Building with PVC pipe

24 May

Move over Legos, take a hike Tinker Toys, there’s a new toy in town:

PVC pipe

Yes, as in real pipe. As in, go to your hardware store and buy real pipe from the plumbing section.


My Kids Make “Building with PVC pipe”, and yours can too! Head to a hardware store …….

I took Silas to Lowes and brought him to the plumbing section. There we stood, in front of shelves of elbows and couplings.

Me: “Honey, what size pipe do you need for your construction site?”

The Lowes worker standing in our aisle turned and looked at me.  Like, really looked. He tried to keep “working” but I could see that he was really just trying to size us up. What in the world is this lady doing, and why is her 5 yr old picking out PVC pipe?

Me: “How many elbows do we need Silas?”

Silas: “I think I need 4 of everything!”


You might wonder what he is doing with all these pieces of pipe.  Take a look:



In our backyard we have a section {which seems to get larger and larger each day} that the kids are allowed to dig in.

We call it the construction site.

We originally had a nice sandbox, but it was “too small” the kids kept saying.


We thought it would be fun to give Silas a bunch of pipe pieces, elbows, etc. and see what he would build with them.

He connected all the pieces, buried some underground, and made a whole network of pipes through his site.



Then he took the hose and sprayed it into his pipe.

PVC pipe might just be the new Magna-Tiles, the new Marble Run, the new K’nex.


So, here is today’s creation.

What could be better than a dirt pit filled with water and pipes?



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30 Responses to “Building with PVC pipe”

  1. Nan 24. May, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    Awesome Dude, you are amazing.
    And Mom is amazing for getting you pvc pipe.

    Maybe Silas can build the drainage system for your “water in the cellar” problem”.

  2. Matt 24. May, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Ok, I am incredibly jealous that Silas gets to do that in his backyard and all we have is a boring lawn.

  3. Christy 24. May, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Right. Officially the coolest yard of all time! I wonder if I can get smallish pipes and elbows for our yard? Too cool, cheers for sharing this!

  4. Hayley 25. May, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    It is SO great that you have a dirt “construction zone” in your backyard. There are so many parents these days that place more importance on having a nice yard (I realize this is only a small section of your yard), than having a place the kids can have fun and become inspired. I am sure this will be something they remember forever.

  5. Poppi 25. May, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    So much for my birthday present idea. I have envisioned Silas doing that for quite a while now. How wonderful. I especially like that you went Lowes together and picked out what he needed. So much better than just surprising him with the parts. Can’t wait to get muddy with him in the construction zone.

  6. Barbara Schiro 25. May, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I think I see a future engineer. Silas has such a creative mind.

  7. maggy, red ted art 25. May, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Oh I bet that was a LOT of fun! What a cool project for older kids – actually for any aged kids!! Fun!

    Thank you for linking to Kids Get Crafty!! Much appreciate your visit!


  8. Alissa 25. May, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    I love it!! We have a “work site” in our back yard too. Actually we had one that expanded so much it was threatening a tree and we had to tell the boys, “This work site is closed,” and move the digging to another spot. I see PVC pipe in our future!

  9. becky 25. May, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    thanks for all the comments! silas is having fun constructing, and RE constructing the pipes. Its been one full day since having the pipes and there have already been multiple versions layed out..and then dug up and redone. Seems like a WIN!

  10. Elyse 27. May, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Wow! What a great, fun activity for your son! You have inspired me for my own son. He is always digging in the garden and I bet something like this would keep him busy for a long time. Great idea!

  11. Mama Pea Pod 27. May, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Oh, this is so fantastic! What nice parents to let the kids dig such a big hold in the yard! And what a wonderful learning experience for Silas!

    Would love for you to come over and link this up to our Outdoor Play blog hop!

  12. Sarah Scott 27. May, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I LOVE this idea! What fun!

  13. jenny @ let the children play 28. May, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    What an incredibly lucky boy to have the opportunity to dig and explore freely! PVC piping is on my absolute must have list of materials for a preschool – it encourages so much experimentation and problem solving and creative thinking – a wonderful, open ended material. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Laura@ComeTogetherKids 28. May, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I love this idea! My kids tend to dig random holes all around the backyard, you’ve just inspired me to designate a corner for them and give them some building materials to use too!

    Laura @ Come Together Kids

    PS ~ I’d love for you to share this post (and any others you’d like) at my Summer Fun party.

  15. amber 31. May, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    The wonders of pvc pipe. I’m starting to belive you can make anything with the stuff. I want an outdoor construction site such great ideas !!

  16. Our Country Road 01. Jun, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    How cool is that?! I might have to add something like this when we build!

  17. Mama Pea Pod 02. Jun, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Wanted to drop back in to say thanks for linking up to our Outdoor Play linky! I’ll be featuring this on tomorrow’s linky. Hope you’ll be back to share some more great outdoor play ideas!

  18. HappyMom 02. Jun, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Wow – PVC pipe is in my future, too. I love how you let the kids make an excavation, but still have limits. DD loves to dig on a hill, which I am afraid will slide away when the rain starts. Instead of prohibiting the dig – I’ll just move it!

  19. Jamie @ hands on : as we grow 28. Jun, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    I had to come back and feature this in-the-ground construction idea (LOVE using ‘real world’ items!) — in a roundup of ideas to play with mud and dirt. Thanks so much for a wonderful idea!


  20. JDaniel4's Mom 19. Jun, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    What fun! I know a little boy that would really love this project!

  21. Nicole 02. Jul, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Hi! Love the idea! — I was just thinking this today, and googled it. We went to a Science Museum today and they had some piping there to build with. I thought it was a great idea – and good for us, since we live in the city (no space) that it can be dismantled fairly easily. I was wondering how much they are. I looked at the Home Depot website, but guess I’ll just have to go there and see.

  22. Barbara Barton 06. Jul, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!


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