Noah loves all sorts of vehicles, and has been blessed with many Duplo car/train sets. I came across this blogpost on Lego Car Ramp Painting, and thought it was easy enough to set up for Noah to play with.
He got all excited when I asked if he would like to do some painting with cars, and followed me around the house as I prepared the materials needed. I made the mistake of mentioning a car wash as well, which might explain why he wanted to stop painting with his cars after a while, and asked to wash the cars instead.
I used Duplo as
we don’t have Lego they’re easier for Noah to handle. I also didn’t know if his other toy cars could be washed, so I decided to play it safe, in case they turned rusty or something like that. I also liked that he could exercise some creativity when he built his cars, and perhaps I’ll encourage him to build a wider variety the next time we try this, so that he can see for himself which cars would go faster, based on the weight and size of the vehicles.
I started off with a rather steep slope, but the cars kept crashing instead of running smoothly across the sheet of paper, so I adjusted it, and made a much gentler slope, which worked beautifully. I talked to Noah about it after that, and we discussed steep vs gentle slopes for a bit, before he started rambling about how fast his cars could go. I hope he learnt something though!
Paint (I used Crayola Washable Kids Paint)
Large sheet of paper (for painting)
Hard cardboard (for the ramp) – I’m not sure if a plastic tray would work, though I don’t see why not. Will try that next time.
Masking tape (or any kind of tape to hold the ramp and paper in place)
Stool (for the ramp)
1. Tape a large sheet of paper on the floor.
2. Set up the ramp by securing the hard cardboard onto the stool with masking tape, and ensure that the bottom of the ramp overlaps the sheet of paper slightly. (Note that the ramp in this photo was too steep. If you’re using the same Ikea stool, I recommend placing the ramp slightly below the holes. You can see the modified ramp in one of the photos below.)
3. Prepare a selection of paint colours on a large tray. You can choose to use individual plastic plates if you prefer not to mix the colours together.
4. Get your kid to build a few Duplo/Lego cars, preferably with textured wheels. I tried encouraging Noah to build more than two cars, but he kept asking me why, so I gave up.
5. Have fun! Do try to ensure that the wheels are thoroughly coated with paint before releasing them from the ramp, so that they will create nicer tracks.
All excited about painting with his Duplo cars
Rolling his car in the paint
“I think I need more paint.”
After lowering the ramp
A beautiful mess
Time to wash up!
More bubbles = More fun = Cannot look at camera
The end product (I’m planning on reusing the ramp, and maybe even the sheet of paper!)
You can use this to teach your children about colours, slopes, and erm, gravity. As you can see, Science isn’t my forte, but I’m sure there are plenty of learning points here. Even if there aren’t, it’s still a pretty fun activity to do, plus it’s easy to set up! If you’re as afraid of messes as I am, do what I do: set it up in the bathroom, and always use washable paint.
Have fun with your own car ramps!
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