Bottle Race Car

Bottle Race Car Activity

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See more activities in: Second Grade, Physical Science

Playing race cars is fun but it's even better if you’ve built the car yourself. You don’t even need a kit as long as you have recyclables and a few common household items. Let your child come up with his own design, or maybe even several, and see which one works best.

What You Need:

  • A clean, empty plastic bottle
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun (with an adult helper)
  • 2 straws
  • Heavy tape – duct or packaging tape
  • 2 bamboo skewers
  • 4 bottle caps
  • Clay
  • Optional decorations such as stickers, paint, and markers

What You Do:

  1. The base of the race car needs to be slightly wider than the plastic bottle. Mark the bottle’s dimensions on the cardboard. Have your child draw his base around this – he can get as creative as he wants.
  2. Now trim two straws to the width of this base and tape them to the underside. These hold the axles in place so space them accordingly.
  3. Help your child hot glue the bottle to the top of the race car base. He can decorate the bottle with paint, markers, stickers or cardboard cut-outs.
  4. Roll up a marble-sized ball of modeling clay. Press it inside one of the bottle caps. Repeat this process with each bottle cap.
  5. Thread a skewer through one of the straws. Cut the skewer so it is about two inches longer than the straw. If this axle is too short, the wheels won’t turn freely. Press two wheels onto your axle and then repeat this step with the second axle and the second set of wheels.
  6. Roll the car base on a flat surface to make sure the wheels turn freely.
  7. Race cars roll better down a sloping surface. Set up a large piece of cardboard on several books and let the races begin!
Updated on Aug 6, 2013
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See more activities in: Second Grade, Physical Science
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