Most people have many of the things necessary to build a simple battery powered toy car just lying around the house. Building a motorized toy car with your child is an excellent way to pass an afternoon and is a great opportunity for parent-child bonding. These steps are easy to follow, children of all ages can participate, with parental supervision, in this activity. Once you're done with the mechanical aspect of making the car, you can decide whether you want to decorate it. You can be traditional and paint racing stripes, or you can be extra creative and use some of your own designs.
Design the car's base. Draw your design onto the material you plan on using. On the underside of the base, make a mark where you will be putting the axles. Decide where you would like to put the drive axle. Most toy cars have it on the back. The drive axle is where the motor is attached.
Cut out the shape of your car using scissors or a saw, depending on the material you are using.
Glue the axle holders to the bottom of the car's base at the marks you made.
Glue one wheel to each axle. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes, then put the axles into place on the underside of the car. From here, you should keep the car on one of its sides as you continue to build.
Move the gear or the rubber band onto the drive axle. The gear shouldn't rotate on the axle, glue it in place if it does. It's important to make sure the axle spins easily, but not too loosely. This is the axle that you will attach the motor to.
Glue the remaining wheels to their axles. It's important to make sure the wheels are pretty close to the body of the car. Not too tight, but not loose either.
Twist one wire to the negative terminal on the motor. Do the same for the positive terminal, making sure that both terminals have leads.
Tape the motor to the car base.
Attach the negative lead to negative terminal on the battery or battery holder.
Use the tape to attach the battery to the car base. To ensure the car is balanced, put it over the drive axle on the side of the car base on the opposite end of the motor.
Tape the positive lead to the positive terminal on the battery or battery holder. The motor should start turning. To make the car stop, disconnect the wires from the leads.
Things You Will Need
- Wood, cardboard or other material for base
- Saw or scissors
- Pens or markers
- Axle holders: 2 straws, pairs of eye hooks or material
- 4 toy car wheels
- Toy gears or a rubber band
- 2 volt electric motor
- Electrical tape
- AA batteries
- Solar panel
- Battery holders
For another fun project, make a solar powered car instead. Replace the battery pack with a solar panel, attaching it to the car at a 45-degree angle so it catches the sun for power.
Be sure to check the voltage of the motor before attaching the battery. Make sure to only use batteries that are of the same or less voltage.