Last night my daughter accomplished something during her gymnastics class. She did her first ever pullover on the bars! She was so excited. She kept doing it over and over, and the instructor let her write her name on the wall to commemorate the achievement.
This morning I wanted to make something to show her how proud I am of her and her sister. Something that can help them throughout the week to improve their chosen extracurricular activity. I would have loved to make some bars for them to swing around on, but that’s a harder project for a more ambitious day. (Or my husband.)
Below are a few pre-made balance beams I found online in case you’re not confident in your handyman skills:
- Tumbl Trak Sectional Floor Balance Beam
- We Sell Mats Folding Practice Foam Gymnastics Mats Balance Beam
- Z Athletic Gymnastics Roll-Up Balance Beam
- Z-Athletic Gymnastics Folding Training Low Beam
DIY Balance Beams
Instead, I came up with the idea to make a balance beam for my little gymnastic girls. I was so happy to take my plans to Menards and find out that all of these materials only cost $30. I used a drill and a staple gun, but already had those things on hand.
The supplies I bought were:
- 1 – 4″ x 4″ x 8′ – around $8
- 1 – roll of foam padding (not sure what it’s used for) – around $5
- 8 sq. ft. (mine was 12 sq. foot) of carpet – I found some for around .50 cents/sq. ft. – $7
- 2 – junk ‘value’ 2″ x 4″s – .49 cents each – $1
- 4 – 3 1/2″ L Brackets – $4
- 16 wood screws 1 1/2″ long – around $5
So, I got out the drill, (and I honestly had to call my husband to learn how to use it) and pre-drilled holes for the screws to attach the 2″ x 4″s to the beam on both ends. I didn’t really measure anything, but if you want to be more precise, feel free.
After drilling the holes, I hand screwed the screws into the L brackets as shown in the picture above. I did this for both sides of the beam.
I then (and I don’t have a picture) stapled the foam padding directly to the top of the beam. It fit perfectly and there was plenty to run the whole length of the beam.
After the padding was stapled, I started on one side of the beam and stapled the carpet along the whole side. I wrapped the carpet snuggly to the other side as I stapled it. No staples on top!
I also stapled some carpet on the ends to make it look more finished. And the above picture is what it looked like after I finished with it outside.
I did get all material that could be used indoor/outdoor, so the balance beam can be used anywhere.
The girls wanted to bring it inside, so I did and I also wanted to wrap some carpet around the 2″ x 4″s to protect their feet a little if they fell off onto them. So, I just stapled more carpet around each side of them as you can see in the picture below.
You can also see that my cat has discovered it and claimed it for her own.
But, this is the real reason for a little time and money to make this DIY balance beam for the girls.
They love it!
I enjoyed making it. It was actually fairly simple (after a crash course in drill usage) and only took an hour or two. I’m thinking of adding some fabric letters to the side of the beam also! Think they’d look okay?
If you make one of these for your kids I would love to see it! Leave a comment below with your link so I can check it out!
In case you do not have much time on your hands and are looking for something quick ans simple, here are my favorite pre-made balance beams: