Friday, February 24, 2012

How to turn your backyard slide into a waterslide

I like to think of March as the beginning of warm weather time.  It's totally not true, but it makes me feel better. So anyway, I've been meaning to post my little creation for a while and decided that now would be a good time since I'm kinda sick of Spider Solitaire. You may notice I blurred some of the kids in these pictures.  It isn't because they're ugly.  It's because they aren't mine.  They're actually pretty cute.  Too bad you don't get to see them.

Here's a shot of the thing in action.  My kids don't like water on their heads so it was adjusted to the lowest setting for my daughter.  Some days I wonder how she survives the shower. (I'm meeelllllting! What a world. [I'm not insinuating that she's evil.  She just doesn't like the water])

I apparently cropped this next picture a little too much.  My backyard isn't exactly weed free and is frequently visited by children.  Anywho...That should say Adjust Water Here.  I found a cool little doodad (not its official name) that splits the water two ways and allows you to adjust the pressure in either way.  My kids like it on the gentle setting.  My neighbor's kids like insane.  In case you're wondering, yes my son did manage to get his feet wet.  But not anything else. The temperature was in the nineties that day.

You can see the hose going into the pool at the bottom of this one.  The pool is double ringed but we only inflated the bottom ring.  We put some water in the air chamber to keep the pool from moving away from the slide.  We've also used a plastic water slide at the end.  The kids slid further but it was a bumpy landing. We like this pool a lot better and the splash is bigger too - depending on the kid.

Here's a shot of the slide on the strongest setting - or insane.  My vegetable garden likes this setting too.

So here's what you need. PVC pipe, pipe cutters, PVC hose attachment, elbow, cap, PVC glue, electric drill with a really small bit. Optional supplies: splitter doodad as mentioned above (I found mine at Lowes.) Spray paint.

What it looks like assembled.

Step 1: Cut pipe to right length.  I did this one long so my nephew, who is on the short side, can attach the hose without help.  Mine is shorter so the kids can adjust the setting when they're sitting on the slide.

Step 2:  Spray paint.

Step 3: Once the paint is dry, drill tiny holes up the side and along the top.

See how the holes aren't in a straight line?  This is what makes it squirt everywhere.  I call it the fun factor.  My kids call it terrifying.

Step 4: Glue the pieces together.  Make sure you know which side of the slide your hose will attach so you don't end up with the hose attached to the wrong side.  If you aren't careful you could water the swings instead of the slide.  Although that could be fun too.

Step 5: Once your glue has dried, attach it to your slide.  I used zip ties but every slide is different so use whatever works.

Step 6: Sunscreen! (My  boys were sunburned because their dad took them swimming when I wasn't feeling well.  Nice to have a quiet house.  Not so nice to have sunburned kids.)

I think I covered everything.  It's a really simple inexpensive project and the kids love it. Actually, my kids like it.  Their friends love it.

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