DIY Backyard Pipe Wall: Simple & Timeless Fun

DIY Backyard Pipe Wall: Simple & Timeless Fun

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We just finished our first summer in the new home.  When we bought the house, we instantly fell in love with the yard with so many optimal garden areas, room for chickens and ample room to play for the littles. I knew that I wanted to build some amazing things for them to play with in the yard vs a traditional play structure and was so excited to have the warm weather rolling in to get building. Today, I am so excited to share with you our pipe wall that is easy to make, inexpensive and timeless fun.

Our youngest, W, was newly a year old and fascinated by all things balls. He has been able to throw a ball across the room since he could sit and just loves anything to do with them. He also had discovered our object permanence box and was very focused on learning this new skill.

For anyone wondering what an object permanence box is, it is a traditional Montessori manipulative for toddlers and infants.  It’s basically a box with a hole on top and a ball or other solid shaped item that is able to fit through the hole and fall down below where it then becomes visible again.  This concept seems simple but when you are 12-18 months old, this is mind-blowing. Think about peek-a-boo. Babies love this game! Over and over and over. When you hide behind the corner, a young child doesn’t have the ability, yet, to understand that you are actually still there.  For them, its out of sight, out of mind. It is as if you don’t even exist.

These work best for children anywhere from 10-20 months or so but every child is different. They need to be able to sit up independently ideally. Not only will it help the children gain a sense of object permanence but it also is a terrific fine motor activity for grasping, a cause and effect game and help develop their focus and concentration.

Here are a few of our favorite object permanence boxes for our three littles. You wouldn’t need both, we have 2 only because one was gifted to us the we already had one but it was such a favorite that I kept them both. They’ll be used often and intensely as the children learn this new skill for probably 4-10 months. Oh! And these are GREAT resale value on buy/sell/trade groups. Well worth every penny.


Montessori Object Permanence Box with Tray by PinkMontessori

Montessori Object Permanence Box with Drawer by PinkMontessori

 

BACKYARD PLANS ON EDEN

Ok so back to my back yard. In an effort to provide one unique and engaging activities outside, I decided to build a pipe wall along the back fence. My goal was to spend very little but provide something that was somewhat open-ended and fit for all ages.  This would provide a vertical object permanence activity for the youngest, while the others could explore speed, distance etc.

After so much Pinterest searching and research, I created the perfect DIY Pipe Wall. It’s been such a big hit with our three and all the children I hosted over the summer for Summer Play on Eden. This was a nature based summer experience for our children and their friends I ran at our home.  I knew I needed to share it here in hopes that someone else could enjoy it too. Its simple, cost-effective and limitless fun for all ages.

pipe wall, imbucare pipe
{W enjoying the lowest pipe tube at 13 months old.}

I assembled this in an hour one day and gathered some golf balls to present with the pipe wall.  At that point, I just let them explore. The older two knew exactly what to do and little W figure it out quickly after.

I assumed the children would use the golf balls I had staged with the pipes in various ways and possibly some natural pieces like acorns etc. While my goal was to leave it somewhat open-ended, I worried that the golf balls may limit the amount of creativity that would be used. I was so, so wrong.

This summer we spent much of our days doing water play outside. One day the older children decided to use the pipes to hold the hose and fill up their little plastic pool. Next thing you know they are adding extra spare pipe pieces we have to the ends on the fence and seeing how far the could build their own pipe to fill the (now) further away pool. This was only the beginning. I loved watching the various age groups explore and use this fun activity all summer, and now fall. To say it’s a hit would be a serious understatement!

DIY Pipe Wall

If you want to build one for your little one, here are some simple instructions to help you. I spent more money then I needed to because I went to a store and got sucked into buying all kinds of adapters etc.

Pro Tip: We used the fence but there are lots of alternative attachments. You can mount this to a wooded board like plywood and use indoors too!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2-inch diameter PVC Pipe. It’ll come in a long piece (5 or 8 fit usually) and you can just cut it was a standard saw. Check it out here.
  • 2-inch diameter pipe elbows. Can do one on top and bottom or just one or the other is fun too. Check them out here.
  • Brackets for your pipe (again 2 inch) Check them out here. .
  • Screws
  • Golf Balls
  • Electric Screwdriver

Process:

Simply cut the pipes to any length you want. Lay the brackets over the top and bottom and then screw them in. It is very easy if you have an electric screwdriver. Muscles and a screwdriver works too though. That’s it!

Pipe wall

We cut a few different lengths and then anchored them on the fence so that they exited at the same length. This is fun to race balls down and see which length will be faster.  They also like to time them and see which tube is the fastest.  Lastly, there is a lot of racing the balls to see which pipe sends the ball the farthest. Ultimately, you can make the pipes any length you want.

Pro Tip: Splurge and buy a screw cap for on the pipes. We have one that is short and straight with no elbow on it. Instead, I screwed a cap on the bottom so we can store the golf balls when not in use. This has been amazing for cleanup!

​Check out this quick video of the cap storage. This video may seem boring but the tip is GOLD!

​Let me know if you give this a try. It’s so easy and so much fun. It would make a fantastic holiday gift for the kids!

I’d love to hear what you put together! Comment below with your thoughts!



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