Two girls pump clean water from a well in Ghana.
Girls in Ghana pump clean water from a well built with help from friends of Cross Catholic Outreach. Your support can build wells like this all over the world!

Craft for Kids: Make Your Own Clean Water Pump

Cross Catholic Outreach’s ministry partners in developing countries provide safe water to thirsty families by installing wells in their communities. Because electricity is rare in remote areas, many of those wells use a simple hand pump technology to bring up the water. This also makes them easier to repair and maintain. Read on to learn how to involve kids in building a model water pump with a few simple materials, making this a fun craft for the whole family to enjoy!

Materials Needed

To get started, you will need:

  • An empty plastic water bottle. Using a clear bottle allows everyone to see the pump in action!
  • A balloon.
  • A straw (bendable straws work best).
  • Glue or tape.
  • Water.
  • Scissors.
  • A container to catch the water being pumped.


  1. Use scissors to cut a small hole near the top of the bottle. (Adult help is needed for this step!)
  2. Place the straw through the hole. Glue or tape the straw into place and try to cover up any gaps around the hole to prevent air or water from escaping.
  3. Fill the bottle with water about three-fourths of the way.
  4. Place the bottle beside the empty bowl. Position the straw to empty the water into the bowl.
  5. Inflate the balloon and hold it closed.
  6. While keeping the balloon pinched closed, wrap the bottom of the balloon around the lid of the water bottle.
  7. Slowly release your fingers from the balloon, allowing air to escape into the bottle.
  8. Watch as water flows out of the bottle and into the bowl!
  9. Repeat as desired.
A balloon-powered water pump.
This homemade water pump will help you remember families around the world waiting for the gift of clean water.

How did it go?

Did you make your own water pump? We would love to see your pictures! Tag us @crosscatholic on Instagram or Facebook.

Make Cross Catholic Outreach Your Lent Charity

This Lent, Cross Catholic Outreach ministry partners are providing clean water to families all over the world, but we need your help. As you pray, fast and give this Lenten season, would you consider making a gift to Cross Catholic Outreach to support our work in developing countries? Browse our Easter Catalog for other giving opportunities that include building clean water wells, constructing safe housing, providing education, and meeting the most urgent needs of children and families.

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