Water play is a fail safe way of keeping kids busy and happy, as well as being the perfect vehicle for so much learning! This water wall is a simple Ikea hack using the Skadis pegboard. Using this pegboard and all of its accessories you can create a water wall for kids that can be re-arranged into any combination of water runs that they can imagine!
This Skadis hack could also be used with sand, grains or for ball runs- so many possibilities and endless fun! There will be lots of learning going on too as little ones find out about cause and effect and develop their creative thinking and problem solving.
When I spotted these Skadis pegboards in Ikea last year, with all of their various accessories, I knew they would be brilliant for making a water wall! I've seen many-a water wall for kids on pinterest but they seem quite limiting because often the pieces are all fixed into place. I wanted to create something for the kids that allowed them to make their own water runs and do heaps of problem solving and creative thinking along the way!
The brilliant thing about the Skadis pegboard is that it comes with a variety of accessories that are perfect for fixing different things to your water wall. Each one is easily removed and re-positioned. With a little bit of practice the kids should be able to do this on their own.
Ikea Shopping List
As I've already mentioned the bulk of the resources for this water wall came from the Ikea Skadis range. You can take a closer look at them below.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure you buy the right size Skadis pegboard! We thought we'd be clever and buy the largest pegboard and attach it in a portrait position as our hanging space was quite narrow. We soon realised that wouldn't work as all of the attachments are designed to be fitted when the largest size is in a landscape orientation. Luckily we live close to an Ikea! So we took a trip back and bought two of the smaller boards and fixed one on top of the other to fill our space. The pegboards are easily attached using the fixtures included with the board.
*Edit- having played with our water wall all summer I noticed some of the acrylic coating was coming off from around the holes. To avoid this happening I recommend using a spray lacquer or sealant to waterproof these vulnerable areas before attaching to the wall. We've now added a couple of coats to ours, paying special attention to thoroughly coat around the holes. Alternatively buy a metal or plastic pegboard.*
The girls are still a bit short to reach the top at the moment but it means they'll get lots of use out of it in the years to come! In the meantime they can make water runs on the lower two-thirds or in this case they grabbed our non-slip step stool! If you have a bigger space than us it would be fantastic to put several pegboards together to make a huge water wall!
How we used the Skadis pegboard accessories
To hold the guttering in place we bought two sets of the Skadis flat hooks and two sets of the holders that are usually used to hold paper. To be honest, I wasn't sure which would be best so I just bought both. They both seem to work well so either would do- having a variety just means we have more options in the future if we think of some different things to attach to our water wall.
The Skadis elastic cord is just brilliant for attaching anything extra to the pegboard. We had some plastic tubes that I thought would be fun to add. The water wheel was easily attached with one of these elastic cords. If the guttering isn't quite staying in place these can also be used to give them a bit more sturdiness. You get three cords in a packet but I would advise buying a few packs of these!
We also bought the Skadis shelf as I wanted to see how the girls might use it. For this set up we had a little watering can on it with a tube feeding in so the girls could fill it up.
Finally, we bought the Ikea roll holder. Again I can see various uses for this but we used it to make a simple pulley system with a bucket. To do this I tied a piece of elastic onto a bucket, threaded it over the roll holder and tied the other end to the bottom of the pegboard through one of the holes. They can now transport water from the bottom of the water wall to the top!
The elastic worked fine but it was quite an effort to pull up as it was a bit too stretchy! I think we'll be replacing it with some thicker bungee cord at some point.
Extra items you will need
You will of course need a container at the bottom of your water wall to collect the water. The best type of container will be deep enough for them to scoop up the water easily using jugs and containers. You don't want it too wide though so that they struggle to get close to the water wall. A trough shape is best. Ours is in fact a trough-shaped planter.
We bought a length of narrow guttering from our local hardware store and used a hack saw to cut it up into smaller pieces. The size of the pieces will depend on the size of Skadis pegboard you are using. We went for two different lengths-30cm and 47cm. We then used some wet & dry sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.
For our tubing we used some sound tubes that we already had in the shed. I've since come across these pop tubes that I think would be perfect for our water wall. Unlike the sound tubes they can be adjusted to different lengths by stretching them. They can also be bent into different shapes and connected together, which adds another fun dimension to creating water runs. I think we'll be giving these a try!
Other useful items will be jugs for pouring water, funnels and any other fun additions such as a watering can or a water wheel. You can find links to some of these below.
There's so many possibilities for having fun with this Skadis hack! Come the winter we'll be putting on our wellies and waterproofs and this will be so much fun for a rainy day. Once we've enjoyed it as a water wall for a bit I can't wait to try it with some grain- I think the girls will love it!
If you love the idea of this water wall for kids then please share it! And if you give this Skadis hack a go please tag me on Instagram or Facebook- I'd love to share some of your photos!