Crafts · kids

DIY Sprinklers

The Source: TipHero (also my friend Emily B, thanks Emily)

The Promise:

If you’re lacking a sprinkler, you don’t have to go out and buy one. All you need is this easy DIY! This DIY hack is a must for the next time your kids need to cool off from the heat or for when you’re hosting some neighborhood friends! You only need two simple things for a whole lot of summer fun.

ACTUALLY you need five things: a pool noodle, a hose, a pair of scissors, tape, and a skewer.

(I realize that’s mildly pedantic.)

After the moderate-to-severe failure of my last attempt at outdoor summer fun, I felt it was time to give this life-hacky (pun intended?) DIY a try. The concept is simple: jab some holes in a pool noodle, tape one end shut and the other end to your hose, and ta-da, it’s a summer wonderland!

The Process:

Of course I had to show up at Walmart on the one day they only had enormous pool noodles. But I figured it would work just as well, so into the cart it went. I perused the tape options and pondered. I hadn’t been able to find our duct tape and didn’t want to tell my husband what I was doing (I figured he’d have Opinions). But now, faced with a dizzying array, I had to admit to myself that I am not a tape person. I don’t know what all the different ones do, or whether they’re waterproof or stretchy or good for wires or good for pipes, so you’d think I would just go with the instructions and buy some duct tape.

I bought electrical tape.



My kitchen scissors were definitely not up to the task of whacking through the oversized noodle, but a serrated bread knife worked amazingly well. My reasons for ignoring the instructions I’m sure seemed very good in my head at the store, but less compelling as I tried to tape up the end of the enormous noodle. After a while I managed something that seemed reasonably appropriate, and after poking in a line of holes, it was out the door we went.


The shortcomings of my tape decisions were all the more evident as I was faced with taping the hose to the noodle, a part of the instructions that reaaallllly puts the “hack” in “life hack”, as in “hack job”, and I gazed at my creation and thought, “my husband is probably not going to think this is the world’s greatest idea.”

But honey this is for my blog

“It’s leaking!” my child shrieked as I turned on the water. And it was!


But it was also – kind of – working?


My daughter played happily in the sprinkler for a good twenty minutes, at which point I decided that was enough of flooding the backyard (there was a lot of water spilling out the hose end of the contraption) and pulled the plug.


My husband emerged to survey my activities. “Why did you use electrical tape?” he asked.

I explained.

“So you ignored the instructions?” He raised an eyebrow. “Is your blog called ‘Anna Kind Of Slapped Something Together’?”

“I’m going to make another and do it the right way,” I told him hotly, as if it hadn’t just occurred to me. “And I’m also going to do this other sprinkler idea I found!”



Promise Kept?

I’m going to have to go with – yes! This is a bit silly and fiddly compared to an actual sprinkler, but my kid loved it, and the build was fast, easy, and cheap.

Final Thoughts:

Ok, look. You can buy all kinds of different sprinklers for less than $20, and as far as that goes, a real sprinkler is probably more fun. But not everyone has $20, and these are a very reasonable alternative. My daughter liked being able to stand on and manipulate the soft noodle, and the spouts were low and gentle, making this a great option for a very young child or one who is nervous around water.

Hooray summer!


Have a suggestion for Anna to try – recipe, craft, or project? Send me a message or leave it in the comments!

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