Old-fashioned stilts will help the kids keep boredom at bay, says Greig Morgan.
If your kids are starting to say they're bored these holidays, learning to walk on stilts will keep them busy for hours. Better still, they can help you make a pair. Make two sets, paint them different colours, and they can compete with their siblings and friends to see who can get the hang of it first. It's old-fashioned fun that still hits the mark.
Lay two 50x50mm x 1.8m poles together, flush at both ends. Measure 100m up from the bottom, mark and scribe a straight line to the mark using a square. Measure up 300mm from this line and scribe another line across both poles.
Mark a centre line, then measure down 50mm and mark. Add another mark between here and the bottom of the pole. Using a 5mm drill bit, drill to the marks straight and true. These are the holes for the screws.
Take your two lengths of 100x50mm, cut at 300mm long. Measure 40mm along the bottom and mark, then scribe a straight line from the opposite top corner, tapering down to the bottom mark.
Using a sharp handsaw cut along the waste side of the line. Run a bead of glue between the pencil marks on the poles and the flat side of the foot-hold. Line up the foot-hold with the marks on the poles and fix the foot-hold with 75mm screws.
Plane off all the sharp edges on the foot-hold and your stilts are ready to paint.
2 50x50mm dressed gauge pine @ 1.8m long (poles)
100x50mm dressed gauge pine @ 300mm long (foot hold)
75mm 10 gauge
Exterior wood glue
Tape measure and pencil
5mm drill bit