Equipment Name:

Balance Beam

Materials Needed:

8-14 Two Litre Milk Cartons, (emptied and washed out with bleach water, to ensure that they are clean), Duct tape or clear packing tape, Newspaper or Newsprint.

Estimated Cost:



To develop coordination and balance.

Directions For Making:

  • Thoroughly wash out milk cartons, in bleachy soap water, rinse clean, air dry.
  • Fully open up lip part of milk carton.
  • Wad up newspaper and beginning stuffing the milk cartons, stuff milk cartons until they feel firm (but not over-stuffed, otherwise they will bulge. (This part is a bit messy and you'll need to wash your hands a few times to clean off the newsprint ink.)
  • Flatten down lip (pour part of carton) so it forms a rectangle shape. Tape two milk cartons together to start forming a line, tape two folded ends together, and start adding to each end the remaining stuffed milk cartons. (Leave 4 for the endings)
  • Then for last 4 milk cartons, join two stuffed milk cartons together, and tape to ends to form a "I" type pattern.

This balance beam will hold a child up to 50 lbs. in weight. Also because milk cartons are coated with a plastic type material, they are easy to wash.

Footnote: You can choose any straight lined type of formation for your balance beam. Such as a 3-sided box shape (I made one in that shape, as it doubles as a goalie net for soccer, etc.)

Some other ideas for these stuffed milk cartons include:

  • goalie net
  • a playhouse - you'll need a few hundred for this, I'm still in the process - the playhouse can be covered with newsprint, and painted to reflect your current curriculum themes, castle, post office, the list goes on.

The nice part about this homemade P.E equipment, is it is made of recycled items, and teaches children construction (engineering skills: such as in the playhouse) and the recycling aspect of course!

Submitted by Jackie Allen who teaches at the I. R. Abled Homeschool. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/19/00.