Children love their little cars, but sometimes they eventually become bored with the same old toys. Here’s a way to spruce up that tired old Hot Wheels or Matchbox car. You can quickly and easily make a magnetic toy car out of it, and create an entire game around it. All you’ll need is a few supplies you probably already have around the house to create an engaging game for active but bored youngsters on a rainy day.
Glue a small, flat magnet onto the middle of the underside of a small toy car. Set it aside to let the glue dry completely.
Flip an empty box upside down. Draw a road course about 3 inches wide for the car on the bottom of the box, and color it brightly with markers or crayons. For use by a single child, make it a winding roadway with lots of turns and curves, and cover the entire area with it. For a game that can be shared by two, turn the box into a straight drag strip. Just create two lanes side by side with 4-6 inches in between them. This way both young children can race each other or play individually at the same time, with no arguments about sharing.
Cut a 4-inch hole in the side of the box with a utility or craft knife. If the game will be used by two children, cut another hole in the opposite side. Tape an end of a 2-3 foot length of string or yarn about an inch away from each hole, and tie the other ends securely to small horseshoe magnets. This will help to keep the magnets attached to the game, and perhaps prevent them from engaging in a disappearing act.
Hand the horseshoe magnet to your child. It should be large enough for her to be able to manage it well. Show him how it is attracted to the magnet glued to the bottom of the car.
Set the new magnetic car onto the surface of the roadway. Grasp the horseshoe magnet and stick your hand into the hole. Show the child how to gently press the magnet to the box directly underneath the magnetic car, and guide the toy around the course with it.
If you leave the flaps on the box, you can toss all the cars and related items into it and close the flaps to create a self-contained storage unit out of the game.