How to Build Stilts
Walk a little taller after assembling these fun playtime accessories
Not too long ago, the folks at This Old House TV invited some kids into the workshop to build a few fun projects. First up: stilts!
A pair of low stilts is a great way to teach older kids about balance without sending them out on the high wire. Because stilt walking takes some skill, we recommend this project for children 8 years old and up.
Building them is quite easy, as TOH general contractor Tom Silva and two kid carpenters demonstrate. All it takes is a couple of pieces of lumber and some sturdy bolts, and in an hour or two you can put on your own circus show. Just be careful, and keep the clowning to a minimum.
Stilts are simply sturdy poles with treads attached to their sides. To make the poles, Tom Silva and his handy helpers used two 6-foot lengths of pine handrail, which
are flat on one side and rounded on the other. The flat side braces against the user, while the round side provides a comfortable grip.
The treads are attached to the flat sides of the poles with large supports. To make the treads and supports strong enough, Tom recommends using a hardwood, such as poplar. He used carriage bolts to attach the supports to the poles; these can be unscrewed and moved to raise or lower the height of the treads. And last, a pair of rubber feet are popped onto the bottom of the poles to keep them from slipping while you walk.