Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A "Bike" Wash

This past spring after the Upper Peninsula Early Childhood Conference, I was given a wonderful book: Do-It-Yourself Early Learning by Jeff and Tasha Johnson. This book is fantastic! There are plans and suggestions for a variety of toys and activities that you can make yourself with very inexpensive materials.

One of my favorite suggestion is to make a pvc pipe construction set. The book outlines various sizes of pipe to cut and a number of different types of connectors. Today, we used some of our set to make "A Bike Wash" (A similar suggestion for a car wash is outlined in the book. However, we did not opt to buy a different size pvc pipe for our version.) The children had a fantastic time cooling off and tinkering with the pipes.

"What happens when you put your finger over the hole?"

I'm fairly certain that the bikes only went through the wash once or twice....

The weather has been quite warm, and it was just as much fun to play with the "bike wash" without any bikes.

"I'm thirsty.... wonder how the water tastes?"

The PVC pipe set is a HUGE hit!!! We've been building shapes, letters, and all kinds of crazy contraptions!

If you don't already have a set. PVC pipe is extremely inexpensive at a do-it-yourself/hardware store. (I bought 10' lengths for less than $1.00). The connectors are a little bit more expensive, but still very reasonable, and the pipe cutter cost around $5. We have a wonderful set with endless opportunities for less than $30. Don't forget to look into some furniture grade piece connectors too- the regular plumbing section won't have the 3, 4, and 5 way connectors you will need in order to build more in 3-dimensions. Those connectors are not necessary, but definitely worth it in my opinion!

Some of you have asked, "How do you connect that to the hose???" it is quite simple. We purchased a brass fitting that connects to the hose! (It costs us around $3.50). You need to make sure that you have a pvc pipe connector that works with the hose adapter. We have a male threaded end connected to a female/female brass adapter. Depending on the size of pvc pipe you opt to use, (we used 1/2 "), you will have to use a different type of adapter and connectors. Your local hardware/do-it-yourself store employees in the plumbing area will be able to assist you in finding exactly what you need. In terms of the car/bike wash.... We randomly drilled holes in the pipes to make it work. Keep in mind as you are adding holes, the more you have, the less pressure there will be to force the water out of them. Happy Building!!!!


Scott said...

My kids love building with PVC pipe. We haven't had a bike wash, though. And they are always asking for water to pour through the pipes....

Anonymous said...

This looks amazing. My daughter would LOVE this. Not very handy but I might be able to manage that. Might have to print off your post and take that with me to the store!

Jazz said...

Simple but still awesome and very effective! Thanks for sharing. I am hoping to start a collection of PVC pipes and fittings(connectors) as well. And I'm so glad you pointed out the part about make too many holes! I learned that very quickly when I made ours.

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...