This maybe seems a little crazy for a February activity, but there’s a lot of good reasons to set your waterwall up now. Kids love playing with water no matter what the weather. And as there’s no need for them to get (too) wet when enjoying this activity, you can wrap them up warm so they won’t feel the cold. Plus if it's a rainy day, just looking at the rain’s journey through the waterwall is fun.
If you’re still getting frosts where you live, it would be best to wait a few more weeks for the night’s to warm up. If the plastic gets frozen it may become brittle, creating a broken water wall and potentially sharp edges.
Always give your waterwall a thorough inspection before use.
The first step towards creating this cheap and easy play centre is to get inspired. There are some fab images on Pinterest you can use, but also look around at the water play centres available online for ideas.
Pick The Perfect Spot Next you need to scout around your garden to identify the ideal location for your water wall. It needs a balance of light and shade. You don’t want your children to be standing out in the exposed sunlight for great lengths of time, but if the play area is in permanent shade it will be cold, uninviting and as it never dries out, it may cause algae or mould to grow. A good compromise is to pick a sunny spot, then use a parasol to shade the area when your children are using it.
If you have a climbing frame with a redundant side, filling this in with a bit of board can create a water wall on one side, and a den effect on the other.
Gather Materials Collect plastic bottles, guttering, tubing, anything waterproof that can guide the path of water either through it or over it. You will also need a large peg board or fence panel, even an old painted door will do, to attach the pieces to.
Get Building Sketching out a design and then buying the materials to make it can prove expensive. A more affordable way to create your own wall is to pile up all the materials you have, leaf through the inspirational images you have found, and find the best way to fit it together.
Open Ended Play Leave plenty of scope for imaginative play. You could leave some of the areas unfinished and keep spare building materials in a bucket so your children can experiment with completing the path with different pieces. You can also use loose fittings, for example a single nail will act as a pivot, so the children can move the pieces on the board into different positions.
Recycle Don’t forget to finish your water wall with a bucket to collect the water at the end. Rainwater can be collected and used on the plants. And on sunny days your children can use a single bucket of water over and over again, rather than pestering for the garden tap to be turned on.