This DIY portable water balloon cannon project has given us hours of fun for more than one season. It all started when we talked about building it and continued through the two trips to Home Depot, a trip to Walgreen’s for the “proper” water balloons – thin and small, the actual building and then the “training” of how to use it. We had to walk them through WHY they need to put in water first, why they need to close the valve as they are loading, and why the balloons can’t be fat. We even tried by ordering the “AS SEEN ON TV” fancy multi-fill at one time gadget (FAIL) because their balloons were not of the quality we needed, and their fill device only worked with THEIR self-sealing balloons. Instead, we bought an adapter for the faucet in the yard, and one for the trailer to work with fresh, small, thin, water balloons.
DIY Portable Water Balloon Cannon Instructions:
Here’s the link to the post of building instructions by the same person with this video ^
We tested it out at home first. Cyclists BEWARE! Our family has terrible — and not so terrible aim. We found the biggest challenge to be the balloons. Those things are tiny, thin and prone to bursting. We highly recommend the softer plastic fitting to go over the spout to prevent sharp edges from bursting all balloons before you ever get them to the cannon. Also, do not fill them too much, because they have to slip into the PVC tube.
We used a bike pump to pressurize it. Even though we have a serious compressor, we hate the noise. Besides, it gives the kids something to do to build their muscles, fall down, and laugh more. 15-20 pumps will do it. Building your stash of balloons in a bucket keeps it moving along between launches. My kids are easily distracted if we have to stop and fill balloons between launches. It becomes easier to squirt each other with the hose or just fill the cannon with straight water and stand underneath it. That works too.
Our family camps and we enjoy hanging out at home. But mostly, we like to laugh.