Well, the extended weekend over the Memorial Day holiday was wonderful. We enjoyed our visit with our son's godmother more than I can say. Often, on her visits, we go to many of the wonderful attractions here around St. Louis. This time the dual contributions of 95 degree weather combined with our new outdoor sprinkler park caused us to decide to just hang around the house enjoying the deck and spending quality time together.
We spent hours each day on the deck playing with the children in the water. Here are some additional ideas for fun with a water sprinkler system used as a homemade sprinkler park for kids.
A while back we noticed that the children loved playing with all the various PVC pipe connectors at home improvement stores. That gave me an idea for a simple cheap building toy for the kids. We bought some connectors and some pipe. My husband cut the pipe to several different lengths and the children have a blast building shapes, cubes, flags, and all sorts of free form creations with the pvc materials. I brought the bin out on the deck and encouraged the children to run the sprinkler hoses into the pipes to build fountains and sprinklers.
I also persuaded my husband to run an extra length of the sprinkler tubing down from the deck over to the children's playset to mount some sprinklers over the slide. He put in a joint so we can disconnect it and pull it back up onto the deck when he needs to mow the lawn. There's also a valve so the children can turn the water on and off at will to switch the slide from regular mode to water slide mode. I taught them how to pull a small kiddie pool over to the bottom of the slide and they went to it.
As it turns out, the smaller diameter sprinkler hosing works beautifully for filling up water balloons. We filled up a ton of water balloons and let the kids pop them by throwing them down onto the surface of the deck. It didn't occur to them to throw them at each other and I didn't feel the need to point that out as an option. They had a blast. We also turned several of them into baby water "piggies" and put them in the water table with soapy blue water (I called it their pigpen). The soap made for a nice sensory experience as well as making the baby piggies difficult to catch. Then we had to make mama and daddy piggies. Eventually the children convinced me to move the piggy families into the big pool. I colored the water with some washable tempera paint and the children had a blast taking care of the piggies. Some of the balloons were filled with water. Some were filled with air. Some were filled halfway with water so they could be shaken. Some we filled with water and a little soap so that bubbles were formed when the kids would shake the balloon. My husband even managed to get a small water balloon filled up inside a larger balloon so the kids could watch one bounce around inside another. Michael decided that one was a pregnant mama piggy with a baby insider her and Ava instantly demanded another for her piggy family. All in all, the water balloon piggies were a surprising success.