How to Make a Homemade Water-Slide for Your Backyard Play Space

How to make a homemade water slide for your backyard play space, using nothing more than a camping tarp, a garden hose and a bottle of cheap shampoo!

The hooligans and I love it when the temperatures turn warm in the spring because that’s when we start in with our simple water play activities.  A backyard water slide is one activity that they ask for year after year.  A homemade water slide is super-easy to make.  It won’t cost you more than the price of an inexpensive camping tarp, and it will provide your kids with hours and hours of good, old-fashioned fun.

How to make a DIY water slide for your backyard

I’ve been making these water slides since my own teenage boys were young.

diy water-slide tarp garden hose

How to make a homemade water-slide:

There are a couple of things you can use for a homemade water slide.

1. Sometimes I use the heavy-duty clear plastic that we line our backyard skating rink with.  It’s really sturdy and super-slippery.

2. Today I’m using a basic camping tarp.  Both the clear plastic sheeting and these camping tarps are available at most hardware stores.

hang hose over clothes line forhomemade water slide

I spread the tarp out over a small slope in the yard, hung the garden hose up over the clothes-line, and chose a light spray setting.  I used that little clip thingy on the hose nozzle to hold the trigger down so the hose would stay on.   Then I drizzled some cheap shampoo over the tarp to make it slippery.  You don’t want to miss this step.  The kids won’t be able to really slide without it.  Just pick up a bottle of shampoo or dish detergent at the dollar store.  You don’t want to spend much because you’re going to use a lot of it keeping the tarp slippery.  We went through the whole bottle today, but I got it for a dollar so no biggie.

That’s it, that’s all: tarp, hose, shampoo.  I told you it was easy! :)  Check out how much fun they had!  They spent the whole morning slipping and sliding.

diy water slide with mild shampoo

You may also enjoy:

Giant Homemade Bubbles Recipe

18 Free (or almost free) Things to Add to your Backyard Play Space

25 Water Play Activities for the Backyard

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    • happyhooligans says

      Heehee, I don’t think the Hooligans’ parents would appreciate me packing up and leaving, Beth! How ’bout you come here?!

    • happyhooligans says

      Yes! You must, Adrienne! You’ll love it! Either that, or come on over with Rebekah one day, and we’ll all play together. lol

  1. Aabir says

    Reminded me of my childhood in the states, we got this thing called slip and slide, thanks for sharing, I love your ideas and appreciate you sharing with us. I haves used several ideas, and I must say the idea of cotton wool coated with colored flour was amazing I made it for my Playgroup kids and they enjoyed smashing it with a plastic hammer.

  2. lynn valentine says

    How do you anchor your tarp/plastic to the hill? Looking forward to doing this for our grandkids this summer.

  3. Pam Burkhart says

    Try no-sting baby shampoo to
    make it slippery. No Ouchy! Dish soap stings the eyes and hurts their previous cuts and scrapes. Ouchy!


  1. […] camp! Coordinate daytime water activities like playing in a DIY sprinkler, water balloon fun, slipping and sliding on a DIY slide, outdoor water games and end the week with a trip to the local pool or […]

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