A homemade skateboard from an old bookcase and used roller blades

While we were working to clean up our basement family room a bit earlier this month, Sarah found a no-longer-needed removable shelf from a cheap bookcase, and she had a brainstorm.

“I want to make my own skateboard!”

She has been playing with the board ever since, sliding it across the family room carpet, using it as a miniature see-saw, all sorts of things. We kept telling her that we’d have to figure out some “real” wheels if she wanted it to actually bear up to her weight, and I’d thought we’d scope out some yard sales a little later in the spring.

Well, remember our trip to the Salvation Army half-price sale earlier this week, where we found our pyramid-building kit for a dollar? Well, on the same trip, we found an old pair of roller blades with blue wheels – Sarah’s favorite color – also for the winning price of a buck. I looked them over, decided it would be doable to get the wheels out of the blade assembly, and we brought them home. (Homeschooling on the Cheap friends – may I recommend the Salvation Army store for MANY of your homeschooling projects? We <3 it!!) Today, Sarah comes upstairs with her hands FULL of tons of building materials. “What’s this?” I asked. “We’re going to make my skateboard!” she announced. Materials to make a homemade skateboard

So we set to work. Sarah fetched our biggest screwdriver, and I helped remove the wheels from the roller blades. The other main part I helped with involved the saw – I’m not THAT brave of a mom.

See the board at right? That’s our shelf. The smaller pieces sitting on it were cut from a thin piece the same length as the shelf; it was supposed to be a piece of the frame, to hide the “feet” of the bookcase or something. So Sarah marked the right size, I sawed the thin piece of wood, and she nailed the smaller pieces in place to serve as axles for our wheels.

Making a homemade skateboard out of recycled materials

See me at left, above? I’m explaining to Sarah how we can use either nails or screws, and having her test how the wheels spin with each method. We ended up using nails all around, in part because the particleboard wasn’t really “receptive” to a lot of our screwdriver efforts, but also because Sarah liked how the wheels spun on them. She also figured out the nail length – how long would they need to be in order to attach things the way she wanted without coming out the other side

The other two photos prove that we were at least marginally successful – Sarah’s skateboard DID hold her weight. Nails, though, don’t stay real well in crummy particleboard, so the wheels have a tendency to come out pretty easily. We just told her to be careful, and she was.

Our finished homemade skateboard

Sarah was pretty proud of her finished product! I was so proud of her for having an idea and working out how to see it through. (And her hammering skills are REALLY improving, and she even knows which kind of screwdriver is which. A few weeks ago, she didn’t know the difference between a nail and a screw!)

Stuffed animals get a ride on our homemade skateboard

Because of its lack of ability to keep all four wheels together consistently, Sarah decided her skateboard would make a better animal wagon for Winter, Atlantic and Lucy, her stuffed animals acquired this weekend. (THEIR story will make another post, maybe tomorrow; here’s a hint, they accompany Sarah’s new hoodie, seen in today’s photos!)

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10 thoughts on “A homemade skateboard from an old bookcase and used roller blades

  1. Very Cool! That was a good idea and it looks like it worked out pretty good to me.

    She might be too old (I don’t remember the ages), but Amber used to go to Camp Invention every summer. They use recyclables to build all kinds of things and learn a little science too 🙂

    • Christy, I JUST now went and looked that up – of course I’m one year too late; it goes up to kids entering sixth grade in the fall, and she’ll technically be entering seventh! Argh. I bet she would have loved it… their programs sound amazing!

  2. I think this is very cool! I can totally see my daughters doing something like this 🙂 The best part is that Sarah had the idea and then carried it through to the end, working the problems out along the way.
    If you’d like, this post would be a good one for Look What We Did (lookwhatwedid-homeschool.blogspot.com).

  3. Super cool! I love this!!! My girls would love this!!!! Hmmm…I may have to get hubby to try this…

    Thank you for linking this to Look What We Did. I am pinning this one for sure!

  4. This is great! Your daughter is very creative! 🙂 My 10 year old son just saw the photo with the stuffed animal elephants and was thrilled. He is a HUGE elephant fan! I could so see him making something just for his collection of elephants. 🙂 Coming over to visit from Look What We Did.

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