The Best Automotive Crafts to Keep Your Kids Busy for the Rest of the Summer

Summer is the perfect time for kids to explore their creativity and engage in exciting activities. If your little ones have a passion for cars and enjoy hands-on crafts, there are plenty of fun automotive-themed projects to keep them entertained for the rest of the summer. These DIY crafts will not only ignite their imagination but also keep them engaged for hours. They can design and paint to enhance their artistic skills while expressing their unique personalities. Additionally, partaking in these crafts can encourage teamwork and problem-solving as they collaborate with friends or family members. Let your children's imaginations soar as they delve into a world of creativity, exploration, and endless summer fun with these great crafts.

Car Collage Poster

Creating a car collage poster is a fantastic way to spark your child's artistic flair. You’ll be able to keep your little ones entertained for hours and finally use all those old magazines you’ve been saving in the garage for no reason. This activity allows kids to develop their fine motor skills while exploring different textures, colours, and shapes. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather materials & set up: You'll need old auto magazines or catalogues, scissors, construction paper, and a glue stick. Try to collect a variety of magazines to provide your child with a diverse selection of car images. Prepare a clean and spacious area where they can work comfortably. Lay down some old newspapers or a large sheet of paper to catch any glue drips or paper scraps.

2. Cut out the Images: Have your child look through the magazines and catalogs to find car images that they like. Encourage them to select cars of different colours, sizes, and styles to add variety to their collage. Using child-safe scissors, let your little artist carefully cut out the car pictures.

3. Arrange the collage & glue it altogether: Provide your child with a large poster board as the canvas for their masterpiece. Construction paper works fine for this as well. Once they have a good collection of car images, let your child arrange and rearrange them on the poster board until they are satisfied with the layout. After finalizing the arrangement, they can start gluing the pictures down one by one.

4. Add personal touches & display: Encourage your child to get even more creative by adding additional elements to the collage. They could draw roads, traffic signs, or even create their own car designs using coloured markers or pencils. Once the glue has dried, proudly display the car collage poster in your child's room, on the fridge, or anywhere they like. It will be a wonderful reminder of their artistic achievement and creativity.

Make Your Own License Plate

Designing and making their own license plate is a great activity for young car enthusiasts that encourages self-expression and boosts your child's confidence in their creative abilities. If your child is of preschool age, this craft will help reinforce their spelling skills as well as give them a sense of pride and ownership for their creation. It's a fun way to merge their love for cars with art, and the finished masterpiece will be a cherished keepsake for years to come. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather materials & prepare the base: You will need sturdy construction paper or cardboard, scissors, a glue stick, ABC stickers or letter stencils, finger paint or markers and stickers (optional). Begin by cutting a rectangular piece of sturdy construction paper or cardboard to the size of a typical license plate. You can use a real license plate as a reference for the dimensions, or simply create a plate that fits your child's preferences.

2. Personalize & get creative: Offer your child a variety of options to personalize their license plate. They can use ABC stickers or letter stencils to spell out their name, initials, or a favourite word. Alternatively, they can use finger paints or markers to write their name and add fun drawings around it. They can use stickers, coloured paper cutouts, finger paints or any craft supplies you have available to embellish the license plate. Let them express their personality and interests through the design. Once they feel it’s complete, use a glue stick to secure any stickers or paper cutouts. Make sure everything is well-attached to the cardboard or construction paper.

3. Optional Touches: If your child wants to add extra flair, they can glue on small decorative items like glitter, sequins, or small craft embellishments to make their license plate stand out even more.

4. Display the Masterpiece: After the glue has dried, proudly display the finished license plate on your child's bedroom door or use it to decorate their bicycle. They'll feel a great sense of accomplishment seeing their personalized creation on display.

Carboard/Paper Plate Steering Wheels

Transforming cardboard or paper plates into steering wheels is a simple yet enjoyable craft that can inspire pretend play. The process of creating and using their own paper plate steering wheel will provide hours of fun and imaginative play for your child. Whether they're zooming around a racetrack, exploring distant planets, or driving through imaginary landscapes, this DIY craft will surely bring a smile to their face and foster their creativity in delightful ways. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather materials & prepare the wheel: You will need sturdy construction paper, cardboard cut into a circle or a paper plate, scissors, a glue stick, and finger paint or markers. Once you’ve got you materials, provide your child with either the circular piece of cardboard or a paper plate, which will serve as the base for the steering wheel (if the paper plates have a glossy coating on one side, make sure the glossy side faces outward for better marker adhesion). With adult supervision, assist your child in cutting out a circle from the center of the paper plate. This will create the opening in the middle of the steering wheel. The size of the circle should be suitable for your child to grip comfortably.

2. Decorate the steering wheel: Encourage them to decorate the steering wheel using markers. They can use their favourite colours and designs to personalize it. For younger children and toddlers, you can suggest simple patterns like stripes, dots, or squiggles. Older kids might want to add more intricate details or write their name on the steering wheel.

3. Secure the steering wheel (Optional): Once the decorating is complete, you can secure the paper plate steering wheel to a cardboard box or a play car. You can use tape or glue to attach it firmly in place, ensuring that it's positioned at a comfortable height for your child to reach while playing. However, there is no need for the wheel to be attached to anything if your child would prefer to just hold it and run around.

4. Pretend play adventures: Whether the steering wheel is attached or not, your child's imagination can take them on exciting pretend play adventures. They can become race car drivers, truck drivers, or even pilots of a fantastic flying machine-- encourage them to come up with different scenarios and let their imagination soar.

Tissue Box Racecar for Stuffed Animals

Turn an ordinary tissue box into a racecar for your child's beloved stuffed animals. This delightful DIY racecar project combines arts and crafts with imaginative play, allowing them and their beloved stuffed animals can embark on thrilling races across the playroom. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather materials & prepare tissue box: You will need an empty tissue box, colourful construction paper, either bottlecaps or cardboard cut into little circles (for wheels), scissors, glue of double-sided tape, markers, and of course their favourite stuffed animal. Ensure the tissue box is empty and clean, with any plastic removed

2. Decorate the racecar: To give the racecar a vibrant look, use construction paper or coloured tape to cover the entire tissue box. You can let your child pick the colours they like best or go with a racing theme, such as red, blue, or checkered patterns. Encourage them to decorate the racecar using markers, stickers, or cut-out shapes. They can draw racing stripes, headlights, windows, and any other details they desire to make the racecar look realistic and fun.

3. Add wheels & personalize: For the wheels, your child can use bottle caps or cut circles from cardboard. Paint the bottle caps or cardboard to resemble wheels or use construction paper to add a pop of colour. Glue or tape the wheels to the sides of the tissue box to complete the racecar's look. Let your little one personalize the racecar by adding the name of their "racing team" or any other fun details they want. This step enhances their creativity and ownership of the project.

4. Racing Adventures: Once the racecar is complete, it's time for fun—now, your little one can place their beloved stuffed animals or toy figures inside the racecar and set them off on thrilling races across the playroom or any racing tracks they create.

Using Tape to Make Car Tracks on the Floor

Let your child's imagination hit the road by creating a car tracks right in your living room. Encourage your child to design their own racetrack layout, fostering creativity and problem-solving skills. They can add parking lots, stop signs, or even a mini-city using blocks or toy buildings. Grab a few toy cars and they'll enjoy hours of thrilling playtime adventures. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather materials & choose a location: All you will need for this is some coloured tape (masking tape or painter's tape) and some toy cars, blocks or toy buildings. Select a suitable area in your living room with enough space to lay out the racetrack. Clear the floor of any obstacles or objects that might get in the way.

2. Tape the tracks: Use colored tape (masking tape or painter's tape) to create roads, curves, and intersections on the floor. Your child can decide on the layout and design of the racetrack, allowing their creativity to run wild. They can make a simple circular track, a figure-eight pattern, or a more elaborate cityscape with roads going in different directions.

3. Add some flair: Encourage your child to add design elements to the racetrack. They can use tape to create parking lots, crosswalks, or pedestrian pathways. For even more fun, they can place toy buildings or blocks to create a mini city along their tracks. If you have stop signs or traffic signs from a toy set, your child can place them strategically along the racetrack to simulate real road conditions. This adds a touch of realism and can also spark conversations about road safety.

4. Bring in the toy cars: Once the racetrack is set up, it's time to bring in the toy cars! Your little ones can pretend to be race car drivers, city bus drivers, or anything their imagination desires. Encourage them to engage in role-playing and pretend play as they drive their toy cars around the car track. They can create stories, imagine different scenarios, and even introduce other toys as passengers or fellow drivers.

Cardboard Box Car Wash

Transform a large cardboard box into a car wash station, complete with cut-out doors and windows, sponges, and hanging brushes. Your kids will be occupied for hours as they engage in imaginative play, "washing" and "cleaning" their toy cars, fostering creativity and role-playing skills. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather your materials & set up: What you'll need is a large cardboard box, scissors or utility knife (for adult use), paint or markers, either construction paper, blue crepe paper or ribbon, and either glue or tape. Select a large cardboard box that is big enough to accommodate toy cars and allow your child to move them around comfortably. Close the top of the cardboard box and seal any open flaps using tape or glue. This will create a sturdy structure for your car wash station.

2. Create doors and windows: With adult supervision, use scissors or a utility knife to cut out a rectangular door on one side of the box. Cut out square or rectangular windows on the other sides of the box to add to the car wash ambiance.

3. Decorate the car wash: Now comes the fun part! Let your child's creativity shine as they decorate their new car wash. Use paint or markers to give the box a vibrant and colourful appearance. They can paint the outside to resemble the exterior of a car wash or create their own unique design. To mimic the hanging brushes inside the car wash, attach strips of either cut construction paper, blue crepe paper or ribbons to the top inside of the box. Ensure that they hang down to create a curtain-like effect. You can glue or tape the strips in place securely.

4. Time to play: Find a suitable spot for the car wash station, either indoors or outdoors. If you choose to play indoors, consider placing a plastic sheet or old towels under the box to catch any mess. If outdoors, make sure it's a dry and flat surface. Once the car wash station is set up, it's time for your child's imagination to take over. They can use their toy cars to drive through the car wash, pretending to clean them with hanging brushes and imagining the sounds of water and soap.

Traffic Light Craft

This fun DIY traffic light craft is perfect for your little car enthusiasts. It promotes learning, creativity, and development of social skills. It's an excellent way to combine their love for cars with a fun and educational activity, fostering their development as they embark on imaginative traffic adventures. Here’s how to get started:

1. Gather materials & get started: You will need 3 or 4 pieces of black card, red, yellow and green construction paper, a pencil, scissors, glue or double-sided tape, and 2 small split pins. First, on one sheet of black card, draw 3 circles in a vertical line with a small gap between each one and then cut out the circles and fold just under an inch underneath each side of the card. Use the card with the 3 holes as a stencil on another piece of black card. Draw the circles on the other card using the holes as a guide. Do not cut these circles; they will be the base/back and top/front of the traffic lights.

2. Getting all the pieces: Cut out circles from the red, orange, and green paper, slightly larger than the circles cut from the black card. Then, stick the colored circles onto the circles drawn on the black card in the correct order (red, then yellow, then green). Cut two strips widthwise from another black piece of card, about 2cm thick. Then, cut two more circles from the remaining black card, making them slightly bigger (about 2cm larger) than the previous circles.

3. Putting it all together: Stick one of the strips you cut out onto each of the bigger circles. Align all the pieces to ensure they fit correctly, and work as intended. Place the bigger circles with the strips on either side of the middle circle. Test them by moving the circle bits to cover the circle you want to show. Once satisfied, poke the split pins through and secure them. Stick the front of the traffic lights on, but do not stick all of the side that will be going over the strips. Ensure everything is in the right place and functions correctly. Finally, stick the front of the traffic lights in place, leaving the side going over the strips free to move.

4. Time to play: Now that it’s all together, it’s time to have a little fun with your new traffic light—your little ones can pretend driving, Simon Says and whatever they can imagine.

So, if you are asking yourself “how will I entertain my kids for the rest of the summer?” Then these automotive crafts are sure to keep your kids entertained and engaged throughout the summer. From creating collages and designing license plates to constructing steering wheels and racecars, these activities not only foster creativity but also enhance fine motor skills and imaginative play. So, grab your craft supplies and embark on a journey of automotive adventures with your little ones. Let their creativity rev up and make the most of the remaining summer days.