As summer break approaches, you likely look for new ideas to keep your kids entertained. You don’t want your kids to spend hours playing video games, watching TV, or complaining about how bored they are.
One way you can entertain your children is through a homemade slip’n slide. Slip’n slides made from giant tarps are often faster and more fun than store-bought slip’n slides. Follow these simple steps to build a slip’n slide in your backyard.
- Gather Supplies
The most important item you need to build your slip’n slide is a giant tarp. Consider using a billboard trap. A billboard tarp was once used as a billboard sign but can easily be repurposed as a slip’n slide. Reusing a billboard tarp is an environmentally friendly option.
Another benefit to billboard tarps is that they are made from vinyl, which is stronger than the traditional polyurethane. When used as a slip’n slide, your tarp will see a lot of action, and you don’t want the material to rip or tear. Billboard tarps are also UV protected and waterproof, so they’re perfect for outdoor applications like slip’n slides.
Make sure the tarp is long enough and wide enough to meet your needs. A 12′ x 25′ tarp or larger is a good size for a slip’n slide.
Along with the tarp, you will need several stakes, a hose, and about a gallon of dish detergent. If you worry about polluting your local rivers with dish detergent, look for an environmentally friendly brand.
- Prepare the Area
Now that you have your supplies, you’ll need to find the right area in your yard to set up the slip’n slide in. The ideal location is a hill or another area with a downward slope.
Look closely at the area to make sure there isn’t any debris that could hurt your children. Clear away any rocks, branches, or other debris from the area before you set up your slide.
- Set Up the Slide
Once the area is prepared, lay out the tarp on the space. Smooth the tarp out and make sure there are no wrinkles.
Now, hammer the stakes into the tarp to hold it in place. Place about three stakes on one side of the tarp and about three stakes on the other side. If your tarp is particularly large, you will need additional stakes. Make sure the stakes are evenly spaced and that they’re fixed completely in the ground. If they stick out at all, your children could slide over them and hurt themselves.
- Add Soap and Water
Now, it’s time to get the slide wet and slippery. All you have to do is spray it with a hose and add some dish detergent.
You also need to figure out how you want to keep the slide wet. One option is to set up a clothesline above the slip’n slide and hang the hose over the clothesline. Use the clip on the nozzle to keep the hose running automatically.
Another option is to hold the hose yourself, an option that helps you get in on the action. You could also save water by using the hose only as needed.
- Have Fun!
You may need to periodically add more dish detergent if the slide starts to get less slippery. You can just add the detergent at the top of the slide—the sliders will spread it with their bodies as they slide down.
Make sure your kids know to slide one at a time to avoid collisions. Getting injured takes away all the fun from sliding down a slip’n slide.
Other than keeping the soap and water flowing, all you need to do now is have fun! Invite neighbors, friends, and family members to join in the fun too.
If you want to add some pizzazz to your slip’n slide, you can add a kiddie pool at the bottom of the slide. That way, your kids get an extra splash as soon as they go down the slide.
When you’re done with your slip’n slide, use the hose to rinse off the soap. Once your tarp dries, you can remove the stakes, fold the tarp, and store it for next year or the next time your kids want to play with the slide.
Turn your summer from blah to awesome with an activity that’s fun for everyone, whether they’re sliding or watching. Follow these steps to create your own slip’n slide and start a fun summer activity that never gets old. Using the slip’n slide may even become a fun summer tradition for your family!
Don’t forget to pick up all the supplies to create your slip’n slide. You can get the perfect recycled tarp from Billboard Tarps. We carry strong vinyl tarps that are perfect for your slip’n slide project.