I’m back. I won’t go into it too heavily, but the knee problems led to no biking which led to some depression, and then I got mastitis while we were in Niagara Falls for the weekend, and I’ve just been one sorry example of humanity since then. But all through it I’ve been creating things, lots of things, and I’m going to share one of them with you now.
Never heard of one? Neither had I, really. But K has been in occupational therapy to work on some issues, and our OT introduced us to scooter boards. They’re just what this one looks like: a board with four casters. You can do quite a lot with one, including strengthening abs and back muscles, improving bilateral coordination, developing motor planning skills… it’s also just a fun toy.
Now, I’m too cheap to run out and buy every piece of equipment that K uses in her sessions (although heaven knows I’d LOVE a cuddle swing,) but I’m more than happy to make anything and everything I can… especially if I already have the materials.
Do you want to make a scooter board? Keep reading…
- a piece of wood that looks big enough and comfy enough for your child to sit on (let’s say 12×12″ at minimum)
- four identical casters, rated high enough for your child’s weight
- sixteen screws not longer than the thickness of your wooden board
- an electric drill/screwdriver
- some quilt batting, foam, or an old towel (optional)
- fabric to cover the padding (optional) – this can be an old sheet, an old t-shirt, or a piece of fabric you love. It doesn’t really matter.
- staple gun and staples (optional)
Step One: turn your board upside down. Place the casters on the board where you want them attached (I recommend as close to each corner as possible, so it’s harder for the board to flip over) and use the pencil to mark the holes. Pre-drill pilot holes (very small holes) – this makes the wood less likely to split when you drive in the screws. Attach each caster with the screws.
Once all four casters are attached, you can call it a day. That is, if your board has nice smooth edges and isn’t so smooth that your child can slide around on the top. At this point, my scooter board looked like this:
Step Two – Wrap the top of the board with the batting (or old towel, etc), making sure that there is enough to wrap to the underside of the board. Secure the batting around the edges of the board’s underside using the staple gun. Tip: if the staples don’t go in all the way, gently tap them with a hammer until they’re flat against the board.
Step Three – Wrap the fabric around the board, making sure that the edges extend past the edges of the batting (padding.) fold the edges so that the raw (cut) edge of the fabric is hidden, then staple the folded part to the bottom of the board.
Step Four – The corners are tricky. Do your best to wrap them neatly around the casters. If you feel like getting really fancy you can remove the casters, stretch the fabric underneath them, and re-install the casters. I just did some judicious snipping and wrapping, trying to do the corners the way I would wrap a present. Glue down the corners with fast-drying glue of some kind (hot glue is a great choice, but I didn’t have any.) Failing that, use duck tape.
Aaaand… you’re done! For a great abs workout, sit on your scooter board and use both legs at the same time to pull yourself along. Or you can lie on your stomach and pull yourself around with your arms, noticing how dirty the baseboards are from this angle. Whatever you do with it, happy scooting!
Oh, and a word of commonsense caution: store this out of the children’s reach. If they were to leave this on the floor after playing and you were to step on it in the middle of the night, you’d be pretty banged up. Just sayin’.