Friday, December 3, 2010

Clothespin Button Racer


For a easy boredom buster, gather together:



  • 1 clothespin (per car)
  • 4 buttons, of the same size
  • 1 drinking straw
  • 2 bread ties
  • colored tape
  • school glue (optional).

Cut two, one inch, pieces from the straw.


Thread the bread ties through the straws, and secure a button on each side, either looping the bread tie through the back hook, or the holes, depending on the type of buttons you have.


Clip one of the straw axles in the front of the clothespin. You can glue it in place, but that isn't necessary.


Slide the other straw axle into the back of the clothespin, up against the spring.


Secure it in place with a piece of tape, as shown.


Make more than one...


...and let the racing begin.


If you don't have a large piece of poster board, you can make a pretty good racing ramp out of an empty cereal box, too.

I found the idea for this toy, in Mary Wallace's excellent, for-kids, toy making book, I Can Make Toys. It's one of those books, where almost every idea looks like fun, and can actually be done by children, on their own.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

21 comments:

Christy said...

What a cool idea! The sad thing is that I have to go buy buttons to do this. I have buttons but certainly not four of the same size. I have to learn to sew and other such stuff so that I don't seem so inadequate in that area of domesticity.

Elise said...

Such a neat idea. We have everything on hand to do this so it won't be long before we turn some pegs into racing cars too. It is always appealing to come across ideas like this where you can use basic household items and your children can turn them into something to play with. Very cool.

Freezing drizzle - that makes me shiver just thinking about it. Sounds pretty miserable. Those cookies you baked up are so festive looking. I like your idea of creating a stained glass effect for your tree cookies.

Kebeni said...

I love your blog so much. Such awesome ideas! THe peg cars are going on my list and those cookies will be great christmas treats

Kylie said...

these are cool and sooo easy I love that!

pebblekeeper said...

Button Button Who's Got the Button? I'll be looking for my button box now!

Ticia said...

Oh that looks so cool! I can just see the kids having a blast with that.

Raising a Happy Child said...

Haha sounds like just the right toys for the boys stuck in the house on a gloomy day. Yours also looks good!

The Getty Family said...

Great idea! I think we might have to try this tomorrow...thanks :0)

Debbie said...

What a neat idea! I have to remember this post so we can make these someday here.

justlovemom said...

Awesome! I'm going out to get clothespins. You have rescued this rainy inside week!

Pamela said...

Someone posted this link on the Effbooks today... I love it! It's still not quite spring here in Western NY, and my people are way antsy. We'll be doing this tomorrow! Thanks so much.

Amanda said...

Oh my gosh, these are way too cool!

I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you'd stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don't post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like! http://funfamilycrafts.com/

Kids craft ideas said...

Great tutorial! Creative ideas for kids.thanks for sharing

Heather said...

Are the wheels supposed to turn? We made one but our's don't turn. Did we mess up?

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Heather - Yes, the wheels are supposed to turn :)

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Heather - Maybe you need a wider straw? Or did you put your buttons on to tightly against the straws?

Heather said...

Thanks for your reply. Yes, our wheels are wrapped pretty snugly. Before we attached them tighter, we had problems with the button wheels splaying out.

Now that I know that they're supposed to spin, I'll have my son play around with them to see what he can do. They're awfully cute. My great grandma would be tickled to see her button collection being used in such a whimsical way. :o)

Anonymous said...

My friend and her grandson made this craft and her grandson (age 9) came up with the idea of using a rubber band thru the straw and buttons...once assembled you can pull back on the car or wind the wheels and it becomes a self propelled racer.

jess said...

Can't wait to make these with my son!

Kura Carpenter said...

Gosh this is so cute! I was wondering what I could make with spare buttons and this is it :)

Terri Jones said...

This is a great idea. I will be putting kits together for a Dad Day in my preschool class. Can't wait to see the Dads competing with each other over the fastest car. What a great idea! Thanks! (Of Course, I will give you credit!)