The summers can get hot and not having a fun water feature will only keep the kids inside where they have air conditioning. You can go to the beach, find a swimming pool, or anywhere they could stay cool in the heat. But why not have something in your own backyard?
In the article, I want to show you how to make a splash pad in your backyard! It might sound like a difficult project, but with the right materials, you can have a DIY splash pad with tarp made in less than an hour.
Table of Contents
- 4 Steps to Build A DIY Splash Pad
- Watch the Video Instead!
- Extra Upgraded Feature!
- Safety Tips for a DIY Splash Zone
- Final Thoughts
4 Steps to Build A DIY Splash Pad
1. Build the Splash Pad Frame
The frame is going to be built from the pool noodles that surround the splash pad. The purpose of the pool noodles is to keep water inside the pad so the kids can splash around in it to stay cool.
First, connect your string or clothesline through the pool noodles empty inner holes to hold them together. The number of pool noodles will be determined on the size of your tarp.
If your tarp is 10 feet by 12 feet, you will need double those lengths. There are 2 sides of 10 feet and 2 sides of 12 feet.
The idea is to have enough pool noodle length to match the perimeter of your tarp.
Layout the pool noodles in a square or rectangular shape based on your chosen tarp size. Tie the starting pool noodle to the last pool noodle to finish the frame. Make sure you pull the string tight to ensure your frame is going to hold strong.
To finish off building your frame you can stake down each corner with tent stakes. This will help keep everything in place, rather than it moving around when trying to set it up. Take your stake and hammer it into the ground, make sure the string is wrapped around it so it stays put.
2. Place Down the Tarp
Since your tarp is the size of your frame, you can stake it down around the pool noodle frame. The tarp is going to be staked over and on the outside of the pool noodles. This creates a lifted barrier wall so water can fill up inside the tarp. Its almost as if this space is a very mini pool.
Use enough tent stakes to keep the tarp in place. Once laid out you can add a hose inside to start adding water inside, this is a good way to prevent the tarp from blowing away.
3. Install Your Sprinklers!
For the best experience use a hose splitter so you can attach 2 sprinklers. It is best to have 2 hoses as well, this means you can have a sprinkler on 2 sides of your homemade splash pad.
Of course, you can use typical lawn sprinklers, but if you want to have fun check out our list of the best sprinklers for a DIY splash pad below:
Chuchik Outdoor Water Spray Sprinkler
The Chuchik water spray sprinkler, available on Amazon, is the ideal sprinkler for kids to have some fun. The 6 rubber wiggling tubes dance around and shoot water in all directions, which is ideal for a DIY splash pad. It can reach up to 8 feet in diameter making your splash area a spray load of fun. It simply hooks up to your hose, really its that simple!
Segomo Tools 360 Degree Automatic Rotating Water Sprinkler
I think the Segomo water sprinkler is an ideal option for a backyard splash pad, it has 12 different angles of spraying. What makes it even better is the 360 degree rotation is has, this will constantly spin creating an amazing atmosphere for your DIY splash zone. It covers up tp 3600 square feet of spraying, making your splash zone full of water!
Melnor Metal Oscillating Sprinkler
The Melnor metal oscillating sprinkler is your standard lawn sprinkler, but I know how to make this type of sprinkler one of the best choices for a DIY splash pad. Since you can adjust the spray zone on these sprinklers, simply have 2 set up at one time using the hose splitter. Place them on opposite sides, but have them both set to spray inwards to the splash pad. This will create a constant rain zone, which is awesome during those scorching hot summer days.
4. Enjoy your Splash Pad!
After you have everything set up and the sprinklers are going you can enjoy the splash pad. It might take some time for your splash pad tarp to fill up with some water, but don’t let that take away from your fun!
Grab some of your favorite water toys to make it even more fun. Having a water gun or water sprayer will keep the kids busy for some time. Or get a boogie board to skim around on! There is an endless choice for toys that can be used in the splash pad zone.
If you want you can also add an inflatable pool to your splash pad!
Watch the Video Instead!
Watch the cool dude who inspired me to give this DIY splash pad a shot. His video shows a good step by step guide on how to build this splash pad. Although he doesn’t go into much detail it provides some great visual demonstration. Also, that’s why I explain the process in a detailed step by step DIY splash pad guide above. Take a look at the video here:
Disclaimer: this is not my video
Extra Upgraded Feature!
If you really want to get creative try building a PVC pipe water sprayer. This popular DIY project is relatively easy to do. Heres what you need:
- 1″ or 1 1/4″ PVC pipe
- 90-degree angle and T’ shape pipe connectors
- Drill and drill bit
- Hose Connector
You can add additional features to make this project even better! There are no real plans to follow, just get creative, and begin connecting pipes and drilling holes. This will create a fun water spraying area you can place over your DIY splash pad!
Take a look at this video to get an idea of what a PVC plastic waterpark sprayer is:
Disclaimer: this is not my video
Safety Tips for a DIY Splash Zone
Keep in mind if you are looking to build a DIY splash pad you need to build it on a level surface. Why? Well if the gound isn’t level the water will drain out from one end. More importantly, the tarp will be angled and slippery, potentially a hazard for kids to slip and fall. Staying on a flat surface reduces the chance of slipping.
What’s Under Your Tarp?
Make sure you check whats in your splash pad zone, this is very important. If there are any sharp sticks or garden tools someone could get really hurt. Walk through the area where you plan to lay the tarp for any hard objects that could hurt your feet, such as rocks, sticks, toys, tools, or anything! Be careful!
Check on Stakes
Tent stakes used to keep your tarp in place are a potential hazard if not properly staked. Make sure they are hammered into the ground and secured. After setting everything up continue to check on the stakes to ensure they are not falling out. They could cause a bad accident that you want to avoid.
Finally, its time to build your backyard splash pad! After gathering all the supplies you need you can begin assembly and enjoy the water. These steps are made to teach you how to make a splash pad in your backyard, if you have any questions please feel free to ask any questions below.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.