My son is three and he LOVES to walk on stilts like daddy. Great fun, and safer than a skateboard, and earns him positive attention at the playground. He also likes to walk around the house in them, and reach things he normally can't reach. We walk around the block. Sometimes he wants to hold hands, but I tell him, "Only baby stilt-walkers hold hands when they walk."
Step 1: What You Need
Wood, Hardwood, .
1" by 1" by as long as you want Red Cedar maybe. Pine- not so good
2 boards 1/2" by 3" by 6" of these.
Aluminum square rod. 1/2" by 1" by foot or so X 2
3"PVC or ABS pipe.
Padding, foam, knee pads work well,
Thrift store shoes, 2 pair. one small and one pair that fits
Step 2: Cut the Height of the Stilts.
2 pieces12", doesn't have to exactly 12" but each stilt has to be the same as each other.
I started him at 18 inches...too high. Went down to 12 inches and it worked just fine. I hope to raise him up over the years. but one foot tall is pretty impressive for a kid under 10.
Step 3: Attach the Footplate Support.
We need to make a supportive rest for the footplate. I took pieces of the hardwood 1" X 1" and it cut it five inches long at an angle just for looks. Four of those, two for each leg. Glue them to the sides with Gorilla Glue and clamped it tight.
After this is dry, trim off the end with a chop saw/ miter saw to ensure a perfectly even, flat surface. Make sure both stilts stay the same length as each other. Other wise you child will be hobbling down the street.
Step 4: Attach the Footplate.
Cut the footplate so it is as wide as the stilt wearers shoe. No need to be wider. Round the edges to avoid scrapes when walking.
The footplate support pieces so it is as wide as the footplate.
Center the footplate and drill a pilot hole through the center of the footplate and the stilt pole. Add Gorilla Glue and then tighten it with a screw, appx, 2" # 8. it's mostly the glue that will hold, but it's hard to clamp these pieces at a right angle so a screw comes in handy.
The footplate will be narrower than the width of the three poles.
Step 5: Attach the Side Brace
The side brace is the aluminum rod. Measure the child's leg from the ground to the top of the calf, top of the meaty part, below the knee. Then add the length of the stilt width pieces.
cut the aluminum rod that total.
Add three holes to the bottom and one to the very top as per illustration.
Add three screws about 2" long to attach to the footplate support.
If you don’t have aluminum, this could be another wooden pole.
Step 6: Attach the Calf Support
Take a 3" diameter PVC or ABS pipe and ut a 3" inch long section. Cut that in half length wise. to make two pieces that looks like a "C".
Drill a 1/4 " hole in the center. Round the edges for comfort.
Thread a bolt through the hole and through the hole at the top of the aluminum rod. Wing nut shut. The calf support should have a little front to back give to give the wearer more comfort. They should be tilted slightly forward during wear.
Take a piece of foam padding, and glue it to the inside. It should be long enough to warp around the leg.
Step 7: Attach the Calf Wrap
Find your favorite way of wrapping something so it stays. I found that a belt with a rectangle D ring on one end and a double back industrial strength Velcro on the other work fine.
Needs to be good Velcro you are sure will not pull apart.
Drill a hole for the bolt that just went through the PVC half tube. Attach the belt/strap webbing you have.
Put Velcro loops on the end and Velcro hooks down further from the end push the belt through and double back to stick to the Velcro.
Velcro should be sewn on.
Step 8: Attach the Bottom Shoes.
The bottom of the stilts need a rubber sole to keep them from slipping. You could take a bicycle tire and wrap it over the end and attach with a hose clamp. But if you want to get looks and comments, find a very small pair of shoes. Even down to a toddler size 4. and screw it in the side. See pic.
Make sure the shoe is on tight.
Since this is fabric your are drilling through and want the screw to hold you must use a washer.
Step 9: Attach the Wearers Shoes.
Find shoes that fit the stilt walker, and glue them on the footplate with Gorilla Glue. The middle of the shoe should be right over the stilt, center-center. The leg will be a bit behind the side support aluminum bar.
It would be possible to attach straps to the stilts and use whatever shoe the stilt walker is wearing strap them in. But a more comfortable way and easier to engineer, is to Gorilla Glue a pair of shoes on the footplate permanently.
Apply glue and attach clamps.
Step 10: Practice, Practice, Practice
It took my three-and-a-half-year old about 5 ten-minute sessions to get to walking. Getting a bit better each time, until he could walk on his own for as long as he want. Great father and son bonding time, and I got to relive his first steps.
My son on stilts
Note he had the TV on and kept looking back to see it. And the fall he does at the end is just because he like to fall.