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DIY Splash Pad: Tips and Tricks for Making Your Own

A splash pad can bring hours of fun to both kids and adults.  But it can soon get expensive to drive to a local water park every single day.  That is where a homemade splash pad is an excellent option.  Today I'm going to discuss what a splash pad is, the materials you'll need to make your own, the average cost, how to make your own, creative splash pad designs, and why a splash pad kit can be helpful.  I hope this article will inspire you to build your own splash pad.  So let's get started.  

What Is a Splash Pad?

A splash pad is an outdoor play area with sprinklers, fountains, nozzles, and other devices or structures that spray water.  It is usually on a cement slab, but some DIY splash pads can be made with a tarp.  A splash pad is basically like a mini-water park. 

Materials Needed

Here are the materials you will need to build your own backyard splash pad.  Remember that you can make adjustments if you need to, such as use a tarp instead of cement.

  • 3/4 inch PVC pipe coupling
  • 3/4 inch 90 degree PVC pipe elbow
  • PVC Slip Tee, 3/4-Inch
  • 3/4-Inch PVC FIP Ball Valve
  • Neon spigots
  • Cement mix
  • Kiddie pool
  • Baby slide (optional)

Average Cost

The cost will vary depending on what you buy, and if you hire someone to help you build it.  Also, if you buy a splash pad kit, the price may go up.  If you will be making your own, the supplies you'll need shouldn't cost any more than $100.  However, if you hire somebody to help pour the cement, you may end up spending a lot of money.

How to Build a Splash Pad

Now it is time to go over how to build a backyard splash pad.  There are many ways to build a splash pad.  You could pour cement down, which is the type of splash pad I'll be going over today, or you could make a splash pad with a tarp.  Some people have even made their backyard splash pad on a hill so that it was like a water slide too.  Remember to let your imagination run wild.  There are so many creative ideas you could try.  Later in this article I'll be going over some of those creative DIY splash pad ideas.  But for now it is time to go over the steps to making your own concrete splash pad.

Step 1:

The first step to making your own DIY splash pad is to pour the cement down.  If you already have a cement slab you are ready for the next step.  It doesn't have to be an exact cement slab square.  You could even use your driveway.  Or you could use a tarp instead of cement, and skip this step completely.  But if you don't have a cement slab, you will need to make one.  Here are the steps to pouring the cement:

  • Clear out the area - Make sure the area where you will be pouring cement is free of rocks, grass, shrubs, and weeds.  Clear out everything until only soil is exposed.
  • Prepare your subbase - The subbase is any material that the cement will rest on.  Small rocks will make a good subbase.  Sometimes the soil itself is used, but this is rare.  The soil would need to be very compact in order for you to use it as the subbase.
  • Begin mixing the cement - Begin mixing the cement by following the instructions that came with the cement.
  • Pour the cement - Once you have mixed the cement, pour it onto the prepared area.  Using a screed (2 x 4 wood), make the cement smooth.  Allow the cement to dry.

Step 2:

This next step is pretty easy.  You connect the PVC pipes together, and you make adjustments on the way.  For example, perhaps you want the hose to attach at the corner instead of in the middle.  Just make minor adjustments that will make your DIY splash pad that much better.  Also, it is your choice for where you want the "sprinklers" to go.  When you find a spot you would like to add a sprinkler, you will connect the PVC pipes with a PVC slip tee, and then attach the neon spigot to that.  The nice thing about these sprinklers is that you can adjust the height just by pushing them up or down.  Therefore, if it is squirting water to high simply push the spigot down.

Step 3:

Technically, you can be done making your DIY splash pad after completing Step 2.  But if you are wanting to make your DIY splash pad extra fun, continue reading.  Take a kiddie pool, and set it in the middle of the cement slab.  Then, taking a baby slide, set the end of the slide into the kiddie pool so that your child will slide into the water.  This setup is more for young children.  If you have older children or if you want a backyard splash pad to play in (splash pads are for adults too!), you will want to replace the small kiddie pool and baby slide with a larger pool and a larger slide. Remember to keep the setup safe.  Remind your children that when they slide down the slide they cannot dive into the water.  Also, make sure the slide is stable and won't slide away due to the slippery water.  After completing this step, you are officially done creating your DIY splash pad.  Hours of fun are awaiting for you and your kids, so go get stared on building your backyard splash pad!

DIY Splash Pad Ideas

There are so many backyard splash pad designs and ideas.  From a cement splash pad to a DIY splash pad with tarp, the ideas are endless.  In this section I'll be going over some DIY splash pad designs that may inspire you to make your own creative splash pad.  Enjoy!

Stepping Stone Splash Pads

This is a great option for those who don't have or want a cement slab.  As you can see, each splash pad is similar to a stepping stone.  Your children can have fun trying to jump onto each splash pad.  You can make your own rules and games, such as you have to skip and step when you jump, or you can only jump on the blue splash pads.

Image Source: Apartment Therapy

High Sprinkler

Get ready to be super soaked after playing in this splash pad.  As you can see, the water shoots up in the air, causing a large amount of water to rain down onto the splash pad.  Another nice feature to this splash pad is that it was placed in the middle of a green forest.  Depending on where you live, you could make your splash pad in the same way.

Image Source: Apartment Therapy

Connect It to a Pool

Not only does this splash pad have lots of sprinklers raining down with water, but there is also a swimming pool connected to the splash pad.  This allows some of your children to swim in the water while others play in the sprinklers.  If you already have a pool, it is a good idea to connect your splash pad to it.  If you don't have a pool, you could make one.

Image Source: Apartment Therapy

Tile Splash Pad

A tile splash pad is a great way to make your DIY splash pad unique and creative. The sprinklers are not sprinkling out much water, but you could make adjustments if needed.  

Image Source: Apartment Therapy

Portable Splash Zone

Are you looking for a portable splash zone?  Look no further than My Splash Pad, a company that sells portable splash pads.  Among their many products are portable animal shaped statues that squirt water, portable pads that spray water, and dog water park supplies.  

Image Source: My Splash Pad

Should I Use Splash Pad Kits?

Do you feel that building a splash pad is too difficult for you to handle?  That's OK.  That is why splash pad kits exist.  While building a splash pad is not hard to do, a splash pad kit will make the job easier for you.  A splash pad kit, also called a splash pad installation kit, is used for both commercial splash pads (parks) and residential splash pads (home splash pad).  There are many sites where can buy splash pad kits.  One such place is www.diysplashpadkits.com.  Not only do they sell splash kits, but they also sell splash kit accessories and supplies.  Another great place to buy DIY splash pad kits is on Amazon.  The Rain Deck Nozzle Splash Pad Kit is a perfect option for those who want a kit that contains all the tools they need.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you understand how to build a splash pad.  In this article I went over what a splash pad is, the materials you will need, the estimated cost, how to build a splash pad, creative splash pad ideas, and what a splash pad kit is.  As you can see, splash pads are not hard to make.  Some people have been able to complete their DIY splash pad in 40 minutes, while others took slightly longer.  If you feel like building a splash pad is too challenging, you can always try using a splash pad kit.  Splash pad kits come with all the tools you'll need, and make building a splash pad much easier.

There are so many splash pad designs that you could try, and some are very easy to do.  The main types of splash pads are concrete splash pads and tarp splash pads. However, in this article I also went over some creative splash pads such as portable splash pads, splash pads made from tile, and splash pads connected to pools.  Building a splash pad does not cost much, and it requires just a few materials.  Before long you will have the ultimate splash pad of your dreams.  So go get building.  Your work will soon be rewarded with hours of fun and coolness on these hot summer days.  

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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