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DIY Toy Car Race Track {Creative Play + Learn to Recycle!}

Creating this DIY toy car race track with your kids challenges them to be creative, engage in imaginative play, and gives you a teachable moment to talk about the importance of recycling, especially in the bathroom!

Perfect to help kids engage in imaginative play.  Design a DIY race track with washi tape (removable) Use toilet paper rolls to make tunnels and ramps.

In our home we love imaginative play.  I have been a naturally inclined creative my whole life and looking back over things, what I have achieved, what I am most proud of and value most, more of it than not has stemmed from thinking creatively.  I think there is little more valuable to my kids than being able to think outside the box, solve problems and innovate solutions.  These are skills that will serve them WAY beyond the walls of a school building and take them through the thick and thin of life, so creative play is a must around here.

When I recently learned that while almost 70% of Americans say they consistently recycle, only 1 in 5 (20%!!!) say they consistently recycle items they use in the bathroom, I knew this was something we could not only tackle at our house but also use as a fun way to be creative, solve a problem, and have a few teachable moments along the way.

50% of parents say their children educate the rest of the family about the benefits of recycling. How to teach kids about recycling! This is so fun!!

Care To Recycle®a program of Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc., has partnered with Scholastic to bring parents, teachers and kids all the resources and fun they need to help raise awareness and teach about the importance of recycling in the bathroom.  This website is a treasure trove of resources for parents, including a family magazine, a bathroom recycling comic strip, and even a video about taking small steps to save the planet starting with the smallest room in the house.  For teachers they have ELA, Math and Science lesson plans and activities, a classroom poster and a parent send-home, additional resource links.

 You will even see the fun and friendly PETE the Duck, who is the Care To Recycle® program’s spokesducky all around the sites and materials to make it fun for kids.  PETE even has a super special contest going on right now  for kids in grades 1-3 to win great prizes for them AND their parent or teacher!  Make sure to scroll down to read more about the prizes and how to enter contest below.

I decided we were up to the challenge and to get the kids involved in talking about what recycling was, we let them help us pick some items from our bathroom that we could reuse ourselves.  My little guy has a serious obsession with vehicles and an entire bag full of Hot Wheels cars.  We challenged the kids to figure out ways we could use the “trash” from our bathroom to build a super fun (and very removable) race track for them to play with.  It was perfect timing with the turn in the weather and all of the rainy days we have been having.

LOVE this! Make a race track for your kids out of washi tape and old toilet paper tubes. This is so perfect for when it gets cold and we have to stay inside!
DIY Hot Wheels Race Track

Materials

  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Empty tissue boxes
  • Washi tape – various sizes
  • Scissors

My son immediately chose the toilet paper tubes for tunnels for the cars and we all worked together to come up with the caves cut out of tissue boxes that the cars would have to pass through.  We used washi tape to “draw on” the roads to connect all of the elements.  It is perfect for the task because it is fun and decorative, but most importantly- easily removable, so you can use it on whatever surface you want your cars to drive on.

How to recycle toilet paper tubes into a super fun toy car race track with tunnels and ramps. This is perfect kids activity for a rainy day inside!

I cut several of the tubes in half with scissors to start the ramps.  For the up ramp, the partial curve of the tube helps guide little hands on where to go, and by cutting them we were able to keep the top open for them to drive the car all the way up a big ramp.  For the down ramp my sons instructions were that it was to be “fast and crazy.”  To meet the demand, I decided to make a steep ramp comprised of alternating an open tube {so you could see the action} and a closed tube {to contain the action.}  Again washi tape was perfect because it is easy to peel right off when you are done playing so that the cardboard tubes can go straight to the recycling bin.  Plus both my kids just really love tape, and especially tape with fun colors and patterns.

To add a little more fun to the mix, we took some old tissue boxes and cut out a cave style opening then put them right along the track for another fun obstacle.  Make sure to supervise this step because we had to use sharp scissors to cut through the thick cardboard of the box.  I did let the kids help draw the cave opening I cut though!

Cut holes in tissue boxes to make it look like a cave for a toy car race track. Fun activity for kids.

Next, of course ,was the track itself which I mentioned we used washi tape for.  I prefer washi because of the fun colors and patterns and more importantly the fact it is nice and sticky but easily removable from floors, furniture and anything you are going to recycle.

Just take the tape and start putting it down along the floor to form a road.  I used regular size for the outer edges and thin washi to make the lines down the middle.  The kids picked the green polka dot for go and the red chevron for the finish line along with the black arrows  to point you the right direction down the huge and crazy ramp and right through the finish line!

Great craft for kids! Make a race track with just washi tape and card board tubes. So smart!

We put the finishing touches on by using toilet paper rolls to mark the start and finish with washi tape banners and then it was off to the races.  My son got in all the play he could while sister was at a birthday party and she was so excited to race the course he had been practicing once she got home!

My son would love this! Design your own race track in the house with removable washi tape!

So not only did we get HOURS of funon a rainy day out of the things that were rubbish in our bathroom, but we also got to talk to the kids about where things go when we are done with them, what recycling is and why we should do it.  They got to flex their creativity thinking of things we had in the bathroom and how we would use it in our race track and then have hours of imaginative play time with the course that they helped design.  And I got to cook lunch with two little people playing happily { i.e. no fighting, screaming, yelling or nagging.}  That my friends is a win!

Such a GREAT idea! My kids would love this rainy day activity! DIY hot wheels race track!

I can already tell that doing this activity as a family had an impact on all of us.  As we did bath time last night my son had the idea to use the baby wash bottles for hills that the roads go over in our next race track and as I got ready this morning I started thinking about all of the products we had in our bathroom that should be recycled.  Just bringing the idea to the front of mind has made a huge difference!  To make it easy we are going to be adding a recycling bin right in our bathroom to capture all of these items and make sure they get to the right place.

Pete’s Bathroom Challenge & Recycling Contest

To start the conversation with your kids, just visit the Scholastic Care To Recycle® website and download the free Family Magazine.  Then have your children in 1-3 grade enter Pete’s Bathroom Challenge for some really awesome prizes.  To enter kids can draw a poster and write a short essay about why recycling bathroom products is important and how you’re going to get your family to recycle these items by putting them in a bathroom bin.  Now for the most awesome part, 10 grand prize winning kids will get a new Bike and Helmet, and National Parks and Federal Recreational Land pass, AND their parent or teacher will get a $500 gift card plus a Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. product prize package.  Entries must be postmarked by October 27, 2015.  Visit the website for the entry form and full rules and hurry up and writing!  It really is an effort we can all work together to learn and educate on and together we can make a difference!

Such a GREAT idea! My kids would love this rainy day activity! DIY hot wheels race track!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnson & Johnson. The opinions and text are all mine.


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  1. says

    This is wonderful! Our students will really enjoy this because it’s great for their sensory and gross motor skills. It’s also great for recycling too!

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