Thursday 17 January 2013

Drain pipes

Pouring water into the drainpipe to make a shower at the other end.
Yes really! We discovered the joy of drain pipes by accident. My sister and brother-in-law were having some work done on their house and had lots of interesting building materials in their garden, including a long piece of drainpipe. An added bonus was that it was autumn and there were also lots of windfall apples on the ground. Posting windfalls down the drainpipe kept Zac, aged 2 and a half, entertained for a very long time. So much so that I decided we must have a drainpipe of our own!! (Actually, they are not that cheap to buy but I've since discovered people give bits of pipe and gutter away for free on free-cycle quite regularly, and it's always worth keeping an eye on the local skips!)

Our small ball challenge.
One long piece of drainpipe, a couple of round- the-bend connectors, a length of gutter and a bucket later and we'd invented a great piece of play equipment:
Zac could post a ball in the top of the drainpipe and it would roll down the pipe, along the gutter and plop into the carefully positioned bucket ready to be hauled up to begin again. A thoroughly absorbing game for a small boy who liked technical inventions. We had to incorporate Danny's potty to help the bucket find it's perfect loading position, but since Dan was never a fan of sitting on it anyway this was no problem!

Sliding a giant ice cube.

Of course, there is no limit to what you can post through a pipe or slide/roll down a gutter. As long as it fits, it's worth the experiment! We've leaned the gutter up here and there to drive cars and any other wheeled toys down it, we've used it to launch balls at targets, we've slid ice and sand and gravel down it, we've run the hose down it and let leaves go white-water rafting.
A small pipe makes a great tap-extension.

And if you've tired of making things go through your pipe you can always shout down it- it makes your voice go funny and it seems very strange to hear it coming out from somewhere other than your mouth. Plus, if you're good at blowing raspberries you can do a fairly good impression of a digeridoo player with a length of drainpipe!

For an action version of the drainpipe challenge check out:


  1. Love this, we used to have a drain pipe run in our indoor play barn for balls to go down, kids love them. Such a simple but effective game!

    1. Thank you! Really want to make a water wall incorporating some pipes this summer.

  2. What a fab idea and it sure looks like the boys are enjoying it :-)

  3. I am loving this honey!! i love that you guys find so many fab things to with things i would never think of!

    Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments xx

    1. Hahaha. Most of the ideas come from the boys but I think weirdness does run in the family!! x

  4. My school's nursery has been doing this for years, but like you say it's not a cheap activity to do and I try and collect up bits as and when I see them. Brilliant idea, I shall have to dig out some of the guttering we have to try this week.

    Popping over from Magic Moments