How To Choose A Slide

If you're looking for ways to keep your child entertained at home, you might have considered purchasing playground equipment such as slides. The majority of indoor and garden slides are safe, easy to install, and can keep kids amused for a long time.

However, before you go ahead and purchase a slide, there are certain aspects such as size and durability that you should keep in mind. Slides come in a wide variety of models that are suitable for different age groups.

As a parent, you'll want the best and safest slide for your child. In this guide, you'll find practical tips to help you choose the right slide to bring your little ones unlimited joy.

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What are the different types of slides for children?

  • Commercial playground slides are commonly found in parks and are quite expensive. They are large, have a raised platform and ramp, and come with other playground equipment such as tunnels. Slides differ in height and design, such as wavy, parallel, or straight.

  • Freestanding slides usually come on their own without other play structures, but some models may come with larger playsets. These slides are accessed by a ladder with rungs or steps.

  • Embankment/mound slides are safer if you want to avoid steps and ladder accidents. However, they may cost more than the other types of slides since they require installation on the ground.

  • Sectional slides are made of multiple parts that can be disassembled rather than one continuous piece.

  • Spiral slides are curved which lets children have more fun and exhilarating experience when sliding down.

  • Wave slides are bumpy and create a feeling as if the kids are sitting on ocean waves. Some wave slides are available in groups of 2 or more which are convenient for large families.

Freestanding Indoor Slide Toy
Freestanding Outdoor Slide for Toddlers
Freestanding Outdoor Swing Slide Playground
Yellow Wave Slide Deck
Green Wave Slide for Kids
Green Curved Slide for Kids

What are best slides made of?

The slide's material determines its durability and safety. For instance, a metal slide would be dangerous for a toddler while it may be appropriate for an older child. When shopping for a slide, it's important to pay attention to the material to ensure that it won't affect your kiddos. Be sure to choose a material that's appropriate for your child's age and caliber.

  • Metal should be avoided on chutes and ladders if exposed to direct sunlight. This material can reach a high temperature when exposed to the sun, which can cause your children to get burned. If you're going for a metal slide, make sure it's placed under a shaded area.

  • Plastic is a common material for indoor and toddler slides. It's affordable and much safer than other materials.

  • Fiberglass is the best option if you have a pool slide because of its durability and smoothness.

  • Plastic and fiberglass are preferable if the slide is going to be exposed to direct sunlight since these materials can reduce the surface's temperature.

  • Stainless steel is an ideal option for most outdoor slides since they are durable and smoother, allowing kids to descend faster.

    ➔ Steel posts are also convenient for anchoring the slide to the surface to ensure stability for different weights.

Indoor and Outdoor Plastic Slide
Wood and Metal Outdoor Kids Slide
Blue Plastic Tube Slide
Blue Plastic Straight Kids Slide
Green Plastic Wave Kids Slide
Metal Plastic Wood Climbing Dome With Slide

What are the safety features to consider when purchasing a slide?

In addition to picking the right material, you'll also need to choose a slide with the right safety features for your child. Slides can cause accidents even if they're placed indoors. For this reason, safety should be your top priority when buying a slide.

  • It's better if the slide has a platform with rails at the top so that your child feels safe once he/she reaches the top. This structure also allows your child to safely sit before sliding down.

  • For a secure landing, choose a slide with a flat surface at the bottom.

  • When placing the slide on the ground, make sure the ground surface isn't so hard and rough like pavement. Sand, grass, and wood chips are preferable outdoor surfaces for slides.

  • Additional safety features you should look for in a slide are slide bumpers and handles that are easy to grip.

How to choose a slide's size according to your child's age?

The slide's size is as important as its material and design. You wouldn't want a slide that's way too big for your toddler or one that's too small for your school-age child. It's essential to pick a slide that's suitable for your child's height and weight.

  • The easiest way to select the right size is to check the age suitability labels.

  • In general, a 3 to 5-year-old's slide shouldn't be taller than 5 feet.

  • A 6-foot slide is favorable for children aged 6 to 12, depending on their height.

  • Small plastic slides are ideal for 18 to 24-month toddlers as these slides are easier and safer to climb up and slide down.

  • Accidents can happen if your child exceeds the slide's weight limit or if multiple kids are on the slide at the same time.

    ➔ Most slides have weight limits, especially plastic ones, so make sure you read the labels.

    ➔ A little plastic slide can normally hold up to 60lbs.

  • You might want to look for a slide that is built from light materials or one that is foldaway if you plan on putting the slide away after your children have finished playing. Only indoor slides are portable and can be stored away.

Soft Little Slide for Toddlers
Blue Climber and Slide for Toddler
Green Play Slide for Kids
Swing and Slide for Children and Kids
Folding Play Slide for Kids
Tube Slide for Older Kids

Additional features to look for in a slide

  • Some slides come with fun features such as ball pits and rings.

  • A mini jungle gym can be a fun way to get your children active while playing.

  • If your toddler can't walk yet, choose a dense foam slide that is comfortable for him/her to climb, slide, and crawl on. 

  • If your kids like bouncing castles, they'll surely enjoy a bounce house with a slide. These models have a safe interior, are fun to jump around in, and can accommodate up to 4 children.

  • A slide with an adjustable height is perfect for toddlers who are learning to walk. You can adjust the height according to your preferences.