Avoid the crowds and beat the heat on the hot summer days by transforming your back yard into your own private water park oasis. Whether you’re looking for some simple summer activities—rainbow inflatable sprinkler, perhaps?—or a DIY project to get the kids pumped for summer, you don’t need to leave the house to have your kids slipping and sliding the day away. Read on for some easy backyard waterpark ideas of your own.
Get Drenched with Water Blasters
You know those self-serve water cannons at theme parks that let kids totally drench anyone who's innocently walking nearby? You can make one in your very own backyard! Your kids will love aiming and firing their personal water blasters at anyone who gets too close (don't say we didn't warn you). Get the instructions on how to create this backyard waterpark idea from Sara at Mom Endeavors.
From a pink elephant that squirts water out its trunk to a giraffe that spews sprinkles from its mouth, there's a veritable menagerie of sprinklers to choose from when it comes to watering your kids. Check out our faves here.
Play Slip 'n' Slide Kickball
Kickball has never been more fun (or wetter)! Put a few Slip 'n Slides together, add kiddie pools, and you've got a kickball diamond your kids will be talking about for years. NothingToDo Crew has fairly easy (and under $70!) instructions on how to make the game field here.
Whether you want to blow up a sprinkler, a slide or a pool (or wow your kids with a combo of all three!), you'll find a plethora of backyard water park ideas out there. Giant rainbow? Check! Ginormous water-spraying dinosaur? Why not? Full-on inflatable water park? Yes! Check out our list of some of the best inflatables out there.
Make a Giant Water Blob
It's squishy and filled with water ... but it won't get your kids wet! This water blob will have your kids rolling, slipping, sliding—and just wishing some of that water would squirt out (but, if you make it right, it won't!). All you need to make this super-cool blob is plastic sheeting, parchment paper and an iron to seal the edges. Mom Becca Beach has the instructions on how to make these backyard water park ideas a reality on her Youtube channel.
Set Up a Water Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are double the fun—and double the challenge—with water! For tips on designing one that’s guaranteed to be a big splash, visit Jodi at MeaningfulMama.com
Whack Some Water Balloons
Sponge bombs that is! You'll have lots of splashy fun and no balloon bits to pick up. Pop over to Inner Child Fun for the easy how-to (FYI: You only need sponge strips and rubber bands to make them!).
Make a "Kid Wash"
Ever wish you could run your kids through the wash like your car? Now you can! HGTV has a step-by-step tutorial for this super-fun activity—(which, by the way, is a sneaky way to rinse them off when they’ve been in the sandbox too!).
Make a Personal Splash Pad
Splash pads are the latest thing! Lauren’s lucky little guy has his very own, for those oh-so-hot Alabama days. It’s a surprisingly easy and inexpensive project to build. At Little White House Blog Lauren and her husband Brett show you how, with a little help from son Baker. Check out Lauren’s Instagram for more on the family's farmhouse life.
If you don't mind shelling out a few bucks to give the kids some backyard thrills, options abound when it comes to home water slides. In fact, Target has quite a few of the slip 'n slide variety, all for under $40 bucks each! Want something a little bigger? Head to Amazon to find mega-slides that you can set up on a hill for extra speed.
—Taylor Clifton, Melissa Heckscher, Allison Sutcliffe with Jesseca Stenson