Boys love race cars. (Actually, a lot of girls like them too.) Hot Wheels. Matchbox Cars. Lightening McQueen. You name it, they love it. My big boy husband still has his original Hot Wheels racetrack from when he was a kid. You know, the orange, plastic, flexible tracks? With Disney’s Cars 2 Movie about to come out, why not create a race course on your driveway for some summer fun? It’s idea #8 in our series – 51 Summer Family Fun Activities.
It’s race day on the driveway!
What you need:
- Cars (Any kind will do as long as they roll)
- Chalk or Masking tape
- Empty wrapping paper tubes
- Stop watch
- Racing Flags to start the race
If you want to make it easy, just use tape or use chalk to draw lanes down the driveway. Make them wide because you never know which directions these cars will head. We drew ours a little too narrow and the cars wouldn’t stay in the lanes. Draw a starting line at the top of the driveway and a finish line at the bottom. As long as you have a sloped driveway the cars will pick up speed to race.
If you want to give the cars some acceleration out of the starting line, then you can make a race ramp out of wrapping paper tubes cut in half lengthwise. Marie over at Makeandtakes.com had a great idea for making ramps out of wrapping paper tubes. She shows you how in this post. Prop two or three of these ramps up on an outdoor table to make sure everyone is starting the race at the same height. Wave the flag and release the cars.
You can also use a piece of plywood as the ramp which gives you a much larger surface so more cars can race at the same time. Angle it up from the ground, use tape to mark a starting line, hold the cars in place, and release on “Go!”
If you have remote control cars to race, make the driveway race course more challenging by setting up obstacles. Small road cones, planters, boxes, large toys, etc. Anything will work as an obstacle on your racecourse that the drivers need to avoid or circle around.
Of course, you need to establish some rules for your race before the kids start yelling at each other over who won. These rules are pretty basic, feel free to add your own.
1. If the cars crash into each other, both drivers are out.
2. If the car goes off course, the driver is disqualified for that race.
3. You can play best out of 3, so each kid races their same car 3 times to see who wins best 2 out of 3. That way, it takes luck out of the equation so hopefully the fastest car will indeed win.
4. You can also time the races, if you have a timer or stop watch. Have each car race individually, time it, and mark the times on a sheet of paper or on the sidewalk with chalk.
Have your kids try different cars to see which are the fastest. If you don’t have a stop watch to get the exact time, whichever car wins the first race goes on to compete in the next race and so on until you are left with the fastest car in the toy box. My son used to love to keep racing to see which of his cars was truly the fastest.
Wow! If you want to go all out and build a race track out of wood, here are some great instructions from Gwynn Wasson Designs that her husband built for their son’s race car birthday party.
There! I’ve provided you with easy, a little extra effort, and Wow! ideas for your driveway racetrack.
For some treats after the big race, read my post tomorrow for some race car themed snacks.