From the Field

How’d they do that: Make a tip tap for handwashing

Clean water goes hand in hand with hygiene and sanitation, and handwashing plays a big part in stopping the spread of disease. In areas where there is no running water, tip taps — also known as tippy taps — are clever contraptions that conserve water while keeping people healthy. They are simple to build with easy-to-find materials.

Contraptions called "tippy taps," which provide clean water for hand washing, are simple to build with easy-to-find materials.
Sponsored child Faith Chenguluka, 8, washes her hands at her family’s tip tap station in Kapululwe, Zambia. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Eugene Lee)

How to make a tip tap

Need an idea to engage your kids and make handwashing fun? Try making a tip tap or one of our other fun family activities.

  1. Gather two forked sticks of equal length, two straight sticks, tools to dig, a water container, two pieces of heavy-duty string, and a bar of soap.
  2. Dig two holes 2 feet apart and place the forked sticks in the holes. Make sure the sticks are secure and tightly packed into the holes.
  3. Place one of the straight sticks across the two supports.
  4. Make two holes in the water container: one about six inches below the opening, and the other in the cap of the container.
  5. Fill the container with clean water, thread a piece of string through the hole in the cap, and hang the container from the cross stick.
  6. Attach the other end of the string to the remaining stick, which will be at the foot level.
  7. Make a hole in the soap, thread in the remaining piece of string, and hang from the cross stick.
  8. Make a gravel basin between the support sticks to prevent the area from getting muddy. Now you can wash your hands!

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