The PVC pipe physics for kids is a wonderful addition to your list of summer activities for preschoolers! Gather various PVC pipes and connectors. Set up a sensory table, large bin, or baby pool full of water. Add in some scoops, cups, and funnels. Then let the children lead the way in creating a pipe structure. You may be pleasantly surprised by how the children choose to engage with this super-fun water play activity!
Water Experiment Materials
We only used three items for this activity (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
This afternoon, Engineer and Snoopy were focused on a very important construction project on the back deck. They brought some of Engineer’s PVC pipes over to the water table to see what they could make. I had an absolute blast watching them build and rebuild the pipes, test them out, and giggle before starting again.
The boys built a variety of shapes using lengths of PVC pipes and fittings. At first, they were content pouring water in the pipes to see how long it would take them to overflow.
From there, they tried to make longer, more complicated pipe structures. I found it really interesting to watch as they tried to figure out why the water wasn’t flowing up (the starting point for the water was lower than the water output at the time). Since Engineer is so curious, he and I have already had a discussion about how water flows down. I could see his face light up when he remembered it, telling Snoopy, “water goes down!” I asked him how he planned to move the water if he knew that. I swear he looked at me as if I was leaking brain cells, then said, “Mama, we just keep putting more and more and more water in until there’s no more room!” They did just that, adding water until it had nowhere to go but out.
Next, they set about transferring water from the water table to a bowl on the picnic table. They got that taken care of rather quickly, then had fun pouring tons of water through the pipes. At this point, Little Hurricane came on the scene. He loved watching the water run out the end of the pipes!
After watching the water for a while, Little Hurricane had fun trying to catch it in his hands. So much so that he belly-laughed while jumping up and down. That just about cracked me up!
Little Hurricane also tried catching the water in cups. It was hysterical to watch him “yell” at the pipes when water wasn’t coming out. Then he decided blowing bubbles with the PVC pipe was more fun.
Obviously, I didn’t plan this activity for the boys. It came about organically, with Engineer and Snoopy leading the way. I love planning activities for my kiddo and my students, of course. But there’s just something about observing as children make their own plans come to fruition with little or no help from me. The only thing I did here was ask a question or two and hold the pipes when asked.
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