Big and Little… Construction Site

This months Big and Little theme was all Big M’s idea. No real surprise there, he loves to build. Our construction site looks a lot different than our usual pretend play areas.

I’ve been thinking about making a PVC pipe, building set for the backyard and this was the perfect motivation to get it set up.

We headed to Lowe’s and picked up a few 1/2″ PVC pipes along with 5 bags of fittings. Since I want this to be an outside “toy” a container with a lid was also a must.

 Hubs cut the PVC pipe into three different sizes using a PVC cutter. As you can see we have four different types of fittings.

PVC Pipe

 Because he knows how much I like organized spaces, he also built a wood divider for our plastic container.

Since we were focusing on the pretend play I added orange cones, tool bags and a hard hat. They were totally unnecessary. The kids barely used them and the pretend play was in full force.

The kids were in their bathing suits already, so this took a turn that I was not expecting. Big M immediately built a large pipe maze (that I somehow did not get a picture of). He turned on the hose and pressed it against one end until it spurted out the other end.

Oh I love it when I get to sit back and listen. Big M moved over to the mud pit, started burying the pipe and chatting with Little M. “Pretend you have a leak.”

Once the pipe was in place they flooded the mud pit using the little bit of pipe that was showing.

I can’t wait to see what they will come up with over the next few months. This is one pretend play area that I’m sure will get used over and over!

Make sure to visit At Home with Ali. Her little construction site is brilliant!


  1. This is great I’ve been thinking about getting some piping and this is a great spur for me to go out and buy some, it’d also be great at a water table. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Oh my goodness! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! I was just going to Pinterest to find a pin I needed to make something and got sidetracked with this! Now I can’t even remember what I needed to do, I just want to run out and make this pronto. 🙂

    1. Heather,
      I have been “thinking” about a PVC building set since the spring. It was so easy to put together I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner.

  3. Wonderful idea! Will be great for the grand kids! I actually use 1 1/2 ” pipe and fittings to make a life size “skelton frame” for scarecrows. Then dress and stuff. Thanks, Judy

  4. If you buy pvc pipe joints that are much larger and have three openings they can be used for golfing. The kids use a plastic golf club to hit a ball into one end and they get to see which end it comes out. We also attached these larger pipes to the fence for the toddlers to drop balls into. Fun.

  5. I saw this on pinterest and am totally making this kit for my boys’ 5th birthday next month! They love making tents and we’ve been looking for ideas of a base and this would totally work for tents plus more! Thanks a bunch!

  6. I hate to rain on everyone’s parade, but please please do some research about the dangers of PVC. It’s full of nasty chemicals that are not good at all for kids. Chlorine, phthlatates, and sometimes even lead, to name a few. While they may not be putting the PVC pipes in their mouths, they are still handling it. My DH does construction and is very concerned about the toxicity of a lot of the building materials he uses, and won’t even let the kids touch them.

    1. Oh please, pvc pipes are perfectly safe. I have done the research too and you are way off. Go spread your negativity somewhere else.

  7. I would love to feature this activity in my “Things we didn’t get to in 2012, but wish we did” post. I will include your picture and link to your site. If you would prefer I didn’t, please let me know.

    Thank You!
    Brilliant idea!

  8. I made a carrying case out of leftover material to carry the tubes and ends in. It looked like an army duffle bag in shape…but I chose the color. Used two circles (cut from the material) for the ends and a rectangle piece for the body of the bag…easy to sew.
    I added a cloth handle for easily putting “toy” tubes away

  9. Hi I am kind of new to this but I was looking for something to build to keep a very active 7 year old busy so I had in mind to use pvc piping and joints to make a chair..but then I thought why not make a sofa and make it like a sprinkler so I made it and just drilled holes small ones here there and virtually everywhere and it works like a dream kids love it. Oh by the way you can colour the piping with different felt pens before the ink is dry wipe it with a damp cloth it looks great all smeared together. Just a pity I couldnt post a pic.

      1. I will try and put the pipe dream couch on facebook because I have tried to paste it here but no luck

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