This DIY seesaw project is one of the simplest outdoor play projects. There aren’t a lot of building projects that have been such low effort and high reward! We call it a teeter ramp. It’s part seesaw/teeter totter, part ramp. For a toddler, it’s been a wonderful way to practice balance. He can also experiment with weights and cause and effect. As he gets older, he’s also more interested in using it as a bike obstacle ramp. As you get to the middle of the board, the weight tips to the other side. Here’s how to make a seesaw ramp.
This ramp is great for general outdoor play for toddlers, preschoolers, and younger kids. I actually got the idea from a friend. He had built a similar, but slightly higher ramp for his 6 and 8 year old to practice on their bikes. They live in on a low traffic street and were able to use it front of their house in the parking strip. A pretty cool way to get used to mountain biking obstacles.
If you have some spare wood laying around your backyard, just tinker to see what you can make. I had an old piece of deck railing left from deck redo that was about 10-12 feet long.
- 2×6 – about 10-12 feet (for the ramp)
- 2×6 – about 18-24 inches (for the base)
- 3″ deck screws (a few)
How To Make a Seesaw Ramp:
- Measure and mark the center of the longer ramp board.
- Place the shorter base board under the longer board (prop up the end pieces so it’s not tipping while you screw it in.
- Secure the ramp to the base with deck screws. I used 2-3.
- Test out the ramp.
Note: this ramp won’t last forever. It will eventually buckle under the weight since it’s just secured with some long deck screws. But it’s not far off the ground, so not much of a safety risk. And we can just flip or trim the pieces and redo it whenever that happens. We’re four months in and it’s still working fine.
Outdoor Play Ideas with a Ramp:
- Surfing – trying to balance in the middle without either side hitting the ground
- Tipping Point – keeping your balance as you walk from one end to the other
- Rolling – rolling cars or trucks down the ramp
- Bike obstacle – riding your bike up and down the ramp (Strider Sport, Amazon)
- Weights and balance – placing rocks or other objects on either end to see what happens and if you can get it to balance.
- Imaginary play – our toddler comes up with all kinds of fun with his mud kitchen supplies and the ramp.
- Open ended outdoor play: Every kiddo who sees this ramp thinks of something else fun to do!