Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kiddie Car Wash

I guess I should have posted this a little sooner... now that the summer is winding down there will be less time to put this to good use. Regardless, this is a cheap and wonderfully exciting alternative to sprinklers and water play for the kiddos.

Below is an image taken from the Family Fun website outlining the necessary pieces for the car wash. I made my own changes (I decided the pool noodle on top was unnecessary and the stop/go signs in the front would only delay the fun to be had!) Click here for the link to the website for a wonderful description on exactly how to make this simple sprinkler system.
Family Fun
I also found a fairly detailed video from Menardes that was helpful in the building process. 

I am definitely not the engineering type but this was a REALY simple project. 

Some notes from my experience: 
- I did not feel like it was necessary to purchase a pvc cutter for one project. A saw worked fine. Yes, it was more time consuming but not overly... and I'm a very impatient person so if I think a saw will do, you will most likely as well.
- The video says to use lawn chair webbing but I decided to use an old plastic tablecloth we had lying around at work instead. It has held up through various uses.
- BUT the kids typically end up just pushing them to the side - once it is wet it sticks to their skin and some view it as an annoyance. 
- Although the added pieces (sponges, pool noodles, and tablecloth slits) add to the aesthetic of the 'car wash' they are definitely not necessary. I believe the kids would still be 100% happy without the added flair. 

- I only drilled 2 holes per section of the pvc because I was a little worried about the water pressure - it seems to be working fine (I don't even turn the hose up all the way) so I may add more
- I also kept the holes to the bottom half of the 'car wash' (mainly because the majority of the kids at the day care center are younger and therefore smaller) but it would also work great if there are holes at the top half as well
Probably the most important note: 
I did not use the pvc cement. We will be storing this inside and I wanted to be able to easily take it apart if at all possible. We tested it out without the pvc cement and it has held up for the past two months. We have also kept this outside for the past two months and it has held together well. 

Extra fun: I cut the swim noodles I found at the dollar store in half for the 'scrubbers' in the middle of the car wash. We have used the extras for SO many things! I cut them into slices and we made 'sunglasses' out of them by attaching two together with pipe cleaners. These also happen to have a flower shape to them so we have used them as stamps for painting. We also made poppers out of the swim noodles. Check those out RIGHT HERE!

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