I’m super excited to publish this post by Melissa Souden, Occupational Therapy extraordinaire— she’s a fabulous OT and a very handy lady! She created her own foot fidget swings using PVC to help sensory and inattentive kids pay attention in class. Here are the step-by-step directions so you can do the same!
How to Make Your Own Foot Fidget: A PVC Foot Swing
A Guest Post by Melissa Souden, OTR/L
This project will make 1 PVC Foot Swing, to fit under an elementary desk with pre-existing holes for attaching (see photo), with 22” of clearance from the bottom of the desk to the floor. If your student’s desk has more or less clearance, you may need to adjust the dimensions.
¾” pvc pipe – these are found in 10’ lengths at the hardware store or Amazon
2 vertical pieces – 17.5”
1 horizontal piece – 14.5”
2 – 90 degree elbows ( ¾” pvc)
pvc all-purpose cement
pvc cutter or a saw
2 – 8” plastic cable ties
Directions to Make a PVC Foot Swing
- Cut the PVC pipe to the lengths listed above.
- Drill a hole through each vertical piece, while making sure each is 1/2” from the top of the pipe.
- Next, glue elbows to both ends of the horizontal piece with all-purpose cement. Be sure to give the pieces at least a ¼ turn for proper adhesion— and have them pointing in the same direction (I set mine on my patio table to make sure they were level).
- Glue the vertical pieces into the elbows. Make sure to turn the pipes at least ¼ turn. Then, properly orient the drilled holes at the top and left-to-right, so the zip ties will thread through side-to-side.
- Once it has properly dried (refer to glue instructions found on the can), you are ready to install your foot swing.
- Simply thread the cable ties through the holes under the desk and through each vertical piece and secure the free end– be sure not to over-tighten the ties.
About the Author: Melissa Souden, OTR/L
Melissa Riley Souden has been a pediatric Occupational Therapist for over 17 years specializing in school-based therapy. She loves cheering for the Chicago Blackhawks and coming up with low-tech solutions for her students. She lives in Palatine, IL with her husband— Jason, son— Thomas, daughter— Katie, and their 2 dogs.
Did you make this PVC Foot Swing? Let us know how it went!
These keep breaking and I have used more durable glue, and duct taped them at the joints, but the glue is not holding. I am going to try a larger PVC pipe or a dowel rod for the foot to rest on. I had to use a thicker Zip tie as well.
Thanks for letting us know, Jenny! Let us know what works!