I volunteer at a local day care where I teach woodworking to four year olds. Yesterday's project went so well that I have to share it here. It is a form of stilts called "walking blocks". They simply are blocks of wood with rope attached. The child step on the blocks and holds them to their shoes by pulling the ropes. With a little practice they're walking around in no time.
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Step 1: Cut 4x4 to Make Blocks
Mark the 4x4 in 4" lengths and cut with a hand saw. The kids like to help with the cutting so it's my hand over theirs. When the cut is nearly done they switch over to catch the block before it falls. Two blocks are needed. Have each child sand the rough edges.
These blocks are 4" long however you may decide on some different length.
Step 2: Drill Holes
On each block, drill a 1/2" hole about 1" below the top. I use a small DeWalt Max 12V hand drill as it is a good size for small hands. When run at the lower speed and with my hand also on it, it is a very safe tool.
Step 3: Countersink Holes
Countersink each side of both holes with a 3/4" countersink bit. This will help keep the rope from fraying.
Step 4: Attach Rope
You will need two pieces of 1/4" rope, 5ft long. I like diamond braid rope from Harbor Freight. If I making only a few I buy the 10ft pieces for less than a dollar each. For a biger groups I buy a 100ft package.
Thread the rope into the hole in the block and tie the ends together. Tie so the loop is what you determine to be the right size. Leave any extra so the loops can be enlarged as the child grows.
Step 5: Clomp Clomp
Have the child place the
middle of each foot on the center of the block. Have them pull the ropes to force the blocks tight to their feet. Then let to try walking. They will pick it up real fast.
The author would like to give a big shot out to: Braxton, Dominic, Drenin, Abby, Brooke, Isaac, Nolan, Granton, Liam, Isabelle, Nathan, and Samantha.