DIY: balance bike


You know what they say: if you can’t join them, beat them.

There are only a few things I’ve really coveted for Johnny since we started The Project. Not being able to click ‘buy now’, having instead to spend days (sometimes weeks) glued to Freecycle and swapping sites waiting for that one thing to pop up.. well, it really sorts the good stuff from the ‘meeeehhhh, think we’ll pass.’

But for months now, I’ve had my beady eyes jealously trained on the kids at the park who have wooden balance bikes. I realise that this makes me resemble a modern day, suburban version of , but they just look so great. The design is perfect, they don’t shoot around like mini death traps in the way that those blasted scooters do, they help kids develop balance while simultaneously making them look a little bit retro, a little bit hellraiser, a little bit irresistible.

But they don’t come free. Unless you have a father in law with a tonne of wooden offcuts, brightly coloured paint and an inhuman amount of patience and enthusiasm going spare.

Grandparents aren’t even bound by The Project’s Rules. So, in theory, he could have bought J one as a present (we decided early on that we wouldn’t be total killjoys and ban relatives from buying him presents - can grandparents even do that? Would they spontaneously combust? – as long as they limited their gifts to special occasions like Christmas, Easter and birthdays).

In a spirit of supernatural saintliness, though, he decided to embrace The Project and make one instead. I did a lot of research and found the best plans here. Grandpa went into his workshop… and emerged, several days later, covered in sawdust and wheeling this:



Grandpa Worsley’s Ridiculously Radical Balance Bike. The only parts that aren’t hand made are the wheels and handles. I think you’ll agree, it ROCKS.