Family & Pets

5 Fun Ways To Turn Your Backyard Into A Water Park For Kids

August 11, 2014 7:00 AM

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As the summer months go on, you might find that your children’s boredom levels are rising in tandem with the mercury in the thermometer. Beat the heat and the doldrums with water fun in your own backyard.

Pool Noodle Waterfall

Photo Credit Meghan Ross

Photo Credit Meghan Ross

A simple pool noodle is easy to convert into a backyard water feature.

  • Foam pool noodle
  • Plastic shopping bag
  • Duct tape
  • Nail
  • Garden hose

Close up one end of the noodle by stuffing the shopping bag in it, then sealing it with duct tape. Starting about six inches from the opposite end, use the nail to poke holes in one straight line along the length of the noodle. As you go, widen each hole slightly by wiggling the nail.

Push the end of the hose into the open side of the noodle. Holding or hanging the noodle up in the air, turn on the water, so it squirts out of the holes and creates a waterfall.

Bubbly Slip and Slide

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

If you have an incline in your backyard, put it to good use with a slippery, bubbly sliding surface.

  • Plastic sheeting (available at home improvement stores)
  • Dish soap
  • Garden hose
  • Tent stakes or duct tape

Unfurl the sheeting and spread it down the length of your incline. For safety’s sake, choose an area with plenty of clear space. Using the stakes or the duct tape, secure the top corners of the sheeting. Depending on your setup, you may want to secure the bottom corners, too.

After wetting the entire slide thoroughly, leave a light stream of water running down it. A squirt of dish soap at the top will add to the fun by making the slide extra slippery.

Target Practice

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Disposable aluminum pans make great water gun targets because of the noise the water makes when it hits them.

  • Water guns
  • Aluminum pie plates
  • Permanent markers
  • String or zip ties

Decorate the pie plates with permanent markers, or let your children do it. With string or zip ties, hang the pans from trees, affix them to fences or otherwise display them around your yard.

Hand over the water pistols, and encourage your little gunslingers to fire away!

Water Balloon Slide

Photo Credit Meghan Ross

Photo Credit Meghan Ross

Take the classic slide-and-pool combination up a notch with a surprise element at the bottom.

  • Kiddie pool
  • Small slide
  • Filled water balloons

Set up the slide with the ladder outside the pool and the end inside. Fill the pool with water balloons. If you don’t have enough balloons for at least one full layer, supplement by filling the pool with water.

Kids can go down the slide and try to pop the balloons on their landing. If children are sticking to the slide, a trickle from the garden hose will help.

Upcycled Sprinkler

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

No sprinkler? No problem!

  • Empty two-liter bottle
  • Utility knife
  • Garden hose
  • Thread seal tape
  • Female-to-female hose adapter
  • Duct tape

Using a utility knife or other sharp object, poke holes in the sides and bottom of the bottle.

The threads of the bottle top and the hose probably won’t match up just right for screwing together, but if not, you have two options. For a sturdier version, cover the threads of the bottle with thread seal tape, and use the adapter to attach the hose to the bottle. For a low-cost alternative, slide the bottle and the hose end together and wrap them securely with duct tape.

Lay the bottle on the ground or drape the hose over a tree branch before turning on the water.

Water is refreshing entertainment on a hot summer day, but please remember to always supervise children around water. Here’s to beating the heat with your very own backyard water adventure!

Meghan Ross is a freelance writer covering all things home and living. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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