Walking on Water (Running, Jumping & Dancing too)

I’ve been wanting to try this outdoor waterbed/trampoline idea that I’ve seen floating around Pinterest for a while now. To the best of my knowledge (thanks to a commenter), the original idea for a using plastic sheeting and filling it with water came from Play at Home Mom. When I found out we were teaching children’s church, I knew this would be a fun idea to do with the story of Jesus walking on water (from The Story for Children Storybook Bible). I found a great tutorial here that I modified slightly to fit our needs. It was a hit with the kids, although pretty much an epic fail seeing that most of the kids left children’s church VERY wet.

Not at all how it was supposed to go…

For a few kids, this would have been perfect. But we had nearly 20 children (ages 2-6) who were SUPER excited to walk on water. So excited, in fact, that they ended up running, jumping, and dancing on top of it…all at the same time (which was not the instructions they were given…but toddlers/preschoolers+water walking= absolutely no amount of self-control). Needless to say, there were lots of holes made in the plastic and lots and lots of silly little children who thought it was fun to play in said holes.

Please excuse the blurred faces in the photos below…I didn’t ask each of the parents permission to post these photos.

Here’s what you’ll need (if you dare try):  Plastic sheeting, duct tape, and office clips.  For the plastic sheeting, we used 4 mil strength from Lowe’s that was 10 feet by 25 feet. If you’re just using it at home with only a few kids, get something smaller and MUCH, MUCH thicker (like 6m or more).





 Open up the plastic completely and then fold the long side over.


These little clips helped hold the plastic together to tape it.


Duct tape the edges. Leave a tiny hole a couple inches wide to put the hose in when you’re ready to fill it up.


My little assistant was very interested in what I was doing!


Use a hole to fill it up. Once it is full, duct tape the small hole where you put the hose in.

 It all started off well, with the kids taking turns walking on the water.

More kids + more excitement!

Before we knew it, there was a huge, gushing hole right in the center…







Yep, we definitely have “those boys”. :)

After the mayhem died down a bit, all the kids sat on the perimeter and we made lots of waves. We read the story of Jesus quieting the wind and the waves once we got back inside.

The holes created by this crazy crew!

If you decide to try this, be sure that you tell kids to come prepared…with swimsuits and towels! :)


  1. Haha! Love this! The pictures made me literally laugh out loud!! Seeing the “oh no” looks at first when the kids started to get carried away, then finally all smiles as they’ve all “dived in” and there is no hope of return! lol!! Such a great idea! My daughter (3) would love this!

  2. That is a very cool idea. I think my boys would love it. And they would definitely be the ones making holes. :-)

    1. You just leave a tiny without duct taping and then fill it up with. Once it is filled up, duct tape the hole together! :)

  3. I have seen this idea as well. I LOVE how you tied in a Bible Story with it! Thanks for the great idea.

  4. this is such a great idea!! I wish we were doing the walking on water story for VBS!

  5. Hi! This is currently one of my son’s favorite activities. :) He will often ask if we can have lunch or our snack on “the waterbed.” I think it is funny that most of the kids went home wet from your activity…if it were me I would have been so pleased for my child to have had so much fun at church!!! Lol. :)

    I noticed in your blog post that you said that the idea has been floating around Pinterest. I think the original source was actually from one of the admins at Play at Home Mom. While I am sure she ultimately is happy that so many people have enjoyed this and other ideas of hers/theirs, even without having been given proper “credit,” I know it’s always appreciated to be given the credit where credit is due (especially since theirs has recently turned into a business, I think). :) Even though I know for me that I’d like to say “oh, that’s ok, just as long as the kids are having fun”, I know deep down in my heart I’d probably want to be given credit too if I had awesome ideas like this. And I’m forever posting original sources on my personal FB page for the activities I do with our boys. Lol. :)

    Thanks for taking the time to run your FB page and Blog. You’ve been one of my “likes” for a long, long time. :) Have a wonderful day toady! :)

    1. Thanks for sharing the original source–I just added it in the post. There were SO MANY variations that I wasn’t sure what the original source was. I credited another blog where I got the tutorial from, but she even said on her blog post that she saw it somewhere else (and didn’t credit it). I am normally very diligent about crediting the proper source but apparently dropped the ball on this one. Thanks.

      1. Yeah, I can imagine the difficulty in crediting original sources with there being so much out there. The web/blogs/pinterest/etc. is a wonderful resource but I guess it is a double edged sword in terms of figuring out the original source of something. And thanks again for all your effort. It is so nice that there are people out there who are able to share what they do for their/others kids whom people like me can learn from. :)

  6. I was just thinking it might be cool to add stuff inside the water bag like thin flat objects that wouldn’t poke holes. Maybe in the shape of fish? Maybe made out of mylar?

  7. Oh, this looks like so much fun!! I was literally laughing out loud! My oldest son would definitely be another one poking a hole and sitting right on top of the resulting gusher! What a great way to make the Scripture come alive for the kids. I’m sure this is a lesson they will remember for a looooong time! And I like Stephanie’s idea too. Probably some thickly laminated colored paper fish would look really cool in the “water bed”. … Ooooh exciting… gotta give this a try!

  8. I was showing this post to my girls and my oldest said, “they were just like Peter – getting all wet trying to walk on water!” I thought that was great!

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