In warmer months, you might want to find more fun outdoor activities for your kids, and a slip ‘n slide might be one to consider.
Building your own backyard slip and slide has many benefits, though there are some things to consider before you jump in.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to build your very own backyard slip ‘n slide, why you might want to do so, the benefits of having a slip ‘n slide, and key safety tips to keep in mind.
The Benefits of Having a DIY Slip ‘n Slide in Your Backyard
There are some key benefits to having a DIY backyard slip ‘n slide to consider when deciding whether or not to add one to your yard.
- Safety: Slip ‘n slides are safe to use, which is a key benefit as parents frequently worry about the safety of their children.
- Hours of Fun. DIY slip ‘n slides provide hours of fun outside for your children at a very low cost. They’re great for birthday parties, BBQs, or simply when your child has friends over.
- Easy to set up and affordable: Slip ‘n’ slides are relatively easy to set up and are affordable as well.
- Cheaper than pools and less maintenance: Backyard slip ‘n slides make for great alternatives rather than having a pool, which requires much more maintenance and is much more expensive to install.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble: A slip ‘n’ slide can be set up and taken down without too much effort, making it a good portable option for your backyard.
Given these benefits, having a slip ‘n slide in your backyard might be the perfect source of outdoor entertainment for your kids in the warmer months.
The Benefits of Building a Slip ‘n Slide in Your Backyard Versus Buying One
You’ll have the option to build a slip ‘n’ slide or buy one from the store. There are benefits of building your own, which include:
- It’ll cost less to build your own. When you build your own slip ‘n slide, you’ll generally save money on the materials.
- You can fully customize your slip ‘n slide. A DIY slip ‘n slide can be any length, and you can do more with the water with it to create a more fun slide experience.
- More aesthetic options. Since you’re building the slip ‘n slide yourself, you can pick the colors and anything to add to it to make it more interesting for those using it.
Of course, when you buy a slip ‘n slide from the store, it’s usually all ready to go, which might save a lot of time if you’re not big on DIY projects, but you’ll have to use it for what it is and have fewer options to customize it.
Things to Consider Before Building a Backyard Slip and Slide
The location of your slip ‘n slide matters for how fast of an experience it will be. For example, while a flat yard is fine for most slip ‘n slides, you might consider a downhill section of the yard to allow those going down the slide to move at higher speeds for added enjoyment.
The end of the slip zone should be safe. You don’t want people getting hurt once they run out of slide.
Consider how much room you have for a DIY slip ‘n slide. Generally speaking, the longer, the better. This is particularly true in downhill slip ‘n slides, where the slider picks up momentum as they soar down the slide.
Again, keep safety in mind for the end of the track.
Will you use a flat slide or a downhill slide? Additionally, keep in mind the slope of a downhill slide, as too much of a slope can create hazardous conditions. A slide that is too fast can cause injury if someone flies off the slide or at the end of the slide when there’s no slide left.
In the cases of faster slides, consider an area to “catch” sliders that slows them down or stops them gradually.
Use quality materials when building your own slip ‘n slide. For example, avoid using black plastic sheeting as it will absorb heat which could make the slide painful to slide down. Clear plastic may kill your lawn, and white plastic is generally more expensive.
Buy heavy plastic sheeting because light plastic will tear and break your slide, which will end a fun day fast.
As with any DIY project, consider the cost and be sure that you have some extra money put aside for any unexpected costs or maintenance that will happen periodically as you, your friends, and your family enjoy the backyard slip ‘n slide.
How to Build Your Own Slip ‘n Slide in Your Backyard
Making a backyard slip ‘n slide is pretty straightforward, and you can assemble one in no time. Here are step-by-step instructions to follow to create your very own backyard slip ‘n slide before you know it.
Choose a Location
Figure out where in your yard you’ll build the slip ‘n slide. Mark the beginning of the slide area and the end of the slide area with something for reference so you know how long the slide will be and what part of your yard will be taken up when the slide is being used.
Ideally, you want a long stretch of grass on a hill. You can use a flat surface too, but a hill may be a lot more fun for those sliding.
Make sure to remove any rocks and sticks from the area both where the slide will be and anywhere near the slide, as an accident involving a rock or large stick can cause serious injuries.
Install the Plastic
Roll out the plastic and consider folding it in half lengthwise for extra padding. Then, use something like tent stakes to secure the four corners in place. Be sure that the tent stakes are securely installed to prevent the slide from tearing or coming up during extended use. Also, make sure that the tent stakes are deep in the ground to prevent injury.
Add Water and Optionally Shampoo
You can set up sprinklers along the slide or run a hose at the top of the slide and let the water run down to the bottom. Get the slide completely wet and add some baby shampoo to add to the slide’s slipperiness.
Baby shampoo works best because it doesn’t irritate your children’s eyes like other types of soap can.
Consider Adding Pool Noodles as Bumpers
You want to make sure that no one accidentally flies off the side of the slide. One way to help prevent this is to put pool noodles down on both sides on the slide to act as bumpers. This way, if someone hits one, they’ll slide back toward the middle of the slide safely.
Safety Tips for Backyard Slip ‘n Slides
As with any backyard fun activity, you’ll want to consider safety first. Here are some safety tips for DIY slip ‘n slides.
- Always supervise children who are using the slide. A slip ‘n slide may seem safe, but accidents happen, and you’ll want to be ready to act in case a child has an emergency while using the slide.
- Remove any sort of obstacle from the slide area such as rocks, sticks, roots, shrub, and similar. Striking an object at high speeds can cause serious injuries.
- Store the slip ‘n slide when it’s not in use. A child may try to use the slide when you’re not around, and it’s better to be safe by not having it available when it’s not intended to be used.
- Use slip ‘n slides during nice weather and avoid using them in the rain, during storms, or during other inclement weather.
- While it may feel more fun to slide headfirst, it’s much safer to slide in a seated position, especially downhill at high speeds.
- Slip ‘n slides are generally made for kids only. Adults and teens should be cautious with slip ‘n slides unless the slide is specifically built with their weight and size in mind.
Backyard DIY slip ‘n slides can bring fun times to those using them. They’re relatively easy to build and don’t cost very much. If you have the yard for it, then having a slide might be right for you.