DIY Family Slip'N Slide

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Plastic sheeting (6x6 can do perfectly for starters)
Parchment paper
Duct tape
Garden hose
Liquid dish soap, castile soap, or olive oil (optional)

Let’s be honest—I don’t have the greatest memories of Slip'n Slides from my childhood. Although it seemed like a great idea at the time, the actual use of the Slip'n Slide was a bit, well, painful. For those who aren’t familiar, the toy consists of a long piece of plastic that creates a river of flowing water in which one throws themselves onto in hopes of getting soaking wet and sliding down a hill. What no one tells you is that although there is a piece of plastic separating you from the ground, the user is still essentially throwing themselves on said ground with little or no padding. This DIY will serve as a tutorial on how one can make this classic summer toy at home, but with a twist. Instead of a simple piece of plastic to act as the base of this toy, why not fill it with water, making it more fun (and more comfortable) to jump onto?

Step 1 - Create the Slide

Open your plastic sheeting and fold it in half. Make another fold along each edge, and using your parchment paper as a barrier between the iron and the plastic, place a hot iron on top. This will slightly melt the plastic, creating a seal between the top and bottom layers. Do this until all sides of the sheeting are nearly completely sealed, but be sure to leave a 2 to 3-inch hole somewhere on your project, the size of your water hose to fit into. (This part of the project will take some time, so be patient! It's always best if you have another iron and a friend to help, though the end result will be worth your work!)

Step 2 - Fill the Slide with Water

Once completed, take the tarp outside and begin to fill it with water. Unlike many similar DIYs, we are not looking to fill the plastic to capacity. Instead, we are only looking for an inch or two of water, which will be enough to break the fall of a user who will be slipping and sliding on top of it. Once filled, don't seal the hole with an iron because that will prevent the toy from being used again. Instead, simply use duct tape as a temporary—but effective—fix.

Step 3 - Start Sliding

Now is the fun part. Using your hose, wet the surface where you're going to place the tarp and begin sliding! Many people feel the need to add a lubricant of sorts to create a more slippery effect. Liquid dish soap, castile soap, and even olive oil make great additives.

Final Notes

When placing this project in a yard, one should consider the terrain. Since the base part is filled with water,

if placed on a downhill slope, the whole base will slide downhill.

I have seen DIYers craft makeshift barriers in an attempt to stop themselves from sliding off the toy. They attach pool noodles (the tubular foam flotation devices) along the perimeter of the plastic sheets, often with Velcro. Though it isn’t tethered to the ground, it at least gives the slider something to grab onto.

Finally, while the younger kids will have a great time splashing around and getting wet, some of your older ones may get bored quickly. Therefore, why not make this toy into a game? I have heard wonderful results from crafting more than one Slip'n Slide and arranging them in a diamond pattern, then using blow-up pools as the bases to play a wet and wild game of kickball!