Monday, March 1, 2010

Pipe Dreams

I love to reuse and repurpose things in my classroom. This week we had a couple of activities that used this principle.

First, one of my very favorite items - things that aren't designed as toys but we have a great time playing with them--PVC pipes and connectors! We had a great time building, connecting, and just figuring out how to create using what we had.

These pipes have been in my class for the past few years. I went to Lowes and purchased a few lengths of PVC pipe and cut those lengths down. I had fun walking through the connectors and just choosing what I wanted. I have mostly "L" and straight connectors, but also have a couple of 45-degree angles, a "T", and even a cross connector. Add a few caps and we have a great building set.

Here are some pictures of what we did this week.

Some even made the first letters of their names.

Second - we painted storm pictures using various brushes, rollers, combs, and other applicators. Throw in some blue and black paint (well, don't throw it!) and we had a great time.

Here's the table (after several had enjoyed it).

And a few of the results.

All photos by R. Scott Wiley


  1. Those pipes are awesome! What a great addition to a block center so much can be learned from pipes! And I love the creative painting tools too!

  2. I'll be making a trip to Lowes to visit the plumbing section. Been looking for something new to add to our space. Think the pipes would fit in really well.

  3. okay, i love those pipes!

    someone brought a pvc pipe quilting frame once and the kids went crazy.

    i should have clued in.

  4. Wow! What a fantastic idea for construction! These would be great in our water tray too, thanks for sharing!

  5. Awesome, I'm going to use this for my grandsons birthday construction party!!

  6. Hi, I was wondering, how do you store these in your classroom? Also, what length are the pieces of pipe?

    1. The lengths of the pipe are cut to about 12 inches. I didn't measure exactly and cut almost randomly. A more uniform measure would definitely be easier to create squares and rectangles.

      I store the pipes in a large plastic container with a hinged lid (and built in handle). It's like this:

      But any large plastic bin would work. I like this one because of the handle; it's easier to transport the pipes around. I don't keep them in my classroom but bring them from home when we're using them.