Many parents are looking for ways to stimulate their babies’ growing minds and bodies, but not everyone can afford to spend money on store-bought baby gyms that often cost hundreds of dollars. This article will show you how to build your own DIY baby gym that your child will love, and save you hundreds of dollars in the process! (For full instructions, see the diagram below.)
What is a DIY baby gym?
A DIY baby gym can be as simple as an infant play mat. Diaper-changing tables, changing pad covers, and cushions are another DIY ideas. Your options are limited only by your imagination when it comes to creating a baby gym. Making one is also a great way to spend time with your children. Another benefit is that it’s less expensive than buying one. Building a homemade baby gym also gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time with your child while helping him or she develop new skills at home rather than in daycare or other group settings, which can be beneficial for bonding and learning experiences.
Easy Steps to Building One
A DIY baby gym can be built in just a few hours and has so many advantages over its commercial cousins. A DIY baby gym is much cheaper than store-bought versions. Besides, depending on your materials, can be made from materials that are already in your home. Best of all, though, homemade exercise equipment is safe for babies. Your little one will enjoy an inexpensive workout with no risk of injury. Here’s how to build one with easy steps!
What You Need
Building a baby gym is pretty easy, but you do need some basic supplies. To make a play area for your little one, you’ll need A box that is about as wide as your waist (this will form one side of your gym).
- Two pieces of wood that are cut to about 3 feet in length
- Two pieces of wood that are cut to about 4 feet in length
- Small strips of plywood or hard plastic (such as old crib sides or shelves)
- Cotton rope/burlap/etc. We cut our rope into 12-inch long strands and tied them together. We used just under 6 feet per side – Don’t worry if it looks like too much now, once you tie them onto your gym it’ll be fine!
Step 1 – Securing Boards Together
If you want your baby’s gym to be placed on an outer wall in your home, it is probably best that you secure wooden beams on your balcony so that you can lay out safe, sturdy boards for your baby. After securing two sturdy pieces of wood together, check to make sure there are no gaps between them. If there are any gaps, fill them with extra wooden beams or cardboard. Make sure that when it’s time for playtime outside in their baby gym, they won’t be able to move around too much on accident and fall over! You don’t want them getting hurt! It’s important that they have enough space without taking away from safety precautions!
Step 2 – Attaching Rings and Swings
In the same way, you would attach a car seat to your stroller, you want to make sure that everything is secure. Get more than one person to help in attaching all of your baby gym toys and safety measures. One person should hold down each end of your baby’s gym while another attaches each toy or strap. Make sure that once everything is attached, it can still be easily removed and rearranged. When you finish with step 2, move on to step 3!
Step 3 – Finishing Touches
After you have made all of your cuts and your bolt holes are drilled, it is time to make some finishing touches. Take some wood glue and apply it to both of your sides. Then slide in one end of each piece. Repeat on both sides until your pieces are firmly in place. It is important that they are lined up properly because we will be screwing them into our PVC pipe later. Apply pressure with another board across each side for about 15 minutes. Or until dry enough for you not to worry about it falling apart easily, if someone bumps into it later on.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred exercise mat and your baby has started crawling around and exploring,. It’s time to get down to business. Set up their gym with each item at least a few feet away from your child, in order to give them room for practice and exploration. Keep an eye on them as they explore; there are certain safety precautions you need to take if you choose certain items. Follow guidelines provided by manufacturers when using:
- Walkers should be set up against walls so that if they tip over or get too close, the baby won’t get hurt!
- Make sure any hanging toys are secured so they can’t swing into your child as they play on their tummy.
- Mobile is still a great choice for providing stimulation to your little one, but make sure it stays well out of reach.