Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Make Your Own Sprinkler - Kid Craft

We love getting our Family Fun magazine in the mail.  It always comes loaded with fun crafts and snacks to make.  My eldest daughter and I like to read it together and I let her pick out which craft she wanted to try and make. She picked the homemade sprinkler, which looked like a lot of fun.
Homemade sprinkler out of a 2-liter bottle - how fun!
You only need a few things.  A push pin, a bamboo skewer, a clean empty 2-liter soda bottle, and a quick trip to the hardware store to get what they call a 3/4 inch female x 3/4 female swivel hose adapter.  We got ours at the Home Depot in the plumbing section (thank you nice man in the orange vest that seemed amused at a mom and three little girls looking for a random part and led us right to them)... Oh and the package looks like this:

We also got some extra hose washers (above) to help seal up the leaks.  So the first thing you want to do is to rinse the empty 2-liter bottle and take off the label. Put one of the red washers inside one side of the adapter (the side that is going to fit over the bottle) and twist it on and secure tightly to the 2-liter bottle.  By the way, the swivel adapter does come with a black washer already in it, we added the second red one as suggested in the magazine directions.

Next get a push pin and poke 8 holes along one side of the bottle only (the top)

Eight holes in all

Next take a bamboo skewer and widen each of the holes a bit

Now the holes are a bit bigger.  My guess is if you just did push pins sized holes, it might be more of a mister/sprayer effect (great for gardens) but we only had one 2-liter bottle to work with so I will experiment with different sized holes the next time I have a chance.

With the slightly larger bamboo-enhanced  hole size, we are now ready to test our experiment. It only took as a few minutes to put this whole thing together (well, minus time it took to drive to Home Depot).  We then took it outside and excitedly attached it to our garden hose.  We started with the water pressure on low and watched the 2-liter bottle fill up and then the water suddenly squirted out of the top.  Hooray it works! 

Then we decided to crank up the pressure and see what would happen:

Boom goes the Dynamite

Rock on.  That works pretty great!  As a bonus, the girls liked how the water in the bottle acted like a "magnifying glass" on the grass below.

Shortly after they they were clamoring to get on their suits and try it out for themselves.


This by the way turned out to have more than one use.  Because you can choose the strength of the spray (water pressure), the size of the holes (small for mist, larger for kid sprinkler), and angle the direction of the spray (straight up, to the side), the sprinkler also made a nice way to water our garden lightly.  We also have used it this year to help wet down our slip and slide, when the store-bought slide sprayed the wrong way.  My girls were so very proud of themselves for making their own sprinkler and want to make more this year so they can run through more than one at a time, obstacle course style.  Let me know if you end up making this and what you use it for!


Crystal said...

we did this today and it worked better than any store bought sprinker we have ever purchased. We didnt even use the connections shown above just ducktaped the bottle to the hose end :)

Jenn said...

That is so awesome Crystal. We used ours a second year in a row, and still worked great

Anonymous said...

This will really help us. We're gonna do this for a science project and thank you so much for the information.

Anonymous said...

This craft for making easily homemade sprinkler is amazing to indulge with kids during summer. Thanks for this interesting write-up.

Patty said...

This a great idea. I'm tired of fighting with the sprinkler.

Unknown said...

How can we prevent the hose from moving around, all crazy from the water pressure?

Jenn said...

When you attach the hose to the 2 liter bottle, it fills with water before it starts to spray, so the heaviness of the 2 liters of water in the bottle kept ours on the ground. We also attached it first, then turned on the water pressure. I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I searched many instructions for a soda bottle sprinkler and yours was
hands down . . . The BEST!!

Unknown said...

Definitely tyring this today....

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