Make sure that there is adult supervision while the car is being built. There are certain tools which may lead to injury if not handled well.
As parents, there is a certain pride in being able to sit down with your child and build something from scratch. It may not be equipped with a very complicated or sophisticated mechanism, but the very fact that you've spent time with them, doing something creative, will give their creativity a lot of encouragement and they will develop confidence to try new things in life. In keeping with that theme, one of the simplest projects that you can take up with your child is to build a rubber band-powered car.
In this following article, we will give you step by step instructions on how to go about building this car. Making this toy is a relatively small and achievable target. Moreover, even you will enjoy helping your child construct it, and in the end, he will have a toy to boast about. It will also help him in learning how potential energy can be used.
Building a Car from Scratch
Building a car of this form is rather simple and can be done with the help of simple household items.
- Cardboard paper
- Old CDs, 2
- Bottle corks, 2
- Rubber band, 1, sturdy and thick,
- Kebab skewer, 1 (or, a thin, wooden stick)
- Plastic straw, 1
- Object to pierce
- Cut out a rectangular shape from the cardboard. It should be about 7-10 inches in length.
- Next, cut out 4 small square pieces from the remaining piece of the cardboard.
- Using the plastic straw, cut out three, small (equal length) pieces. Take these 3 pieces and tape them onto the two ends of the cardboard (as shown). Make sure that their hollow entry points are not blocked.
- Do the same on the opposite side of the cardboard as shown in the image above.
- Next, using the adhesive, apply glue around the front hole of one CD and stick one of the cardboard pieces onto the hole, covering it. Apply tape to make it stronger.
- Do the same on the other side of the CD and then on both sides of the second CD.
- Next, mark the center of one CD and using a piercing object, pierce a hole through and through. Do the same on the other CD as well.
- Next, insert the kebab skewer into one of the CDs. Place the other end of the skewer through both the straws taped on the cardboard and let it out the other end. To this end, attach the other CD. Make sure that the skewer has been held in firmly.
- Follow the same process with the 2 bottle covers and attach them to the front part of the cardboard.
- Next, use a sturdy rubber band and loop it around the exposed part of the skewer (as shown in the image). Tape it in place.
- Pull the rubber band to the opposite direction, so that it stretches sufficiently and then tape it in place as shown.
- The car is now ready to be used. Using a small force, pull the cardboard back and watch it zoom forward. When the car is pulled back, the rubber band winds around the skewer and when left, the rubber band unwinds and in the process, turns the skewer, allowing the car to move forward.
This can be an ideal science fair project for your child. In everyday life, we see and use cars that are powered by gasoline. Though a rubber band-powered car cannot be put to use for practical purposes, it is no doubt a lot of fun building it. Following the instructions above serves as an opportunity to impart a valuable first-hand learning experience to your child and a great memory for him/her to treasure forever.