The water basin feature is it for today’s progress, aside from a little weeding. I got the other pump down in the 5 gallon bucket as long as I had it open. I decided to replace the drainage rocks with a new bag after spending half an hour rinsing it–that was getting a bit silly for a $3.50 bag of stone.
It’s not very impressive, but the kids all love it. I’m thinking of getting a bigger basin when Homestead Gardens has their big 2-for-1 ceramic sale. For a very, very young child, you can fill the basin up most of the way with decorative stone so that there is no water to fall into.
In case you want to make something like this, all you need is a pump, a 5 gallon bucket, a small pond liner, a bag of drainage rock, a drill with a 3/4″ to 1″ bit and a 1/2″ bit, a shovel, and the “spitter,” the overflow basin, and the decorative rock. Dig out a hole a bit bigger than the 5 gallon bucket with a small depression around it and put the pond liner in it. Drill some holes in the 5 gallon bucked toward the bottom and up the sides with the smaller bit for water to come in, and drill one larger one toward the top edge to bull the power cord and the tubing through. Put the pump in.
Add a little drainage rock to the hole and put the 5 gallon bucket on top. Then fill it with water and test the pump. If the pump works, stick the lid on and fill up the sides with drainage rock at least to the level of the lid. Then put your decorative basin on top and arrange the decorative rocks around it. Finally, attach the tubing to the spitter (which you will need to raise to the right height), fill the basin up with water, and let her rip. You will probably need barley-based nontoxic pond clarifier (it takes a few days, which is why my fountain is muddy now) and a mosquito dunk, too!
A pump that gives a 3′ rise will be enough to have a small horizontal spitter. To have the water go up with any velocity, you’ll need a pump with a 5′ rise.