Monday, January 20, 2014

DIY Baby Gym

Obviously I have been having fun making baby things, and this project is no different.

Supplies needed:

  • 1x2x8 foot pine board
  • 3/4 inch dowel (at least 30 inches)
  • Round wood ball (mine are 1 1/4 inches from Joanns)
  • Eye Hooks
  • S-Hooks
  • Chain
I started by cutting my 1x2 down in to 4 equal pieces about 2 feet long. Using my miter saw I cut one end at a 30 degree angle. This provides a stable foot for the gym.

I don't think this is necessary but it looks better in my opinion. 

Next, I marked 1 1/4 inches down from the top of the now 2 foot board and taped two pieces together (just to make sure they are at equal spots on each pair of legs)

Using a 3/4 drill bit I drilled a hole through both boards.

I also drilled a 3/4 inch pocket in my wood balls. 

This was really hard. At first I tried holding with one hand and drilling with the other but all that did was cause bodily harm (so don't do it this way!). After taking a chunk out of my hand I clamped the ball and then drilled. You don't need to drill very deep, this is just to keep the legs from sliding off. 

Thread the dowel through the holes and glue your wooden balls to the ends.

Once everything is dry, measure down an equal distance on each leg (on the inside) and add your eye hooks. 

Attach the chain and S-hook. You don't have to use an s-hook, you could just attach the chain to both sides but the hook makes the whole thing collapse flat. Like so:

There you have it. A simple wooden baby gym: no bells or whistles.

Even better the whole thing cost around $20! I whipped it up over two afternoons (I let the glue dry overnight) and completely by myself. Even 7 months pregnant, it was a pretty easy project.  I hope I was clear enough to help you make your own.  



  1. This great! I love it. Looks like you are having fun :)

  2. Great idea, rather than buying those plastic ones that will exist on this planet forever and ever. I'm sure you could find a use for it in some other way when he's too big to need it.

  3. Brilliant! I am totally stealing this idea for my best friend who is due in July. This is perfect since it folds away.

  4. Hi! Love the baby gym. I'm wondering, where did you purchase the eye hooks, s-hooks and chain?

  5. LOVE this. Pinning. I want baby girl to have one of these (she loves stuff dangling overhead to swat at) but they are too expensive in general and/or just too tacky looking. She has the same plastic chainlinks and loves them--they're perfect for tiny grasping baby hands. :)

    And congrats on the pregnancy! I hope you're feeling well. 7 months is no joke. :)

  6. Hi Emily, great idea which I'm making for my grandson!
    Please don't take offence but it might be worth mentioning in your instruction not to glue the second woodball on until you've threaded the dowel through the holes in (both pairs)!
    I had trouble sourcing the woodballs so I ended up buying a thicker dowel, about 1 and 3/16ths inches thick, which is mainly used for hanging clothes in wardrobes - closets I think you call them :) - and then some endstops for this which have the same diameter recess.
    Coloured cord was substituted for the chain, passed through holes drilled in the legs, and knotted.
    Looking forward to him enjoying this!

  7. What kind of wood did you use? My wood balls kept breaking and even my 1x2 split when I drilled the hole in it.

  8. I like the baby gym! My daughter wants me to make one for my granddaughter, now two months old. Do you have any additional recommendations after putting the gym into use?
    BTW, I'm an engineer and woodworker, and I think you did a good job.

  9. I was so disappointed in the height of my activity gym (3 in 1 exersaucer) so I began looking up how to make my own! Love how this flattens and I had all the stuff lying around anyways!! Thanks for the simple project!