At their best, slippery slides are quite exhilarating, safe, fast, and fun for kids. In fact, it is one of the best ways to keep them happy and focused throughout spring and summer. Setting it up in your backyard playground makes it even much better for them. The biggest problem with commercial slippery slides is that most of them are too short or short-lived. Some are thin and fall apart only after a few slips. Fortunately, you can make your own slippery slide and customize it to your liking.
So, how do you make a slippery slide? You need to start by finding a perfect spot in your backyard for it. From there, gather materials which include a plastic tarp, tent stakes, lubricant, pool noodles, waterproof double-sided tape, and water. Once you have gathered all the supplies, clear all objects and sharp objects from the site you had identified before, secure your tarp. Apply water on it, apply a soap lubricant, and you are ready to roll.
This blog post discusses simple steps you can follow to set up a simple slippery slide in your backyard. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Why Should You Install a Slippery Slide in Your Backyard?
Generally, children love to slide. This is because it gives them so much fun. They can slide all day without getting bored.
Therefore, setting up a slippery slide in your backyard provides them with an incredible platform to have a great time. Also, this idea can be used to make their summer birthday party more fun because there are so many kids who will come to the party to participate in the sliding challenge.
Sliding helps them to develop a wide range of critical skills. As they start sliding, their body parts work out, keeping them in great shape physically.
They learn how to interact with their friends and cooperate with each other. They also build their courage and strength.
A custom-made slippery slide will help them develop stronger muscles as they try to maintain their balance and focus on the challenge.
Furthermore, they will practice motor skills as they climb the stairs or stand at the top of the slide and prepare to come down.
A slippery slide is a great way to keep your little ones busy while you focus on other important tasks around the house. With a slippery slide, you can let them outside to play and have some fun so that they don’t interrupt you.They can slide all day without getting bored.
Keep in mind that having a regular slide in your backyard can be very dangerous sometimes, especially if you have children who are adventurous or just hyperactive. When they become hyperactive, they will try to speed up their way down the slide, leading to accidents.
This is why you need to install a simple slippery slide in your backyard instead. Slippery slides are not only fun for kids, but they’re also safe because they have non-skid surfaces that prevent accidents.
How to Make a Slippery Slide- Materials Required
You will need to assemble the following materials to make a simple slipper slide. A trip to your local home equipment store should sort you with most of these supplies:
1. Plastic Tarp
The plastic tarp will be used as the sliding material. Therefore, you need to choose a plastic tarp that is relatively thick enough and less likely to tear. Remember that the higher the durability, the longer you can reuse the slippery slide in the future.
This will most likely be your biggest expense, so don’t skimp on it by buying a cheap plastic material that won’t last long. Ensure the sheeting is at least 6mm thick to minimize the risk of tears and offer sufficient protection from small rocks and other sharp objects underneath it.
Go for a white or black plastic tarp but keep in mind that black sheeting tends to get too hot between slip and slide breaks. The length will depend on how long you want the slippery slide to be.
2. Tent Stakes and Other Digging Supplies
Depending on where you choose to install the slippery slide, you may need a shovel to level the ground. If you are installing it on grass, feel free to use tent stakes to secure the corners of your plastic tarp.
Push the stakes far into the ground using a hammer for safety precautions. You can even have more stakes on the sides of the tarp.
3. Waterproof Double-Sided Tape
You are most probably asking yourself why you need double-sided tape. Well, this one will be used to secure the pool noodles to the edges of your plastic tarp.
4. Pool Noodles
Do you remember having fun playing ten-pin bowls as a child with the gutter barrier up? The pool noodles play the same role in this case. It makes playing on the slippery slide safe and more fun.
They also hold water on the slide and serve as a soft bumper edge for your kids. They play a critical role in preventing unnecessary injuries.
The most important ingredient for making a slippery slide is water, and you will need plenty of it.
Having access to a nearby tap that can trickle water down your slide all day long with the help of a hose pipe might be the best option here.
Lastly, you need a lubricant to make the slide slippery. Feel free to use dishwashing detergent, baby oil or bubble bath for the best results.
How to Make a Slippery Slide- The Steps
Now that you have gathered everything you will need, it is time to get down to work. Follow these steps to make a simple slippery slide:
Step 1: Find the Perfect Spot for Your Slippery Slide
Generally, the size of your slippery slide will depend on the available backyard space. Consider at least a 100-foot-long slide for a start because that makes for a relatively long and fun glide for your little ones.
However, if you don’t have much space in your backyard, feel free to go smaller. For the spot, you are need to find the longest stretch of natural grass, preferably on slightly hilly terrain. Typically, the steeper the gradient, the more enjoyable the ride.
Don’t be worried if you have a flat backyard because a flat surface still works just fine, and things will be even better when you add a lubricant to the water.
Step 2: Remove Rocks and Sharp Objects
No matter where you choose to set up your slippery slide, you need to ensure the area is free from sticks, rocks, and other sharp objects that may cause injury to your little ones. There should be no obstructions over the full length of the slide path.
Check the entire area more than once and do whatever it takes to ensure your child doesn’t smash mid-slide into a tree root hidden underneath the plastic tarp.
Step 3: Roll Out the Plastic Tarp
Now carefully roll out the sheet of plastic tarp on the surface you had prepared in steps 1 and 2 above.
Ensure the tarp folds out fully and it is well balanced. You can take a walk on it to feel any sharp objects underneath it. Everything you do must be geared towards ensuring the full safety of your little ones.
Step 4: Secure the Tarp
You can use small piles of sand, tent stakes, or sandbags to secure the tarp on the ground. If you are setting up the slide on a beach, feel free to bury its edges into the sand.
Roll out the sheeting and secure it appropriately. Relatively longer slides may need additional anchors in the middle part.
Carefully lay the pool noodles around the tarp perimeter, leaving a small space between them. Feel free to pull the plastic tarp over the pool noodles from the outside edge to help secure the barrier.
Step 5: Apply Water
The slide needs to be as wet as possible to ensure a slick surfacing for slipping and sliding on.
Therefore, once you are fully confident that the tarp is well secured and the pool noodles are in place, give it a good watering and keep the hose pipe or sprinkler next to the slide to ensure it remains wet.
Step 6: Apply Soap Lubricant
Baby oil, liquid soap or bubble bath will play a critical role in reducing friction on your custom-made slippery slide.
Therefore, it is critical to keep the slide lathered throughout use. Your kids will help in spreading the lubricant as they slip and slide.
Step 7: Have Fun
At this point, everything should look good, and your kids should be having fun playing on the slippery slide. Admire your hard work and watch your little ones enjoy themselves.
You will know the quality of the work you did by how long your kids use the slide without it developing issues. Pull the slide up in winter to give grass ample time to grow.
Slippery slides are popular for providing endless hours of fun and entertainment at home. They also encourage bonding and socialization amongst children as well as adults since parents can join their little ones in having fun.
We hope you now have the confidence to build a simple slippery slide for your children in your backyard.