A couple of weeks ago, when we started huntin' Crawligators in the Internet swamps of eBay and craigslist, DT commenter John suggested this blog post, where a little kid in the Bay Area named Sibyl was cruising around on a sweet, homemade Crawligator.
So I tracked down Sibyl's blogging mom Jen to see how this DIY Crawligator came to be. Well, Jen emailed her mother-in-law Sue, who graciously put down her orbital sander long enough to share the story, some tips, and some making-of photos:
I used "project wood" that comes in various widths and lengths at our Home Depot. It's a soft wood, in various thicknesses, mostly a half inch.
The idea I had was to assemble different cuts of this wood into an approximate crawligator shape, glue them together with carpenter's glue and clamps, then sand them down with an orbital sander, smoothing it all into a curvaceous shape.
I then drilled holes to accommodate casters. The casters have to be light weight and easy to roll. I ended up with Great Lakes Casters' metal ball casters.
Finally, I added a coat of non toxic paint.
The photos attached are actually from an earlier model that proved to be a little too heavy for a baby to push.
The important features are:
- that the Crawligator needs to be wide enough, and with enough of a depression for the tummy and rise by the sides of the torso, so that the baby will not roll off.
- The baby also needs to be close enough to the floor to engage with his or her hands and feet.
- There needs to be enough of a rise under the head so that there is no chance of the baby's sliding forward, and enough built on the "nose" of the Crawligator so that the baby's head is not going to collide with a wall.
Thanks and congratulations to Sue, Jen and Sibyl!
Check out the crawligator in action at Sibyl's kidblog, and flickr stream [blogspot, flickr]