How to Make a Kids' Performing Stage

By Sylvia Cini

Performance arts such as theater, dancing and magic are hobbies that encourage kids to learn new skills, problem-solve, communicate and express themselves. Support these beneficial activities by building a simple wooden stage for your young star. Two layers of plywood make the stage sturdy, and 2-by-4 boards form a supporting platform underneath. Use the stage to make a formal performance area for your kids to use during a special event such as a family reunion, scout meeting or birthday party.

List of Items Needed

  • 3/4-inch plywood, 4-by-8 sheet
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Two 2-by-4 boards
  • Construction adhesive
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Wood filler
  • Oscillating tool
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  1. Measure, mark and cut the plywood in half across the center. Set one of the resulting square sheets aside.

  2. Measure, mark and cut a 2-by-4 board into two 4-foot lengths.

  3. Place one of the cut boards flat on the face of a square sheet of plywood. Align the outer edge of the board with an outer edge of the plywood. Set the other cut board on the plywood along the opposite edge.

  4. Trace the inner edge of both boards onto the plywood with a pencil. Move the boards off the plywood.

  5. Measure from one pencil mark to the other. Measure, mark and cut two 2-by-4 boards to match that measurement.

  6. Apply a bead of construction adhesive on the face of the plywood approximately 1 inch in from each edge. Set the cut 2-by-4 boards on the adhesive and align their outer edges with the outer edges of the plywood, forming the platform frame.

  7. Insert wood screws through the boards and into the plywood. Space the screws approximately 3 inches apart.

  8. Flip the plywood assembly over to its upright position. Cover the top with several beads of construction adhesive. Set the other plywood square on top of the adhesive and align the edges with the first sheet of plywood.

  9. Insert one screw through the center of the top sheet of plywood and into the bottom sheet. Insert more screws along the sides, approximately 1 inch in from each edge.

  10. Flip the plywood assembly over. Measure the space between any two opposing 2-by-4 boards. Measure, mark and cut a 2-by-4 to that length.

  11. Apply a bead of construction adhesive along the back of the cut board. Press the glued side of the board against the plywood, centered between two opposing boards. Insert screws through the board and into the plywood, completing the platform frame support.

  12. Fill screw holes with wood filler. Dry for 48 hours, and then sand the entire structure using an oscillating tool or a sanding block with medium-grit sandpaper.

  13. Paint the stage as desired. Do not use a high-gloss or wet-look finish as these coatings can make the stage slippery

Tips and Warnings

  • Apply furniture bumpers or hearth cushions around the edge of the stage to protect your young actors.
  • Use full sheets of plywood instead of cutting them in half to make a longer stage.
  • Fasten short 4-by-4 post legs to the bottom of the stage to make it taller.
  • Mix sand into the paint to give the stage a non-skid surface.
  • Wear eye protection when using power tools.

© Demand Media 2011