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Found-Object Vehicles: Building Challenge for Kids

Updated: May 9

Buckle up, young makers, because today we bring you a building challenge like no other! Let’s put our pedal to the metal and take off down the track to build our very own found-object vehicles. Using recycled materials that can be found around the house, we invite you to use your ingenuity to picture a new kind of vehicle, one that is bound only by your imagination!

Two DIY found-object cars

Straight from our Makertopia summer camp comes a project that’ll have you burning rubber with excitement. Craft rolling wonders powered by balloon magic or pinwheel energy, or even design a high-flying contraption to soar to new heights!

Think outside of the box: howL can ordinary objects or forgotten treasures be combined to form something new and special? How might your turbocharged car fit into the world that you wish could be? Shift into high gear, start your engines, and let’s tap into our creativity to build some wheely awesome rolling creations!

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  • Car Body: cardboard, takeout boxes, plastic items, toilet paper rolls, and anything else that you might find around the house!

  • Wheels: bottle caps, thread spools, corks, and store-bought toy car wheels will all work.

  • Axles: Small dowels, straws, or anything else long and thin.

  • Hot glue gun (Adult supervision may be needed for kids under a certain age).

  • Decoration: Markers, paint, paint markers, stickers, pom poms, pipe cleaners, etc.


1.Collect your materials: Gather materials from around the house that might make an exciting car!

Materials for found-object cars

2. Assemble your car: Using the hot glue gun, let your imagination go wild! 

Wheel and axle for found-object cars made from dowels and spools

3. Decorate your car: Maybe your car has racing stripes, pom poms, or runs off glitter power!

A car that runs from balloon power

4. Hit the road! For extra fun, build a scale roadmap of your world using construction paper and tape! Here's the one we made at our recent Makertopia camp!

A roadmap made from construction paper and tape

Whether you’re creating a sleek racecar or a miniature monster truck, crafting homemade cars is always a rewarding experience! Round up your materials, and let’s start making!

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