If you’re like most parents, you probably have a hard time finding craft projects that give you and your children both quality time and discussion opportunity. Building a remote-controlled car, unlike playing a simple board game, gives you time with your child and presents lots of teaching topics. Below is a quick guide to build a RC car with your kid or kids.
1. Take your child to a store that sells RC car kits, or supervise the purchase of a kit online. As you search together, talk about why one kit would be selected over another. Do not discuss price, but make it clear before the search that you have a specific limit to what will be spent. Instead of price, talk about the color, shape, speed or size of the car. If your child hesitates to select a kit because they think it may be too hard, encourage them to try it out (if appropriate) and assure them that you will help them put it together.
2. Find a good workspace where you can leave parts out if need be. Help your child to take all the parts out of the kit and to identify them. Organize the parts by what they are or what they do–this is a chance for you to talk about how the same type of parts work or are made on real vehicles.
3. Have your child read the directions to you if they are old enough to do so, or read the directions with the child, helping them to sound out new words. Once you’ve read the directions, ask your child what the first step is and what tools you will need.
4. Put together the electronic components and engine of the vehicle according to the directions of the kit. Let your child try to put the components together first and offer help only if the child clearly has gotten lost or is unable to complete the task (e.g, they might not be able to twist a part tight enough).
5. Let your child use a paint brush or paint gun to apply the kit’s paint to the parts of the vehicle body. If using the paint gun, teach them operate the gun prior to painting by letting them spray paint on any item that won’t be damaged by the paint and which you feel fine about getting dirty. If using a paint brush, show the child paint so that the application goes on smooth and looks even. Wait for the paint to dry.
6. Help your child to put the body parts together according to the directions of the kit. Ask your child questions through the process, such as which part needs to be connected first and why.
7. Let your child put on the wheels and tires for the vehicle. These parts often can be a little difficult to snap into place, so explain get the best leverage if the parts don’t just screw into place.
8. Go with your child to an open area, such as a paved sidewalk or driveway. Give them the controls and let them test their work.