Kalliope Kids: The Deluxe Kid Wash

Friday was Water Day around our house! For the past few years, I have been hosting these a couple times a summer–I blow up hundreds (sometimes over a thousand) water balloons, invite some friends over, break out the slip ‘n slide, and start up the blender for fruity cocktails (for the grow ups). This year, I decided to start off the summer right, and found the coolest ever water toy to build, the Deluxe Kid Wash. Here it is!

I found the plans at Spoonful – http://spoonful.com/crafts/the-deluxe-kid-wash. I also looked around the net for a while, and made some changes accordingly.

First, I took out the front gate off the wash. Although I thought it was a cute idea, apparently it makes the front panel too unbalanced and pulls the piece forward. I decided it wasn’t necessary anyway, since the kids really want to just run through it. To modify the plans, I cut two 5 foot pieces of PVC and 20-2.5 footers. You also will not need the 1″ to 3/4″ T join or the straight join, since the gate won’t be added.

Next, drill your water holes. If your water pressure isn’t that great, which ours isn’t, you won’t want to add as many holes as Spoonful says. I drilled holes every 4 inches on the two top bars (8 on each), and two on each upper side bar–though I did put holes on the second two upper bars too.

Instead of just hanging sponges for the Kid Wash ‘scrubbers’, I made sponge balls. For this, I bought packages of sponges from the dollar store–one sponge will make one ball. I cut each sponge lengthwise in half, then each half into quarters (square). Then I gathered the lengths together, and tied a 4″ zip tie around the center. As the zip tie tightens, the sponge pieces flare out. Then I cut off the end of the zip ties, so there wasn’t a hard plastic piece sticking out, and tied them to the second cross bar on the wash! (I actually made a bunch more to play with on water day, too.)






The Spoonful plans call for lawn chair webbing, which I discovered is difficult to find. Instead, I bought more pool noodles at the dollar store and used them instead. I just punched a hole in one end, using a chopstick, then threaded string through the hole (I used the chopstick again to help push it through), and tied it to the last cross bar.

Once done, just turn on the water and let them play! Yes, we let the kidlets run through in their clothes. They were too excited by the wash to go change!

I will admit that on water day, I put a slip ‘n slide under the Kid Wash. It made it that much more fun, since it was slippery, and protected the underside from becoming a mud pit. Just a tip!