Snow And No Sled? No Problem!



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snow sledding with the kids

Snow And No Sled? No Problem!

We went sledding this weekend and dad and the kids really had a great time! We used some sleds that we bought last year, but there was a time in the past when the snow caught us off guard and we didn’t have anything to use as a sled.

Here are some ideas for alternatives to sleds that we have used or have seen used in case you find yourself caught without one. Some of them work better when the slopes have a smoother, slightly icy surface.



  • Baby pool – We actually saw a family using an old baby pool. The one they were using would not slide well since the snow was soft, but they turned it inside out (turning the smooth side out) and it worked great. Their entire family went down together in it and they had great fun. (Of course, if you have to turn it inside out, it probably won’t hold water anymore so make sure it’s a worn out baby pool!

  • Lids to large plastic storage containers
  • Laundry basket (BJ’s favorite for a couple of years!)
  • Vinyl outdoor cushions – We saw some people using them. They worked well and the foam inside made the bumps a little less severe for the kids.
  • Cardboard – larger pieces work best. If the snow is soft, bend the front up a little so it doesn’t get stuck.
having fun snow sledding
  • An old tarp – These work best with smooth, almost icy surfaces. They will get bogged down in soft snow and will shred quickly if the ice has become sharp edged.

  • An old winter coat with plastic coating (I wouldn’t do this with your best coat!) – My husband said that he and his friends (when they were kids ;-) occasionally slid down on old coats with the shiny, water resistant coating.
  • Smooth hubcaps – (Don’t try it with wire wheels! ;-)


  • Innertubes – Inflated innertubes work great for sledding! If you have an old innertube that has been punctured, you can cut it open and let the kids sit inside it. Even without air, the rubber still slides well.

  • Office chair mat (without the pokey things) – Some mats for office chairs are smooth on one side and don’t have the gripping spikes on the back. If you have one laying around, they make great sleds in a pinch.

Comments

  1. says

    one year we were taking our son up a hill to go tobogganing we had a large one that would fit 3 of us. I was walking along behind holding onto the back rest we put on for him. He was 3. Well the back rest came off and there was me 8 1/2 months pregnant sliding down the hill on my belly. I was wearing ski pants with a nylon jacket that matched. Went down the 1/4 mile hill no problem.
    So nylon snow suits make great sleds. No matter what age.
    Oh yes 1/2 a month later son #2 came along no problem and he loves the cold.

  2. Genevieve says

    Our family is packing up just the trunk of our little sedan and moving to Montana in the middle of winter in 2 days! Our oldest daughter was concerned because we can’t pack our sleds. Thanks so much for the tips! I LOVE the laundry basket idea!

  3. Pat in Kitchener says

    In the early 1950′s I didn’t have a sled and we had a big winter storm. Our neighbours had an old car and The neighbour and my Dad took the hood of the car off and tied an old rope on the handle to open the hood, and there was my sled! I had that for about 5 years ( It got passed on to other friends!). I loved it, it was big and it was a bit u shaped comming to a rounded point in front. Anyway when I think of a sled that’s what I think of. After the second world war there wasn’t money to spend on things like a sled, there were important things to buy and frivoulus things were just not that high on the list. But my sled did the trick and lasted , today it would be “unsafe” as it was metal, and could have hurt someone if I had run into them, but I never did!
    Thanks for the memories!

  4. linda cabler says

    When you are out playing in this snow one way to keep your feet warm and dry is to put a plastic bag on your feet inside your show. A x zip lock or a Walmart. makes no difference. Just put them inside the shoes.

    • says

      Linda these do work great especially for children who can quickly out grow snow boots. I love using bread bags because the seem to be just the right width and length to slip in the shoe and up the leg but like you said you can use any thing.

      You can put them on the outside of the shoe but that can be bad news because the plastic makes it slick and hard to walk.

    • Shawn says

      Plastic bags on the feet can be dangerous if you do not have warm shelter. Your feet will sweat in the plastic and if you are inactive for a while your feet could freeze. So this happen in the army to inexperienced soldiers that used the plastic bags. Worked fine while marching but once we stopped moving their feet froze.

  5. jamie says

    I love this! we just moved to an area that gets snow. we are not used to snow and I just got laid off so money is tight and NO SLED! Luckily all the kids in the neighborhood let my kids try it for the 1st time; however, the others wanted to share only for a few mins. No with these great ideas my kids are looking forward to the next snow– to be honest I am too!

  6. Doug McCormick says

    I found lots of good things that would make an improvised sled — by keeping an eye open at the curbside stores.
    Rich neighborhoods are better, people that got more money than brain toss out really good stuff. I’ve picked up a few tons of goodies at the curbside stores and hauled it to the Salvation Army Donation, get a tax deductible reciept which is handy when filling in tax return.

  7. Kathryn Mueller says

    We lived in the mountains for 44 years. Our kids had the most fun climbing into a big garbage bag! Our friends daughter came in and told her mom she wanted a box of garbage bags for Christmas! The big, heavy leaf bags work the best! Very light weight for going back up the hill! :-)

    Our neighbors years ago started the inner tube craze! They couldn’t afford sleds for 5 kids. Unfortunately, many were injured on these for lack of control and bouncing into a tree! They are great for long, treeless areas! One local gas station across the road from the slope made a fortune renting inner tubes! Hard to find anymore, with tubeless tires! :-)

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