How to make a simple wooden seesaw
This is a simple balance seesaw that anyone can make with a free half hour, minimal equipment and very little technical skill.
These instructions are intended as a guide for adults. Please keep tools out of reach of children unless closely supervised. When complete, please carefully test the seesaw yourself to check that its construction is solid. Afterwards, the seesaw should be used with supervision.
You will need:
Two pieces of wood - one approx. 40-50 cm in length (ours was approx. 2.5 cm thick) and wide enough to stand on, the other around 35 cm in length (ours was approx. 5 cm thick) to provide a pivot for the seesaw.
2 wood screws (long enough to go through one piece of wood into, but not all the way through the other.)
A drill with a small wood drill bit (3-4mm is perfect)
A counter-sink (not vital if you don’t have one).
Tape measure or ruler.
Start with the wider piece of wood. Measure its length. Then divide this number by two to find the middle. Remeasure and draw a line across the wood at this point. For example, if the wood was 50 cm long, I’d make a mark at 25 cm then draw a line across the width in that place. Repeat with the smaller piece of wood.
On the wider, longer piece of wood, roughly mark two points, spaced equally on the line that you've just drawn, at least 1 cm from each edge. This is where you will drill holes for the screws.
Using your smallest wood drill bit drill through the wide piece of wood where you marked the holes. If you have one, use a countersink to create a small depression for the screw head in each hole. This is so the screw head will sit neatly, flush with the surface. .
Now use the marking on the smaller piece of wood for guidance, lay the wider piece across it so that the wood balances and looks as central as possible. If, like mine, your second piece of wood is not square then place it so the longer side is vertical meaning the wider piece of wood is further from the ground.
Next, carefully insert your wood screws into the pre-drilled holes and drive them through into the smaller ‘pivot’ piece of wood.
Carefully test the ‘seesaw’ on a stable surface to ensure the pieces are securely fastened together and the wood is strong enough to support someone standing on it. Once you are confident it is secure your seesaw is ready to use - hold your child's hands as they try it out for the first time. You may be able to gradually let go and challenge them to see how long they can balance for! Enjoy.