Looking for an entertaining and educational project you can do with your kids? Ever heard of a soapbox derby? Back in the day, soapbox derbies were a popular activity among adolescents. The actual soapbox cars were typically made from apple crates and roller-skate wheels. With good construction and the help of gravity, soapbox cars can travel upwards of 45 kilometres per hour, so driving skills are needed.
Founded on the art of creativity and imagination, soapbox cars are a great way to teach your child how to build something from the ground-up.
Here are some essential tips to help you build your derby car:
Find a local race
Conduct some research to see if there’s an upcoming race in your area that you can participate in. If there isn’t one in your area, rally your neighbours and organize a block race.
Make a plan
Soapbox cars can take some time to build so start by making a plan. Draft up a list of materials you want for your car and start researching where you can get them. Plan to spend a couple days pulling together your desired materials and then… start building.
You can use virtually anything including bike tires, wooden crates or a steering wheel from an old toboggan. And the best places to find these items can be your garage, farmers’ markets or garage sales.
Before you take your first test ride, make sure you have safety equipment on hand, such as elbow and knee pads, long sleeve shirts and pants, in addition to a bike helmet.
Equip yourself with the proper clothing
You’ll likely be spending quite a bit of time working on your car in your garage or backyard. To combat the fluctuating temperatures during the spring months, make sure to dress appropriately. Try the FarWest Zip Off pant (available at www.marks.com) which easily transitions from pants to shorts in a matter of one zip.
Start your engine and make special memories with your children with this unique project.