Monday, June 28, 2010

Make a Car Race Track from a Water Noodle

I saw this on Family Fun, and also saw this post and this post on making a marble track from a water noodle. So with their inspiration, I figured out a way to make one for cars- and  it worked! (Since we have two boys crazy about cars, and a one year old who puts everything in his mouth-we had to make it for cars instead of marbles.) Here is what it looks like:

How to make a Car Race Track from a Water Noodle:
1.You need  a water noodle with a large hole in the middle.
I found mine in the dollar section at Target- they were 2 for 2.50.  I had a different water noodle at home with a small hole that would not work. Make sure you get a "cheaper" water noodle- as they tend to have larger holes. (check the dollar store)
2. Using a kitchen knife, I cut it right down the middle.
3. I used long skewers (used for shish-ka-bobs on the bbq- you can buy at the grocery store) and poked them right through the water noodle.  Here is a little trick: If you poke the skewer through and pull it out a little bit, you can widen the track a little for the cars.
4. You need something to hold it in place at the top and bottom. I found Styrofoam from a box that worked perfectly. You could use a cardboard box or Styrofoam. With Styrofoam, you can poke the skewers right through it and it stays in place. With cardboard, you might have to use packing tape.
I taped the Styrofoam to the floor at the bottom of the track with packing tape-so it would not slide around on the tile. If you don't have stairs, your could use a large box at the top of the track and attach it to the box like they did on Family Fun. (linked above).
5. We used fabric scraps to make the "start" and "finish" signs and used packing tape to hold them in place.
6. Here is another trick for making this work for cars:  use narrow cars- most no-name- dollar store type cars will work. We had some metal ones that were a bit smaller than the regular cars and they worked perfectly, as did some of the smaller Hot wheels or Matchbox cars. Some of them are too wide- but it depends on how big the hole is on your water noodle.

That is it! It provided hours of fun for our kids! It also cost next to nothing! We love it. I took it apart, and we'll put it up again and again this summer.  

Since the styrofoam we used had a hole in the middle, they put their rubber snake in it and said it was "snake pond" and they did not want their cars to land in snake pond! :)
Here is a little video to show you how this works. This is a great summer indoor activity- when it is just too hot to go outside.

Back in the day when I started this blog, I was posting Kid's Crafts and Activities just about every week. For the next month or two (during summer) I am going to try to post a fun kid's activity every Monday :)

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Emily said...

That's awesome, Sharla. I love how your brain can just think these great kid-friendly ideas up. I know I'll be here a lot when my kids are a little older.

Jane said...

This is awesome! I might make this as a carnival activity for our fall festival.

Fawnda said...

I seriously LOVE this idea! my son will get such a kick out this! :)

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [28 Jun 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

TrishAnderson said...

Hey - something that I can actually do. My Brendon would love that. Since I only have a pink and a purple noodle right now, it will have to wait until I can get to the store to get a different color.

Alison said...

What a FABULOUS idea!! I will be doing this!

Heather said...

My three boys will flip over this. Of course, I'd need 3 tracks... hmmmmmmm.

This is definitely going on the must do list for this summer, especially since monsoon season is right around the corner and I can't handle the heat + humidity!

Cami said...

Looks awesome! My boys would love it!

Jennifer said...

Great idea! I went right out and got those Target water noodles just for this. My boys really enjoy them! We use them for balls, too. I wanted a longer track, so I attached 2 noodles with tape, but the tape came up. I'll have to try something else to keep the 2 together. Any ideas? I thought hot glue wouldn't stick

A. Warner said...

That's so cool! I'll have to make this for my son who is 2 1/2! He is CRAZY about trucks! Thanks so much!

Tabitha said...

Very cool Sharla! It was great to meet you at Tour de Thrift... I am gonna follow you along and watch.... I am a mom to boys too and your ideas are always so awesome!!

Stacey said...

What a great idea!! I have a water noodle sitting in my garage right now just waiting to be cut in half.
Following after seeing you on Oopsie can follow me back at

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

So fun! I am featuring this on somewhatsimple this Tuesday! Thanks for the idea!

jeanine said...

What a fantastic idea! I am going to try this for my boys! (And I really like the 'snake pond'! My boys will love that!)

Anonymous said...

I used your idea for a transportation themed party. It worked out great!