There are many ways to use design skills and the knowledge of kids to turn a DIY race car track into a fabulous backyard playground. Building the track for your kids is a great time to exercise, while learning about safety. You can choose a design that is easy to follow, or one that requires skill and finesse. Either way, you’ll find many different layouts that your kids will love.
Most people begin by using a free website, such as MS Paint and doodle, and drawing their design on it. You can choose a shape, or just write in the letters of the alphabet. Then paint it in or trace it out onto the paper, the limit being what your kids can draw. In this case, the limitation is them. Use their creativity to build the track!
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Once you have your layout, it’s time to get your kids to build the track. Try it with your child first to make sure they are ready. Sometimes children need more encouragement than you realize!
The safety factor is really important. You’ll want a safety guard, such as an opening up of one side or the other of the track. Place a barrier or other protective barrier between the play area and the main track so your kids don’t slip. It’s okay to have one side open, so your child can go over the barrier for safety, but it’s best to have it open up completely to prevent kids from falling through. Putting in some steps to help keep them off the floor can also help.
Another safety feature that is often missed when designing a track is a head start. If the goal is to take your kids’ minds off of work, try giving them a short break before they begin. This will not only give them a sense of accomplishment, but it will also keep them busy enough to be safe.
When your kids have been around long enough, ask them to sketch out some designs that they think will look best on the track. Also, make sure that they know how to do a careful cut for each metal piece, even if they are not “cutting” anything. That is what will make the track sturdy and strong.
Having the cutters handy is an extra step to making sure that your kids can make the track. To help keep them away from sharp objects and rocks, you might want to put a plastic bag over the construction area to protect them. It’s a good idea to ask them to draw something for the bag so that they will remember it when they are finished.
For those of you who aren’t creative at all, I recommend taking your kids to a local party store and picking out a design that you think will look nice on the track. Ask your kids to bring in pictures of their designs, and then you can get started on them. Once they’re done, they will probably be blown away by how much you were able to do with a simple plan and materials. You’ll also have an awesome weekend!