Install A Kids' Slide In Your Backyard

What You'll Need
Slide ladder
Ladder frame
Post hole digger or shovel

A kids slide is a fixture in backyards around the world. So is the ritual of bringing a new slide home and putting it together while your kids wait anxiously to begin play. But choosing a slide should not be done without careful consideration to points such as safety and your child's evolving play needs.

Choosing a Slide to Grow With
First, consider whether you want to purchase a complete playground set that is ready to assemble straight from the box. These play systems include the slide along with a rage of components simple swingset to elaborate configurations that contain forts, climbing ladders, rope bridges and more.

Well constructed slides and playground systems will last more than 10 years, so stop to consider the ages of the children who will be playing on the equipment. For toddlers and very small children, a simple slide that can be added to as they grow older is an excellent choice  because as the children grow more adept at climbing, swinging and clambering over the various elements, the equipment can be adapted to their improving skills.

For a simple backyard slide, first decide what material you want the slide to be made of. The standard choices are metal, plastic and fiberglass. Plastic slides are the least expensive and are easy on bare legs on hot summer days, but are not always the most attractive backyard equipment, and will show their age after the first year or two of use.

Installing the Slide
Once you have purchased your slide and selected the site, expect the installation take several days to allow concrete to set. Following are instructions for a simple backyard slide project that is constructed from a kit that includes a slide, ladder and slide frame.

Step 1
Remove slide, ladder and frame from box and assemble them according to the manufacturers directions.

Step 2
Dig a post hole for ladder posts and slide footings, spacing them according to the distance noted on the manufacturers instructions.

Step 3

Mix the concrete according to the package instructions and then pour into the post and footing holes. When the concrete begins to set, carefully place the ladder and slide legs in the holes, bracing it to hold it upward.

Step 4

After 24 hours, remove the braces but do not allow anyone to use the slide. After 72 hours, the test the stability of the slide and the strength of the concrete. If both are safe, then the slide is safe to use.

A backyard slide, when installed properly, will provide years of play as well as becoming the foundation for a more elaborate play system as your children develop their motor skills and ability to engage in elaborate backyard play.