Permaculture in Action

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tippy Tap

When we have children visiting the farm, whether it's for a birthday party or a farm tour, the need for hand washing hands after all those animal cudddles is very important. In the past I've just used a bucket of water as there isn't any hand washing facilities close to he activity, but I really wanted something where the children could have running water and not be using the same water as everyone else.

I came across this example of disease prevention in India. This a you tube showing how to make a tippy tap. I thought it would be a lovely thing to make one here on the farm for the children. I could talk about how children in other countries needed a way to wash their hands because they don't have the hand washing facilities that we do here in this country. And just because it's a bit of fun.

So here's our version of a tippy tap....

We found two long branches with forked ends

Dug a pit for drainage..

Around the outside of the hole we placed bricks to stand on..

Filled the hole with crushed concrete..

Mark dug two holes for the branches..

We used a watering can to hold the water as that was what we had. In India they used plastic containers..

Attach some rope to the container at a point which will allow it to tip when the rope is pulled. Attach the other end of the rope to a shorter branch on the ground. Make the rope short enough so that it raises one end of the branch up off the ground, so that when you press down on the branch with your foot, it tips the water container so that the water can pour out into your hands.

Squirt a little liquid soap onto your hands and hold them under the water and there you have it. Clean hands.


  1. Such a simple, yet wonderful idea and a great educational tool. Here's to clean hands, have a great week.

  2. That is so inventive. It's a pulley and lever system. do you fill it? Do you have to take the metal post down to fill the can on the ground?

  3. That is fantastic Kate! I love it!

  4. I love your tippy tap, such a great idea!

  5. What a simple, clever idea, have you decided what to plant nearby to use up the water that will drain down ?

  6. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

    Cheap Shoreline Restoration in FL & Rip Rap Installation in FL