This DIY play gym was so fun to make for my Little One. It was the perfect activity to engage him and provide him with a fun activity. This play gym is easy to make and in addition, the activities can be changed out and replaced to keep things interesting, making it very customizable. While I liked the look of the light wood, it can easily be painted to match your nursery or other colors for fun.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.
To create this delightful play gym you need some wood and a couple of tools to create the basic structure. You will also need some items to hang on the gym. I will link some good options below but this is a great time to get really creative!
For the Gym
- 4 – 1*2 pieces of pine at least 2’6″ in length.
- 1 – 1″ dowel at least 2’6″ in length
- Saw (either hand or electronic)
- Drill with 1″ drill bit and a smaller bit (something like a 2/16″ but whatever is close will work)
- Coconut oil
- Sander and sand paper
- Ribbons or some other type of string
- Wooden beads
- Silicone beads
- Wooden shapes or animals
- Wooden circles
Once you gather your supplies it’s time to start assembly. Take two pieces of 1″*2″ pine. Then line them up together to create a triangle shape. Have the pieces cross about 3 inches from the top. Find the angle that works for the pieces to create the height you would like for the gym. Use a straight edge to mark across the bottom at the desired angle. Transfer this line to the other 3 pieces. Cut along this line. This will allow the play gym to set more evenly along the floor.
Next, using the 1″ drill bit drill a hole 3″ down from the top in the center on each of the 4 pieces. This is where the dowel will be placed. Now drill a hole using the smaller drill bit 1’3″ from the top. This is where the string will go. The string will help hold things together and prevent the play gym from widening more than it should. I used a ribbon for this but you could use cording or twine. This is why I didn’t have a specific drill bit to use. Use one that will work for the type of ribbon or cording you choose to use.
The next step is to cut the dowel down to length. I chose to cut my top to 2’6″. This seemed like a good length so Little One had plenty of space to play underneath.
Sand all the pieces with a medium grit sand paper and then a finer grit sand paper. Wipe the dowels clean. Next, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a glass bowl. Using a rag, rub in the coconut oil to each of the four legs, the dowel, and any wooden rings/pieces/beads.
Putting it together
This next task is the fun part -creating the activities for your Little One to play with! Test out the length each of the activities will need to hang down so it is within your Little One’s reach. Thread the wooden rings along the dowel and attach the cording or ribbon to them. Assemble the various activities using the beads, shapes and any other bits and bobs you have gathered. I even used some fabric with some animals, cut out and stuffed. This is a great way to get creative! You can also change out these activities once Little One tires of them.
To assemble the play gym lay out all the pieces. Make sure all the activities are threaded along the dowel. Insert the dowel through two pieces of the legs, ensuring the legs are situated so the angled pieces will lay flat on the floor. Next, thread the ribbon through the holes, fixing the length so that the play gym sits even.
I have found that the dowel sits tight enough that I haven’t been concerned about it shifting around. However, if it is loose you can also place a small screw through the legs into the dowel to ensure that it is steady.
DIY Play Gym
The play gym is all finished! What fun for your Little One and mine! This has been a lot of fun and as my Little One has grown, I have some plans to turn it into a new fun play toy…so sit tight for that tutorial!
Have you tried making this or another DIY play gym? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below. This play gym was a great addition to our nursery, which you can check out here.