Homemade Balance Beam

Lilah jumping off the balance beam

DH built this homemade wooden balance beam for the kids to use outdoors last summer.  It took him all of about 5 minutes to make it using scrap wood we had in the garage — his old loft bed from college — so it didn’t really cost us anything.  Our preschool aged kids have had tons of fun with it and it’s GREAT for improving balance, building confidence, and practicing gross motor skills!  

A do-it-yourself Balance Beam Balance Beam for Preschool   

I don’t really have any directions to share for making it, but I’m sure if you’re handy (or someone you know is!!), the photos are pretty self-explanatory.  It’s definitely nothing fancy!

We store the balance beam under our screened in porch/deck and pull it out when we’re playing in the backyard.  Both Luke (age 4) and Lilah (age 2-3/4) love to practice walking across it.


Lilah likes to experiment with moving across the beam in lots of different ways.  Here she is trying out some various movements:





L&L also like to practice jumping off the end.  Encourage your child to jump with both feet…that’s how they taught the kids to do it in the ballet class Lilah took in the fall, so I assume that’s the “proper” way. 🙂




Heading back to do it all again!

While this is pretty fun on its own, you could always step it up for kids who weren’t as interested by making it part of an obstacle course or some other type of game!  The interest level in an activity like this will also depend on the child — Luke is moderately interested, while Lilah LOVES it!  If your child is nervous at first, let them practice walking across while you hold their hands to help them balance.  You might even let them start by driving cars or walking a stuffed animal across to build up their confidence.  

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • I have been wanting to build a balance beam for my 4 yr old. Thank you!

  • Love this idea 🙂 I think I’m going to get our handyman friend to build one for us

  • SO awesome!! I love that he had this from college! Maybe I need to send my husband out to look for a piece of wood like that! They look like they had a blast!

    • @The Iowa Farmer’s Wife, yes, I find it so funny that his old college loft bed became a balance beam and a water table for the kids. I wonder what he would have said 9 or 10 years ago if I had told him what he would eventually make out of it?!? hehe

      You might try looking for wood on Freecycle if it’s active in your area! 🙂

  • Jode says:

    I love homemade balance beams…my girls play with theirs in different ways everyday although not nearly as fancy as yours lol!! Those pics capture such joy and fun!

  • The Monko says:

    love how cheap and easy this is. We had a bit of left over wood when we had a window replaced and Goblin made his own (not quite as safe as yours) balance beam. I love how kids can entertain themselves for so long with something that simple

  • We totally need to do this, and I’m pretty sure the leftover wood from framing our patio will work. We already have stumps at different levels in the yard for my toddler, so this would be a nice addition.

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  • Amanda-Beth says:

    Yes both fert together is right way to jump off just encourage then ti kand on balls of their feet when jump off not tip toes or flat feet.You know where top of foot is just before toes that area is balls chances if Lilah is in ballet she can show you were balls of her feet are as all dancers are encouraged to lsnd that way in jumps it’s just the safest way to land and ankle is less likely to get hurt even tough it may not spear that way it really is. So encourage landing on balls of feet with feet together when jumping off it

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  • Heidi says:

    Can I ask the length, width and height of you main beam please- it looks great

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