into the big container at the bottom and with a cup it can travel back to the top to do it all over again!

Step 4 – Scoops and cups for pouring

Provide your children with a few scoops and cups and let the fun begin!

Your kids will have a blast scooping and pouring the water into all of the individual containers.

Little ones find it fascinating to watch the water flow from one container to the next all the way down the wall.  

So interesting!  So fun!  And such a wonderful way to explore water and gravity while keeping cool on a warm, summer day!

Yield: 1

DIY Water Wall for Kids

how to make a water wall for play

Creating a water wall for your backyard out of things you likely already have around the house is a great way for kids to explore water play, gravity and water paths. A water wall is a DIY project that will be used for years for hours of playful fun.

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $0

Materials

  • 1. Wooden fence, sheet of plywood, lattice, wall or any flat surface you can attach containers to
  • 2. Choose a variety of containers: milk cartons, yogurt containers, shampoo bottles, salad dressing bottles, water bottles, soda bottles, hoses, anything you can find to use
  • 3. Large container or bucket to put at the bottom
  • 4. Scoops and cups to move the water up to bop

Tools

  • 1. Staple gun
  • 2. Scissors or exacto knife
  • 3 (Optional) Hole punch, zip ties or twist ties

Instructions

    1. Using scissors or an Exact-o knife, simply cut your plastic bottles or containers a couple of inches from the lid to form a funnel-like container.  If your bottle has a lid with a large hole in it (i.e. a shampoo bottle or salad dressing bottle), leave that lid on so the water will flow slowly through the hole in the bottle lid. If the lid does not have a hole in it (i.e. a water bottle), remove the lid.  This will be a bottle that the water flows quickly through.
    2. If you are using a piece of wood as your water wall, you can attach your containers easily with a staple gun. Simply line your containers up vertically so water will flow from the top container into the one underneath it, and secure in place with a couple of staples. If your wall is a piece of lattice or a chain link fence,  you can attach your containers by punching holes in them, and securing them to the wall with a zip tie or twist tie.
    3. Place a large, shallow bin at the base of the water wall to catch the water.
    4. Give kids a few scoops, cups and pitchers for play.

More Water Fun from Kids Activities Blog

How did your DIY water wall turn out? Are your kids obsessed with water wall play?

One Comment

  1. How fun! Thanks for the idea.

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