Activities for boys: Make a rubber band CD car
With a bit of help from Mum, these rubber band CD cars are a great boy's activity or craft project that makes practical use of recycled materials and creates a fun homemade toy.
What you need:
- 1 (approx) 15cm x 15cm piece of corrugated cardboard
- 2 x CDs (for wheels)
- 1 x bamboo skewer (axle)
- 1 x rubber band
- sticky tape
- strong craft glue
You may also need:
- 2 x paddle pop sticks to reinforce your car chassis
Number of players:
Start by cutting the main body of your car to shape. Orient your 15cm x 15cm square so that the corrugations run across the body.
Now cut a small 9cm x 5cm square out of the bottom of your 15cm x 15cm piece of corrugated cardboard. This will form two 3cm x 5cm sections on each side through which you can thread your axle.
Thread the bamboo skewer through the bottom of the main shape – so that it runs across the 9cm gap you just cut out. This is your axle. Make sure it spins freely. If it doesn't, just 'jimmy' out the hole a bit to make it bigger, so the skewer spins freely inside the gap.
Fill the small hole of each CD with Blu-tack. Cut two small squares (big enough to cover the hole in the CD) out of the off-cut piece of cardboard from your main body.
Glue one cardboard square to the outside of each wheel, so that it sits over the Blu-tack blob and forms a good stopper for the bamboo skewer when you thread it through. Use a kitchen skewer to punch a hole through the cardboard stopper to the other side of the Blu-tack to make it easier when you put your axle through.
Now wedge a CD onto each end of the bamboo skewer, push the skewer end through the cardboard stopper (you may want to add glue to keep the axle well in place here). These are your wheels.
Now staple a rubber band to the centre in the top edge of the main body.
Now create a catch on the axle for the rubber band. Do this by cutting out a small 2cm x 1cm piece of cardboard, then folding it around the middle of the skewer. Tape it in place so that it sits like a tab there and doesn't spin independently of the skewer. It should cause the axle to spin when it spins.
Stretch the rubber band down to the 'catch', secure it there, then wind it around and around the skewer until it's tight and ready to spring back.
Now place your CD car onto the ground, let the catch go and watch it race across the floor.
Hints and tips:
You may need to 'reinforce' your cardboard chassis to withstand the pull of the rubber band. We did this by using strong glue to glue two paddle pop sticks to either side of the main body.
- Thanks to our sister company Kidspot Australia for creating the instructional video.