Now that my kids are too big for high chairs, the weight of their dangling legs gets uncomfortable after a couple minutes. They try all sorts of things to get comfortable: pulling up their knees, twisting around to pull one leg up, trying to rest their feet on me and my wife, kicking anything within reach, etc.
And they're kids, of course, so it's natural for them to have more energy than they know what to do with. But still, I wanted to find some way to help them be a little more comfortable at the table and put more energy into eating their food and family conversation.
This cheap and easy addition to our dining room chairs prevents kids legs from dangling uncomfortably. It won't get all their wiggles out, but it will help them sit more comfortably... and now that our kids can sit more comfortably facing the table, they get less food in their laps and on the floor and we all enjoy meals more.
Another nice thing about this design is that the height of of the footrest is adjustable, so it will continue to work well as their legs grow longer.
If your kids are like mine, I strongly suggest letting them watch and play with the parts as you build this. Let them help, even if it's only to learn the names of the parts and hand them to you as you need them. They'll be super-curious and more eager to give it a try when it's done.
Step 1: Parts List and Tools Needed
- 1x 18" of 3/4" diameter PVC pipe (you may need a little more)
- 1x 24" of 1/2" diameter PVC pipe (you may need a little more)
- 2x 90-degree slip/slip elbow couplers for 3/4" dia. PVC pipe
- 2x 45-degree slip/slip elbow couplers for 3/4" dia. PVC pipe
- 2x 3-way slip/slip/slip 'T' couplers for 3/4" dia. PVC pipe
- 2x 10" long 1/2" dia. riser pipes, threaded at both ends (aka "nipples", shown in black below)
- 12x 90-degree slip/slip elbow couplers for 1/2" dia. PVC pipe
- 4x 3-way slip/slip/FIPT 'corner' couplers for 1/2" dia. PVC pipe (FIPT means female threaded)
- 2x 2" long 10-24 thumb screws
- 2x 10-24 wing nuts
- Pen or pencil that will make a mark on PVC pipe (black Sharpie recommended)
- PVC cutter (preferred) or hacksaw
- Drill with 5/16 drill bit
- Tape measurer
- PVC cement
- 1x strip of medium grain sandpaper (approx. 1" x 4")
Do not use the PVC cement until you have completed the entire footrest and tested it a bit.
You may want to make some minor adjustments or customize this design for the particular chair you are using, and it will be *much* easer to do this if you haven't glued everything together!