$10 DIY Activity Frame

Small activity frames can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 retail, but here is a much cheaper, quick & simple DIY solution! This PVC activity frame is so adaptable that it can be modified to fit any child's needs and preferences. The purpose of the activity frame will vary per child, but it can be used for fine motor reaching and grabbing, sensory play, depth of field visual stimulation, auditory cause and effect. It is very versitile!


Supplies Needed

  • (2) 2 foot 3/4 inch PVC
  • (2) 3/4 inch 90 degree PVC elbow fitting
  • (2) 3/4 inch PVC tee socket
  • twine, rope, or chord
  • optional: drill & 1 inch spade bit, small can Purple PVC Primer, small can Regular Clear PVC Cement

**All supplies I used were bought from Home Depot, but can be found at any home improvement store. Total cost for required supplies did not exceed $10 **

Ellie wanted to come along to buy the supplies for her Activity Frame!

Ellie wanted to come along to buy the supplies for her Activity Frame!

Step One:

Take your two pieces of 2 foot (24inch) PVC pipe and cut them in half, leaving you with four 12inch PVC pipe pieces.


Step Two:

Take one of the 12inch PVC pipe pieces and cut it into four pieces, each piece measuring 3 inches long. You now will be left with three 12inch pieces, and four 3inch pieces.


Step Three:

Take one of your tee sockets and use the purple primer and clear PVC cement to glue two of your 3inch pieces onto each end. Do the same with your second tee socket. If you don't want to use purple primer and clear PVC cement, you can push and twist the 3inch pieces into the tee socket to secure them.

Step Four:

Attach the 12inch pieces to both ends of the elbow sockets, then attach to the tee sockets.


Step Five:

Now is the fun and creative part! What motivates your child? Is it loud sound, soft touch, bright colors, a favorite character? Find objects or toys that your child likes, and hang them from the PVC frame. My favorite place to find Activity Frame objects is the dollar store, or dollar spot at Target! You can hang them with rope or twine as shown below, or alternatively drill holes in the PVC pipe to thread them through to be more secured into place. The beauty of this Activity Frame is that the objects can be switched out at any time as your child grows and/or changes interests.


Step Six:

Have some fun!!! You can use the Activity Frame on the tray of a stander, on a table, on a wheelchair tray, in the car, at school, the possibilies are endless!