Sunday, 27 May 2012

Finally we made a Water Structure

(Goblin is 31 months)
Ever since I saw a post on Sun Hats and Wellie Boots over a year ago about water construction I have been wanting to make Goblin a water structure. It took me a while to figure out the best way to do it. I didn't want to attach things to the fence like they had in the Sun Hats and Wellie Boots post because I thought that thumb tacks wouldn't be strong enough to stand up to Goblin and water onslaught, and if I had to use something more industrial I didn't want to make holes in our fence. So about a year ago I purchased a large sheet of MDF and some nuts and bolts. These then sat in our shed for an entire year with me procrastinating. Finally on the first sunny weekend of this month I decided to crack on with making the water structure. So I took the MDF out of the shed and leaned it up against the wall of the house ..... where it sat for another week. Then Hublet offered to drill some holes in it.
Now before anyone gets up in arms about me letting down the sisterhood by not wielding the power tool myself let me explain. I am not diminishing my power as an independent woman if I choose to defer to someone else who I know will do a better job than me, not because they are a man, but because I am really bad at using drills - as illustrated by the many random holes in the walls of our house where I have tried to hang things and Hublet has had to rescue the wall before it disintegrates any further. Another reason I let Hublet do it was that had I not, the MDF would probably be sitting there this time next year.
I hope that Goblin will not take from this experience that "woman cannot use drills" but simply that "Mummy cannot be trusted with drills" - hopefully he will also take that a caring partner helps their other half out of kindness.
After Hublet drilled many randomly placed holes in the board I painted a rainbow on it with lots of little tester pots. And placed bolts through each of the holes. 
Also sitting in my shed since last year was a choice selection of different sized and shaped plastic bottles that I rescued from the recycling. I cut large holes in the top or sides of these and positioned them down the board. Where the sides lined up with the bolts I marked it with a permanent marker and then took a craft knife and cut an x. Then I slotted the protruding bolts through the x on each bottle and added a washer and nut to affix the plastic bottles to the board.
Here is a little tip if you are trying this at home. Start from the bottom up. I started from the top down and sometimes I needed to move one bottle so I could get my hand deep enough into the next to attach the nut and washer. Also don't make the board too much higher than your child because they need to pour water in from the top and if they need to climb more than one step it adds to the danger factor - especially where there is water making everything a bit slippery.
I laid out a really simple path for the water as this was our first experimental try with a water structure. But the idea is that with the random bolts all over the board we should be able to make new and different paths on a regular basis to change things up. I want to try one next time that has two routes running simultaneously.
Goblin was suitably impressed with Hublet and my joint effort. He played contentedly with the water structure for some time and was very interested by the path of the water and the fact that he could put it in the top and collect it at the bottom.

 I will be sharing this on
Classified: Momlearning laboratory at mama smilesabc buttonTeach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol PacketsManic Mother


21 comments:

  1. This is awesome! What fun for Goblin!

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    1. Thanks Amy, Goblin did seem very interested

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  2. Looks great....and he looks like he is having such fun exploring!!The rainbow adds a certain special touch!

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    1. yeah I am really glad I painted it, i do think it makes it more appealing.

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  3. I love the way you have that painted! I want to make one of these,too!

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    1. oh yeah you could do a really big one so all your kids could play at the same time.

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  4. This is awesome!! And you can use it for so many other things too! It's like a giant geo pegboard! He looks like he had a blast! And I had to laugh at your "the MDF would probably be sitting there this time next year" that is so me! :) Also wanted to answer about jersey: Mine held up well in the washing machine, but I didn't dry it.

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    1. giant geoboard is an awesome idea. it would be a bit more manageable for Goblin's size as well, I could use chopped up tights as giant elastic bands

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  5. Like your blog, nice painting!:)

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    1. Thanks, I just popped over to visit yours, thank goodness for Google translate

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  6. I love this. I wish I was brave enough to give it a try.

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    1. its not that scary (except the drilling).

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  7. That looks awesome and messy LOL! Thanks for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land!!! Hope to see you again soon!

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    1. yeah Goblin got quite wet but it was a beautiful sunny day so he just ran around until he dried off

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  8. Nice! I love seeing the water boards, so many different wonderful ideas. Yours has great colors, and it's the perfect size for Goblin :) Good teamwork too! I told my husband I wanted to make one awhile back and the Engineer in him took over. I believe he's still "drawing up the plans".. :D

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    1. haha, my husband isn't too bad in that department but it is a perennial complaint from my mum about my dad.

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  9. Love your colorful water wall! Awater wall has been on my to do list forever. I am thinking of trying it with industrial velcro on the fence since like you I don't want to drill holes in my fence. I wish I had a hubby handy with a drill. You don't want to see the disaster left in the wake of having my husband install our art corner. LOL! Let's just say there are holes covering half the walls downstairs from just that one project. It's a good thing I am not too vein about the house. ;)

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  10. SUPER cool! My kids would adore this!

    Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

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  11. I really really want to make one of these! Yours looks fab!

    Thanks for linking to Fun Sparks xx

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  12. Wow! What a great activity for exploration and to cool off a bit in the summer sun. Thanks for sharing this with Show and Tell this week.

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  13. I really love this idea! How fun to be able to create new paths each time you play!

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