It is hot! Like hot, hot! So hot, I just watched an entire playlist with videos of people cooking eggs on sidewalks or baking muffins on the dashboard of their cars. The summer heat is in full effect, and a backyard water park is a great way to get relief.
Now I don’t know about you, but when it’s hot like this, my wife and I love to take our kids to the pool or Typhoon Texas, a water park with a huge wave pool, lazy river, splash pads, and kiddie pools. Only one small problem: COVID-19 has us all quarantined! Yes, even in Texas, some of us are still at home.
When parents and kids are stuck at home in the dead heat of the summer, what should they do? Make a DIY backyard water park, that’s what! Here are five ways you can transform your backyard into your own personal waterpark without breaking the bank. And, these are all projects kids can do on their own.
Use a tarp to create your own slip-and-slide.
This one is great because it requires the fewest number of tools, least amount of money, and time for setup. For it, all you need is a tarp, some tear-free soap (or dish soap), and a water hose!
Step 1: Cover your tarp in soap.
Step 2: Then spray the tarp with water until it gets really slippery.
Step 3: Have your kids take a running start!
This is the perfect way to turn a hot day into a huge smile, like the one above!
Make your own splash pad with an upcycled bottle.
Wait—don’t put that tarp away just yet! You can use it for this next one, too. Parents in downtown and other urban areas really love a good splash pad. And we can still create that with minimal equipment. For this one, all you’ll need is some duct tape, your water hose, something sharp, and an old plastic two-liter bottle.
Step 1: Take your sharp object (scissors or knife) and poke holes in your bottle.
Step 2: Connect the bottle to your hose.
Step 3: Turn on that water and get to splashing!
Bonus Tip: Get a multi-hose valve connector so you can connect multiple hoses!
Create your own water balloon piñatas for your backyard water park.
This one works best if you have a pergola, covered patio, or tree in your backyard. If you don’t have any of those, you can get creative with the corner of a fence. For this you will need some rope or string, water balloons, clothespins, and an object that is safe to swing!
Step 1: Fill up about six or seven balloons with water, making sure to tie them up. Leave them in a bucket filled with water so they don’t explode too early.
Step 2: Use your rope or string to make a clothesline somewhere in your backyard. This could be a tree, your patio, pergola, or the corner of your fence.
Step 3: Use the clothespins to attach the water balloons to the line you have just strung up.
Step 4: Let the kids get to wackin’ those balloons!
Bonus Tip: Use a blindfold if your kids want a challenge! (Mine hate using the blindfold because it makes it so much harder.)
Add an inexpensive inflatables station to your backyard water park.
Big box stores like Target or Walmart have no shortage of inflatables right now. So for this next one, grab some inflatable pools, sprinklers, slides, and toys. You may even get them on sale because the stores have decided to taunt us with fall stuff already. So with any luck, they may be clearing their summer pool items.
Once you have the assortment of inflatables you want, create stations in your backyard. You may fill up a kiddie pool with water and water balloons at one station. You may have a giant, inflatable, unicorn sprinkler, or an inflatable slip-and-slide, or an inflatable waterslide! Mix it up and let your kids go wild!
You can also have your very own DIY giant water blob.
Now this one takes a little more elbow grease, but it's well worth the effort. To make this, you will need an 8 foot x 10 foot piece of plastic sheeting that’s about 4 mm thick. You’ll also need an iron, parchment paper, and a water hose. You can watch the HGTV video tutorial to see how it comes together.
Step 1: Fold the piece of plastic sheeting in half.
Step 2: Use the iron to seal the open end of the sheeting. Make sure to use the parchment paper in between the iron and the sheeting so the iron doesn’t completely melt the plastic.
Step 3: Iron all the edges, leaving a small opening for the hose.
Step 4: Fill with water and then seal the hole.
Step 5: Let the blob fun begin.
We hope you enjoy making your own backyard water park. Plus, if you're looking to bring some cold to your hot day, consider adding snow to your summer. Here are some experiments for that.