Steering Wheel Race - With Printable Template

Explore transportation and speed with this fun racing activity! Using cardboard and a paintbrush, children will create steering wheels for their imaginary cars, trucks or whatever else they’d like to drive. You’ll then hold up different speeds for them to “drive” at, whether driving by themselves or with a friend!

On your mark...get set...GO!

This activity uses materials you likely already have lying around and is great for one kid or a whole classroom. To start, cut out a steering wheel from a piece of cardboard. The child will then get to decorate the steering wheel using a paintbrush and paint, making it whatever colors or patterns they’d like.

Once dry, it’s off to the races! Have different speeds written on sheets of paper. Hold up a speed and then have the child race their vehicle at that speed, using their steering wheel to lead the way. Be sure to explain the different speeds ahead of time — children love figuring out which speed has been chosen and whether they should go really slow or really fast. If they get it wrong, you can even issue a ‘ticket’ for going the wrong speed limit!

📚 Books to explore: Cars, Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry, If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen, Go, Dog, Go! By P.D. Eastman.

🚦 Extend this activity! Have your child help create a road to drive on using chalk on a driveway or toys down a long hallway inside your home.

📷 Document as you go. Take a video of your kiddo running the speed limit...or not!

Materials

For this activity you will need:

White paper

Marker

Cardboard

Paint 

Paintbrush

Scissors

Learning Outcomes

Domain

Physical

Skills

Gross Motor

Indicators:

Increasing control over own movement skills

Instructions

Step 1:

On separate sheets of white paper, use a marker to make a speed limit sign (e.g. 10 MPH, 50 MPH, etc.)

Step 2:

Cut out a smaller rectangle to use as your speeding ticket, and write TICKET on it.

Step 3: 

Using a piece of cardboard and the included stencil, use scissors (or a knife) to cut out a steering wheel shape.

Step 4:

Prepare a safe space to paint. Have your child then use a paintbrush to paint their steering wheel. Encourage them to get extra creative with their designs.

Step 5:

Allow the paint to dry. 

Step 6:

Let the races begin! Give your child their steering wheel. When they’re ready, hold up a speed limit. The higher the number, the faster they’ll run and the lower the number, the slower they will walk. If they move at the wrong speed then give them a ticket.

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Add even more speed limit signs for kiddos to have to figure out the differences between.

⬇️ For toddlers: This game can be adapted to a simple “stop and go” or “red light, green light” game

Playful Questions

What vehicle do you want to drive?

What sound does a horn make?

What patterns should we make on your steering wheel?

What does a steering wheel control?

How does a car move?