No Sled? No Problem! Here’s What You Can Use Instead


You have a problem – it’s snowing, or has snowed, and you’re not prepared for wintertime fun. Maybe you live in the South, where snow falls rarely. Maybe you just moved to an area where snow is more common than where you previously lived. Maybe it’s an early snow and you simply haven’t had the chance to buy your family’s snow toys for the year.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the snowy weather. You can still hit the nearest sledding hill with a makeshift sled – in fact, making your own sled is a time-honored tradition in some parts of the country! If you don’t have a sled at home, try one of these DIY solutions instead.

DIY Cardboard Box Sled

It’s easy to make a DIY sled out of a cardboard box. You can cover the outside of the box in duct tape to protect it from the snow, or you can tape a plastic trash bag around the outside of the box. You can get creative and build a cardboard sled with runners, LED lights, and decorative elements, or you can keep it simple and hit the slopes faster.

Cookie Sheet

A cookie sheet is the perfect size for sitting on and sledding down a hill, especially for children.

Baby Bathtub

A baby bathtub makes a perfect sled for a child, or a small adult. Just make sure you’re small enough to fit into it without getting stuck.

Lid from a Plastic Storage Tub or Trash Can

Do you have some of those large, Rubbermaid storage tubs around the house? What about sweater boxes, like the kind you can roll under your bed? The lids for those containers make excellent sleds – and you can even use the container itself in a pinch, although it might be more trouble than it’s worth to empty it out.

A trash can lid can also make a great sled, if you’re not too grossed out by sitting on one. Just don’t take apart any trash cans issued to your house by the city. Stick to using your own trash cans. Ideally, you want one with a lid that comes off completely, not one with a hinged lid.

Pool Floaties or Inner Tubes

Do you have extra pool toys like inner tubes, floating pool mats, or one of those giant bird-shaped floats? Dust off your pool toys, blow them up and put them to work as sleds.

Outdoor Furniture Cushions

If you don’t have time to go shopping for sleds, use the cushions from your outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture cushions are water resistant, and some of them are big enough to seat two or more sledders at once.

Air Mattress

Speaking of options that can accommodate multiple riders, an air mattress might be a little bulky to carry to the closest sledding hill, but it’ll make for a great time. It’s the same as an oversized pool floaty on the snow. A twin-size air mattress has room for the whole family to share in the fun.

Yoga Mat

Namaste! Put your yoga mat to good use and take it out sledding. Barreling down hills on your yoga mat is a great way to clear your chakras, probably.

Cafeteria Tray

As college students around the country can attest, a cafeteria tray makes a great makeshift sled. The trouble is that you might not have one lying around the house. But a cafeteria tray, or any tray, offers just enough room to accommodate the average behind for a day of sledding fun.

Trash Bags

When you find yourself facing a snowy day and a dearth of snow toys, you can use a trash bag to make a sled. Just grab a piece of cardboard, slide it inside the garbage bag, and then fold over the top of the bag and tape it down with duct tape.

You don’t need a piece of cardboard, though. You can simply sit inside the garbage bag to slide down your neighborhood sledding hill. The bag should cover your legs and protect them from the snow, but wear snow pants anyway, to keep your lower half warm. You should be able to sit in the garbage bag with your legs sticking straight out, and pull the top of the bag up around your waist.

If you’re too tall to do this, simply cut the bottom off of a second trash bag and tape the two bags together with duct tape to make a longer bag. You may want to bring some extra bags with you to the sledding hill, in case your primary sledding bag catches on something and tears.

You don’t need a fancy, store-bought sled to enjoy a snowy day. The main goal is to have fun – and you can do that with anything that you sit on to slide down a hill. So grab that cookie sheet or cardboard box, and have a fantastic snow day!