We have this game we play every year that started about three or four years ago. Alex loves to do in the summer, every summer without fail. It’s called Tubes and Pipes. I have no idea where the idea originated from but my guess it was out of sheer desperation.
Anyway, here’s what you’ll have to have your husband do. Go to one of those big home improvement stores and hit the plumbing section. Get the longest section of 1/2 inch pipe that will fit into your car. Don’t do what we did and get the longest section that’s available. You will have to cut the damn thing down in the parking lot but first cuss like a sailor because the pipe cutter is, ironically, in one of those packages that’s hermetically sealed and takes a miracle and about a thousand cuss words to open.
Get valves, spigots, three way connectors, four way connectors, T-connectors and anything you think your kids would like. Better yet, have your kid go with your husband so they can pick them out together. Just make sure all your connectors are for the same size pipe/tubing. Again, you can benefit from our mistakes…..
|See those gold metal things in the upper left? That’s what connects the whole mess to your hose.|
Pick up that pipe cutter and some sandpaper as well.
Also, don’t forget to ask Bevis at the store for a connector to hook this whole mess up to your hose. This is very important. You will have one pissed off kid if you make it this far and can’t get the damn thing hooked up to the hose. Please don’t ask me how I know this one small, yet very important, fact.
When you get everything home, cut the 1/2 inch tubing down to smaller sections with your pipe cutter. Use sandpaper to soften the edges of the pipes—they will be sharp! Throw them all into a big bucket or some other storage bin so you can drag them out and into the yard.
This is what it will look like, a big mess of tubing, valves and connectors:
But this is what you kid will be doing all summer:
We’ve been doing this for the past three or four summers now. As soon as it gets remotely warm, Alex asks to play Tubes and Pipes. I’ve never really figured out what the appeal is to this project, all I know is he enjoys it immensely.
He goes out and builds things and makes the water travel through the pipes. He makes structures and tests its stability so it will hold water when it’s applied. He changes the water pressure and alters the direction of water flow by plugging sections of tubing and using his shut-off valves.
I know Alex is not so interested in standard toys so when he gets excited, and I mean really excited, about something, I figure there’s a high possibility that someone else may find this helpful, or at least that’s my hope.
If you have any questions or if I missed out a vital part, which I’m sure I did, please ask me in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to help.
As an aside, I’m not trying to take credit for this project/game as I know its been done before. Seriously, I’m not that creative. I honestly have no idea where we got the idea from so if you’re out there looking for a Copyright infringement let me know who you are so I can link accordingly.