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Wooden Car Racing

I love this episode so very much because of my special guest -- my big brother Tuc who inspired the very idea of building my own racing car! When we were kids we did so much together. But not wooden car racing. See, girls didn't take part in this fabulous tradition. One possible explanation: it was for his scout troop only. Nonetheless, I longed to be in on it. My dad and brother would huddle together each year to design a fierce race car. And two years in a row, Tuc won! Oh, the glory! And then a big "A-ha!" hit me -- what is stopping me from designing and building my own race car and holding my own derby open to all who dare to race?!! Here's proof that with a little creativity an "Ugh!" can be turned into a "Hurrah!" On your mark, get set... GO!

Here's what you need:

  • Blocks of wood for the body of the car (I like to go to the hardware store and ask for scraps because there are all sorts of great shapes and sizes to inspire a design.)
  • Wooden wheels (found at an arts & crafts store or sometimes a hardware store)
  • Wooden dowel stick for the axel (choose a dowel that fits snugly into the wooden wheels)
  • 4 eye screws (make sure that the opening of the eye screws in sufficiently larger than the dowel to allow for easy rotation.)
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint and brushes

Sand the wood blocks until they're smooth. Next, you may wish to stack your blocks to inspire a design. I like to make a sketch from that point. When you have your idea worked out, glue the wood blocks in place with wood glue (or white glue if that's handier). Now you have the body of your car. Let it dry.

Paint your car. I recommend selecting a fast color (this is for the racer to interpret)! Add racing stripes, a number, even a driver appearing in the windshield area. Let it dry.

Next, attach one wheel to the end of the dowel and cut it about 1" wider than the bottom of your car. Slide the dowel through the front set of eye screws and attach the second wheel. Repeat for the back.

Now to fill the bag with the necessities ... sketch pad or pad of paper; markers; a pen and snack. How about binoculars; camera; whistle; action figures. What else? This is a terrific question to ask the Adventurer.

A little-known secret that Tuc revealed: Sand down the edges of the wheels to maximize speed!

A little-known secret that I'm revealing: add a weight on the bottom of your car to outrace your big brother's car!

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