5 new ways to play with vehicles

Free ideas to help kids play with old toys in new ways!

By James Murphy

They’ve wheeled them backwards and forwards, lined them up by colour, and now those little toy cars (and trucks, fire engines, buses, taxis and tractors) are in the middle of the floor just waiting for you to step on them.

Before you sweep them back into their box – STOP! Here are some wheelie fun ideas to keep your kids playing for longer. They’re perfect for children aged 3-plus, and will encourage them to make, create, build and play while you get a bit of time for you.

1) Build ramps: daredevil in training

A quick fun science idea! Challenge your child to build ramps for their favourite toy cars to roll down. They could use a piece of cardboard, a big book or a shoebox lid. Experiment with different heights – what can they prop up the ramp on? And how far they can make the car travel?

2) Giant train track: or a really long road!

What you’ll need: masking tape, a toy vehicle

What to do:

Help your child to make a road or track by sticking masking tape to a floor or table. Long straight tracks are great for zooming. Or make a fun twisty, turny track. Now they can take their vehicles for a ride.

TOP TIP Make letters with the tracks for children learning how to write.

For a clever way to store toy cars, check out the car garage in this Tidy Crafts post!

3) Working at the car wash: Yeah!

It’s time to take the cars down to the car wash! Ask your little car cleaner to line up their cars in a queue, and zoom them one-by-one into a bowl of soapy water.  Scrub each car with a toothbrush or sponge. Give them a rinse, and drive them on their way.

4) Tyre track painting: art Jeremy Clarkson would appreciate

What you’ll need: paper, paint, a bowl or paper plate, a toy car

What to do:

1. Pour some paint onto a paper plate or into a bowl.
2. Now, your child can dip the toy car in the paint.
3. Then, they roll the car on the paper. It should leave tyre marks as it goes!
4. Send the paint-splattered car to the car wash! (See above!)

5) Make a play mat: design a town

What you’ll need: small cardboard boxes (raisin boxes and multi-pack cereal boxes are ideal), coloured paper, glue, felt tips or crayons, big piece of card (at least A3), tissue paper

What to do:

1. First, give the boxes to your child to cover in coloured paper and draw details on to turn them into shops, a school and/or houses.
2. Now, help your child to draw a road on the card and other details, like a roundabout, and add tissue paper to make grass. Then they add their boxes to make the town.
3. When they’ve finished designing, they can zoom their toy cars around their town.

Why not add extra crafty bits if you have them – like tissue paper hedges, or little road signs made from card?

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