Homemade Fun: How to Build a Seesaw

The seesaw might be one of the most classic toys for kids around. It’s been a staple in playgrounds since time immemorial, and it doesn’t seem like that’ll change any time soon! This post should offer you some thoughtful insights on how to build your own. while also providing safety information and fun facts about this fantastic contraption called “the Seesaw.”

What Is A Seesaw Made Of?

To build your seesaw, you must start with collecting all the suitable materials and tools. See what you’ll need by browsing this checklist :

  •  2 by 6 – 27 feet in total.
  • 2 by 4 – 4 and ½ feet in total.
  • 2 by 2 – 28 inches in total.
  •  ½ inch plywood – 18 x 36 inches.
  • Only 1 ½ inch galvanized bolt – 9 inches (225mm) long with nut and four washers.
  • 2 pad bolts
  •  3 ½ inch wood screws.
  • 1 piece of a metal tube or pipe 8 inches long and an inside diameter of ½ inch.
  • 2 pieces of 3 x 7 galvanized tie plates and nails. (Optional)
  • 3 feet of steel strap and nails.

 How To Make A Kids Seesaw? (Safe)

You might be thinking about whether you should buy a seesaw from the thousands of options in the market. Or better, take matters into your own hands and build one of your own! Have you ever wondered how to make a kid’s seesaw? Stop wondering and get to work, as it’s super easy and fun to make!

This project would cost around 25 to 30 bucks to put the cherry on top, unlike the more expensive options out there! Now, if that is not “a penny saved is a penny earned,” I do not know what is.

In addition, we have done the legwork for you and came up with this step-by-step guide on how you can make a small seesaw for children. Do not worry because, with this guide, anyone can make a seesaw with basic skills and tools.

 Step 1

First thing’s first, make a rough sketch of your seesaw or print a digital blueprint from the internet to follow.

Step 2

Secondly, cut six equal pieces out of the 2 by 4 pieces of lumber. The length of each part should be 20 inches. Make the fulcrum posts up to two parts while making the base up to four parts.

Do not forget to mark the location of the rod on the two fulcrum posts! Doing it later will be a headache.

Remember that the hole should be at least 2 inches from the top fulcrum post in the centre. Place a mark in the middle of the four remaining pieces of wood.

 Step 3

 In the third step, start drilling out a hole in the upper part of the fulcrum posts. After that, make notches in the four pieces of base wood.

At the 3 inch mark on each end of two sections, carefully make a notch. Notches should be 2 inches off the centre on the other two sections.

Step 4

Next, assemble the fulcrum and base. Between the two notches, attach one fulcrum post perpendicular to the middle of the piece of base wood. The successive phase is to replicate the procedure for the other post.

You should have two T-shaped parts at this point. Use the remaining two parts of base wood as crosspieces to connect these two T-shaped pieces.

So, with two fulcrum posts in the centre, the notches should fit together to form a box that stands level on the ground.

The cross pieces should be secure to the upright fulcrum posts while extending a few inches beyond the base wood. To secure the attachment, drive screws through the wood at the notches.

Step 5

Put the metal pole through the holes in the fulcrum posts. After inserting the cap, seal at the ends.

Step 6

Cut the 2 by 6 lumber into a single length of 80 inches. Take a pencil and make the centre. Then, mark the location of the handle on each side, 10-12 inches from the board’s end, centred width-wise.

 If you intend to alter the seating, mark the curves on the end of the board. Drill the holes for the handles.

Step 7

The seventh step on this list is to take the metal pipes and use them to create handles. You can fit the handles into the hole with wood glue.

Step 8

Later, place the plank across the bar on the fulcrum posts. Centre the plank over the metal bar, and assemble the seesaw. 

Now, use some screws and secure a steel strap to the underside of the board. Run the steel strap across the bar beneath the plank, and connect the opposite end in the same way. During play, this will keep the plank from lifting off the bar.

DIY Tips And Tricks For Building Your Seesaw

Adults can still enjoy the classic Seesaw
Adults can still enjoy the classic Seesaw. Photo by https://www.twenty20.com/photos/2c66f3c4  

Are you ready to build your very own DIY seesaw? Well, hold your horses because we are going to share some tips and tricks. 

Things You Need: First, there are some things you need to get to assemble all the materials.

  • Sharp pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Working hand drill
  • Wood Sandpaper or belt sander
  • Hammer for nails
  • A decent wood glue
  • Circular saw / Angle grinder with a Diamond Blade 
  • Safety goggles
  • Spray paint and colours
  • A spare car tire

 Always Sand The Edges: Remember to take your sweet time sanding down all the edges. As a result, your children can experience a smooth seesaw with no risk to themselves.

Wooden Dowel: Try adding a wooden dowel below the metal rod between the fulcrum posts. Doing so will bring more support.

Clear-coat Or Paint: The smart thing to do is to clear-coat or paint your seesaw. Not only will this help the equipment outlast the test of time, but it also makes it look attractive in general. Besides, no child would like to play on a seesaw that looks just straight-up boring.

Focus On Main Goal: Bear in mind that you are building this for children. Therefore, if you get disillusioned along the road, do not let it affect the outcome of the seesaw.

How Do You Make A Tire Seesaw?

If you are planning to make a classic tire seesaw, the steps are pretty simple as well.

  • To start things off, cut your tire in half with a circular saw or better yet with an angle grinder (diamond blade). 
  • Then, spray your desired colour on the tire.
  • Thirdly, cut your 2 by 4 in half, so you get 2 pieces that are each 10 inches long. Screw both of these inside each tire along the cutlines.
  • To make the handles, you can use some of the plywood. So, cut 7 inches off one end and another off for the second one.
  • Next, cut the 2 by 2 pieces in half for the second piece to hold the handle in place. You need to screw this directly into your handle.
  • Do not forget to sand all your pieces. After sanding them all, paint them in whatever colour you want.
  • Instead of using nails, use wood screws to secure your handles to the main base. Then, using the wood screws, attach the main base to the 2 by 4 halves that you inserted into the tire.

Safety Precautions For Playing On The Seesaws

Outdoor play equipment and playgrounds provide friends, fresh air, exercise, and fun for children. However, it is crucial to ensure that defective equipment, imperfect surfaces, and risky behaviour do not ruin the fun.

Make Sure There Is An Adult Around

On the playground, an adult should always supervise children. Not only can they help to avoid injuries, but also make sure that the children use the playground equipment properly.

Besides, even if a kid does get hurt somehow, an adult can immediately come to the rescue and treat the toddler by taking care of any necessary first aid.

Teach Children About Playground Safety

Teach your child about the following:

  • You should never roughhouse or push while using seesaws, swings, slides, and other equipment.
  • If you are going to jump off any equipment, make sure there is not anyone in the way.
  • Getting off the seesaw without warning can badly hurt the person on the other side.
  • Keep backpacks, bikes, and bags away from all playground equipment. Someone can easily trip and hurt themselves on a seesaw or a slide.
  • Touch and check the surface of the equipment in the summertime.
  • A metal surface seesaw can become dangerously hot like metal playground slides.

 Additional Safety

Children must work together to use a seesaw. Although it might seem harmless at first, things can go south really quickly! Here are some other safety tips:

  • The design of the seesaw seats is only for one child per seat. If someone is too heavy to play with a lighter partner, they should find a new companion. Never add another child to the seesaw on either side.
  • Children should never turn around. They should always sit facing each other.
  • Teach children to grab the handles tightly with both hands. They should never touch the ground with their hands.
  • When someone is already using it, kids should keep a safe distance from it.

 Why Do Kids Like With Seesaws Anyway?

There is no doubt that seesaws are popular among children. Besides, why would they not? One child sits at each end of the seesaw.

 The child closer to the ground uses his feet to push higher while his friend goes down. Following that, his friend then pushes up, causing the first kid to go down. They continue to move back and forth on the seesaw until they are ready to give up; what’s not to love?

It works well with two children of similar size. Otherwise, no matter how hard he tries, the heavier person will be unable to go up. Luckily for them, there are some seesaws for two or three children to sit on each end. Each child has a handle they can hold on to and make sure they do not fall off.

Phuong Mehmeh demonstrates to us how to create a robust Seesaw in this tutorial. Notice the innovative manner she cuts out the seats for this seesaw in this footage to further encapsulate what I have described in this article. However, an Angle Grinder fitted with a diamond blade for cutting a tyre may be the ideal choice.


Phuong Mehmeh. (2021, April 4). DIY | How To Make A SeeSaw For Kids Simple And Easy | 5 Fun Outdoor Activity Ideas with SeeSaw [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drDSY3ZZqnQ

 Short Fun History Of The Playground Seesaw

Keep on scrolling to learn some exciting facts about seesaws.

Where Did The Word Seesaw Come From?

An old song is commonly sung by young children and repetitive motion workers, dating from the 1630s. So, the rhythmic back-and-forth motion of sawyers cutting wood or stone with a two-man saw most likely inspired this.

I may mention the first record of a game of going up and down on a balanced plank in 1704. The term “seesaw” did not appear anywhere officially until the early 19th century.

Seesaw is also regarded to be a direct Anglicization of the French word ci-ca, which translates to “this-that.” However, it seems to be due to the back-and-forth motion that a seesaw is known for.

Who Invented The Seesaw?

There are no actual traces regarding a single inventor who came up with this playground idea. It was still a mystery when the seesaw appeared in history for the first time.

Furthermore, another version of the origin of the seesaw appears in The Oxford Book of Nursery Rhymes. Additionally, it describes children taking a log and a plank from the local woodshop to rock up and down on for play.

Not to forget, there is another theory that Korean girls in the 17th century were the first ones to think of this concept. According to Patricia Newman, they were not allowed to leave the boundaries of their courtyard walls. So, they built the seesaw to catapult themselves into the air high enough to see the world outside. 

Who Manufactures Seesaw?

Like many manufacturers of this popular playground equipment, it would be a shame to name just one. As a response, I’ve compiled a list of the five best seesaws and their manufacturers, in my opinion:

Check out this related list of the 10 best playground seesaws of 2021 to learn more.

Baby Seesaws

Children on the rocking plastic seesaw
Children on the rocking plastic baby Seesaw. Photo by https://www.twenty20.com/photos/t20_LJzJ6P/?utm_t20_channel=bl

Without a doubt, there are different types of styles and sizes of seesaws for all ages out there. Like their slightly more advanced cousin, the seesaw, Rockers are great for toddlers in terms of safety.

Not only is rocking a fun exercise for toddlers, but it also helps them to improve their physical growth.

The best baby seesaws: rockers and teeter-totters for toddlers are the ones that successfully match durability and price. Not to mention, it fulfils the curiosity of even the pickiest toddlers and kids.

Seesaw Distributors Around The Globe. 

Are you planning to get a seesaw instead of making one? Here are some of the seesaw distributors and suppliers from all around the globe: 

 Final Thoughts

To sum up, the seesaw is a piece of entertaining playground equipment that has been around for centuries. Not only are they popular among children, but even adults can have a lot of fun with them.

If you want to build a seesaw for your children, I hope this article has given you the information you need. Furthermore, bear in mind that there is a broad range of seesaws accessible for purchase.

Thank you for reading.

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Sources of Information

Ashmore, B. (2020, November 17). How Do I Build a Teeter-Totter? Home Guides | SF Gate. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/how-do-i-build-a-teeter-totter-13425655.html

Seesaw. (2021, September 11). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seesaw

Writer, S. (2020, April 17). Who Invented the Seesaw? Reference. https://www.reference.com/history/invented-seesaw-6fabfd2aba1e95d5

Lakra, E., Poehere, & Simeon. (2018, August 18). Who created the seesaw? How was it invented? Answeree. https://www.answeree.com/4939/who-created-the-seesaw-how-was-it-invented

Kids Encyclopedia Facts & Kiddle encyclopedia. (2021, June 16). Seesaw Facts for Kids. Https://Kids.Kiddle.Co/Seesaw. https://kids.kiddle.co/Seesaw

K. (2017, May 19). How to Build a DIY Seesaw – A Turtle’s Life for Me. A Turtle’s Life for Me. https://aturtleslifeforme.com/build-diy-seesaw/

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