Make a Pair of Stilts Kids Will Love
Have You Ever Walked on Stilts
As a father & Uncle who enjoys his shed time, I've made a lot of things for my son, daughters, nieces and nephews over the years.
Several years ago I made twelve pair of stilts for all the kids at our annual family Christmas get together.
We strung up a rope that spanned the back yard to act as a training aid until the children mastered their balance, which didn't take long, then it was all go. They were a hit. In fact they were so popular that other kids were soon enquiring about where to get a pair.
Over the following months I reworked the stilt design to be lighter, better balanced and easier to fit. Below you can find a link allowing you to download my step-by-step stilt building plans.
Read on to learn more of the history of stilt walking, just how much fun stilts can be, games that can be played wearing them, as well as how to build your own.
Did you know...
Activities for Stilts
Of course, Stilts aren't just for walking tall. They have been used in numerous ways to enhance work and play, including:
- Street Entertaining
- Dry-wall plastering
- Fruit picking
- Even Badminton
Working on Stilts
And stilts are not just for fun, they have earned their place as preferred tools in a number of workplaces. Window washers, Hop pickers, fruit pickers and drywallers all use stilts in preference to a ladder. Not to mention the stilt fishermen of Sri- Lanka.
Generations of skilled fisherman have balanced upon stilts out on the Indian Ocean. Perched above the coral reef, they use rods to catch herring and mackerel; a practice that started after World War II, when fishermen used the discarded iron pipes from the war to avoid disturbing the fish.
- Finishing Drywall Stilts - YouTube
Doing away with ladders and scaffold, stilt waking plasterers make short (or is it tall) work of a walled premises
Build your Own Stilts
Although Stilts can be made from a range of materials and to varying degrees of complexity, timber is the most widely used medium due to its relative light weight and its ease of shaping. Added to this, timber is affordable and a sustainable resource that is hard wearing and very strong.
Below I have listed the materials required to build your own set of stilts. Measurements are in metric; but use this conversion website to determine imperial equivalents.
Stilt Materials List
- 2.4m dressed pine 42x30mm*
- 0.6m dressed pine 89x19mm
- Plywood, approx’ 300x300x10mm
- 90xM6mm Zinc bolts (x4)**
- 25xM6mm flat washers (x9)
- 45xM4mm Zinc bolts (x2)**
- 2.0m 25mm Polypropylene webbing
- 1.2m Polypropylene webbing 50mm
- 25mm Tri-gliders (x2)
- 50mm Tri-gliders (x2)
- 0.6m Hook and loop velcro 25mm
- 0.3m Hook and loop velcro 50mm
- 300x60x6mm (x2) Neoprene sheet
- Neoprene sheet 250x40x6mm (x2)
- 0.1m PVC pipe 100mmØ
- 10G 65mm wood screws (x4)
- 10G 50mm wood screws (x4)
- 10G 40mm wood screws (x4)
- Old bicycle tyre tread
- Contact adhesive
- Wood glue
Do you also know...view quiz statistics
You can download the full set of instructions from HERE.
By building stilts according to these plans, you take full responsibility for any and every fall, bruise, break, pain or agony incurred by yourself or any other person to use them :)
- The Marathon on Stilts - Neatorama
This fascinating photograph from Retronaut is from a stilt race that took place in France in 1892. Sports Illustrated published an account of the race in 1971.
The Ultimate Stilts
© 2017 Richard Parr