When it comes to finding fun things to do in the classroom, sometimes there just isn’t enough money in the budget that is already stretched beyond its limits in most districts. However, there are several really interesting activities you can do with PVC pipe, a cutting tool, and perhaps a few fittings. Some parents might even have these materials lying around the garage or shed, so why not send a note home to see if you can round up what you need? Here are fun activities grade school kids will love.
PVC Window Tubes
When teaching small children, typically pre-K classes through kindergarten, it’s always a challenge to teach them shapes and sizes. One innovative idea is to cut various sizes of PVC pipe and attach them to the window with suction cups. You can connect the pipes so that they form zig-zag shapes through which a ball of the appropriate diameter is dropped down. For this activity, you will need several different sizes of PVC cut to various lengths with corresponding connectors.
If you buy one length of each size pipe and a few corner connectors, simply cut the pipe to various lengths, connect them, and attach the assembly to the window with suction cups. Have several balls in varying diameters for the little ones to feed through the tubes. It’s fun to watch them learn which size balls fit through which pipes. It’s a great learning experience and the kids will have tons of fun watching the balls miss the basket you’ve set below the bottom pipe, as the kids scamper around trying to catch them for another go.
Indoor Soccer Goal
Some teachers love to spend a bit of time on more physical activities that teach gross motor skills and coordination. Even in winter months, it’s easy to clear the desks off to the sides of the room, place a handmade soccer goal at each end, and let the kids practice ‘kicking’ sponge balls to their team’s goal. The key here is to get the softest balls possible so that kids aren’t bashing each other with a harder rubber ball. It’s a great way to get some of that pent-up energy out and the goals can be easily made from PVC pipe and netting available at any home improvement store.
PVC Construction Kits
If you know how to cut PVC pipe, this is the best activity of all. Simply cut dozens of lengths of PVC pipe and have a wide assortment of connectors available. Let kids learn how to construct a building, much like they would with Lego, but the building will simply be a PVC frame. Kids love to learn how to build castles, houses, and even some will try their hand at a PVC automobile! At the current cost of construction kits, it’s much cheaper to build with PVC and kids actually have more fun doing it.
The key is to get the kids involved in hands-on activities so they take a vested interest in whatever it is you are learning. Whether it’s learning about shapes and sizes or simply spending time bouncing around the room, there is nothing quite as versatile, and certainly not as inexpensive as PVC pipe for children’s activities.