How to build a self propelled toy car

Written by linda shepard
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How to build a self propelled toy car
Build a race car with art foam and a balloon. (male race car driver image by Maria Bell from

Building a toy car that can move on its own is a challenging, educational and fun activity for a child. With the help of an adult and some easy-to-find supplies, this toy car will be on the road in no time. A car-making craft session could be included in a race car-themed birthday party, and the car will make a great take-home gift for party attendees. A car race could also be held as a party game.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 sheet of art foam
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Compass
  • 2 flexible straws
  • Cardboard from box
  • Poster paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue dots
  • Balloon
  • Masking tape

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  1. 1

    Fold the art foam in half width-wise. Draw a rounded rectangle covering most of the half sheet and incorporating the fold.

  2. 2

    Draw a 2-inch half circle at the fold, 1/3 inch from the fold edge.

  3. 3

    Draw 1/2-inch squares near the bottom rounded rectangle corners.

  4. 4

    Cut out the rounded rectangle, the half circle and the squares with the mat knife while the art foam is folded.

  5. 5

    Pinch together the inside edges of the rectangle at the opposite end from the half circle and add a glue dot to secure it.

  6. 6

    Draw two 2-inch diameter circles with the compass. Draw two 1 3/4-inch diameter circles with the compass.

  7. 7

    Cut out the circles and paint them black with silver centre circles for wheels.

  8. 8

    Cut two sections of straw to measure 3 inches each. Thread them through the small squares on the bottom of the car for axles.

  9. 9

    Glue the wheels to the ends of the straws, placing the smaller wheels at the front of the car.

  10. 10

    Tape the balloon on the end of straw. Thread the straw under the body of the car, above the axels with the balloon at the front of the car.

  11. 11

    Blow up the balloon through the straw, put the car on a flat surface and watch it take off.

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