I'm learning that the simpler the feature, the more the kids play. This feature took 15 mins to make and thus far is the most popular in our backyard play scape.
I used 3/4 thick PVC pipes, three 90• elbow fittings and one hose to PVC pipe fitting. I drilled holes through the top of the structure, spacing them out about 3" wide. The kids love running through the structure but also love trying to escape the water by going between the streams (the drill spacing). I used PVC cement (glue) to hold the pipes together.
Total cost is less than $10!
We have a tall deck but you can install these anywhere in the backyard. The tunnels are made with black PVC pipes! 10 minutes to make, hours of fun!
I chose a 10ft 4" wide pipe. I cut it in half to make two 5ft tunnels (any hardware store will cut them for you). I added 90• elbows to the ends of each and tied the pipes to our deck railing.
I scored a huge bag of bounce house balls for $3 at a yard sale. You can buy these anywhere for about $20 though.
I chose these because they're soft and perfect for sorting activities. We count the balls as they go down and have the kids drop them by color.
Add to the fun by having other kids hold buckets and catch the balls as they are dropped. Or, give them tennis rackets/bad mitten to hit the balls as they shoot out. The activities are endless!
As an extended feature, I added hoses nearby so the kids can shoot water down the pipes!
From below, we use funnels to catch the water.