A Gearhead’s DIY: Toddler’s Wheelchair


The axle bolts were 5/16″ stainless bolts that were 3.5″ long. The hardware store flat washers were too big and, when tightened up, caused binding with the wheel. Fortunately, the washers that came with the Strider wheel were, as you can guess, the perfect size to fit without binding. Tightened up to about 25 foot pounds (I didn't really get my torque wrench), and they're good to go.

Here the base (sounds better than calling it a cutting board) has the castor wheels affixed on all four corners and the drive wheel (bike wheel) has been fastened to the base also. Keeping the bracket that forms the wheel axle under the base keeps the top nice and clear for future seat positioning.

With both drive wheels in place, the seat tentatively positioned towards the rear of the base, you can see how the front castors are off of the ground. This is necessary for two reasons. First, it allows easier transition from hard flooring material to carpeting. Second, if all four castor wheels were on the ground, in all likelyhood, the drive wheels would have little traction so the little one attempting to move would be easily frustrated.

The centre push wheels now provide a nice pivot point where they are lifting either the front or the rear castors off the ground. This will be ideal for getting over obstacles in the house like going from laminate flooring to carpet or when outside and traversing sidewalks and the usual imperfections found there. This wheelchair is, of course, not meant for off-road situations. This is a smooth terrain vehicle. The total cost was just under $180 and fabrication time was an enjoyable afternoon. The total weight is slightly more than 12 pounds, so lightweight enough to allow a little one to move it about easily.


The Mega Seat comes with a seat belt to hold the little one in place. At no point should any child of any age be left unsupervised in a device like this. Please note also, that none of these items were designed nor intended to be used as a wheelchair. But we're looking forward to seeing how Emmett likes it! Are we being optimistic – yes. If you are living life, you might as well live it well and anticipate great outcomes.

At this point the seat has not been firmly attached to the base. We want to try it out a few times and check the positioning before that happens. In our case, this is not a significant safety concern due to the limited mobility and limited upper body strength of my grandson. A different toddler may require that this get bolted down as soon as they start using it. And finally, we should add a dislaimer that this is absolutely a do it yourself project. None of these parts are designed for nor recommended for use as a wheelchair. MotoIQ is not in the business of building wheelchairs. But, we do appreciate a great set of wheels – regardless of your physical capabilities or age. Enjoy.

Update: Fastening the seat to the base.

This involved drilling 6 more holes in the base and three in the actual chair. Very simple. Use a marker to mark where the holes will be drilled – measure to keep them symetrical. And in keeping with the idea of simple, we decided to use zip ties to anchor the seat to the base. These ties are strong and versatile – with no sharp or protruding edges to hurt a little one.


  1. I have a 2 year old daughter who has spina bilfda and i am looking for a toddler wheel chair and i like to know prices on the wheel chairs.

    1. Hi Lissette,
      As I mentioned in my email to you, check out Bella’s Bumbas. This is a charitable organization and they provide toddler chairs similar to what I’ve built here, for the cost of shipping. It is an incredible organization.

      1. WOW !
        THANK YOU Frank for sharing our group Bella’s Bumbas LTD
        May I ask how you hear about us ?
        We would love to chat
        Bella’s Bumbas LTD

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    Bella’s Bumbas is an incredible organization and I am proud to be able to share about it whenever I can. When I initially built this for my grandson, I went through a lot of online searching and in doing so discovered Bella’s Bumbas. I will try to contact you through your website.
    Warm Regards,

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