An educational bath toy that costs pennies to make: homemade siphon

Clear vinyl tubingHeidi came up with a fun (and cheap!) toy for her water-loving son:

My son is three and he loves water and the garden hose. So, I came up with a "hose-like" siphon he can use in the bathtub! Here's what I did:  

I bought a four-foot length of plastic tubing at the hardware store. When it's time to play, I fill a large pitcher with water. Once my son's in the bath, I sit tubside and hold the pitcher. (The height of the edge of the tub is enough to let gravity work for the siphon. A higher counter will make the water flow even faster.)

My son starts the siphon by sucking on the tubing, and we have a working garden hose! As the pitcher starts to empty, I refill it with a cup and the tub water.  

He loves to use his siphon to fill other cups and bowls in the tub, and meanwhile he's learning about gravity and water pressure.

When he's done, I hang the tube over the shower head to drip dry.

There's nothing better than a dead-simple toy/tool that invites hands-on (or mouth-on!) experimentation. My only suggestion would be to buy the tubing from the plumbing department and check that it's safe for drinking water.

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  1. Marshelle says

    My guess is most parents wouldn’t walk away from a kid in the tub anyway, tube or not! I think the greater concern would be making sure the tube is out of reach when drying. Coiling it up should do the trick. Great hack–I will try this with my kiddo. He loves the garden hose, but it is cold!

  2. says

    “And now that gas is $4 a gallon, little Timmy can help the family out by siphoning gas from the neighbors’ cars!”

    (Just kidding — love the idea.)

  3. Anne says

    Ha, ha, Mamacita.
    I think this is brilliant and would work for the kiddie pool too! I’m totally going out this weekend to buy one of these.

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  5. says

    Wow! That is really amazing. Your child is learning other concepts while doing such simple and small things. He is very lucky to have a mother who care for him a lot.