13 Car Games

by Deb on September 30, 2010

Post image for 13 Car Games

One of the smartest things Isaac Newton did was work out his 3 laws of motion.  These are so simple we all understand and know them at a basic level, so simple that it is very, very hard to even realise they are there.  The way we develop this knowledge of motion and many other physical laws is through play, especially play involving things like cars.

{The three laws in simple terms are:

  1. Things move if you push them, and don’t move if you don’t.
  2. How fast something goes depends on how big it is and how hard you push it.
  3. When you push on something, it pushes back (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).}

Some of the ways playing with cars helps you develop these understandings by having fun:

  1. Pushing – The most basic way to make things move, babies start by hitting things and seeing them roll.pull along
  2. Pulling with string – Great for beginning walkers to see they can pull as well.
  3. Pulling back and letting go – Takes a lot of co-ordination and lets kids see that it’s not always a direct effect.
  4. Crashing – You don’t have to be Gomez Addams, but you can find out all about reactions and change in direction!
  5. Corners – Did you know that changing direction is a change in acceleration?  So it needs a force to make it happen.ambulance
  6. Cliffs – very Calvin and Hobbes.  But there is something to learn here other than the sheer joy of destruction – how far out from the cliff do they hit the ground?  Does speed and weight make a difference?
  7. Ramps – Train sets often include ramps, or there are slides or good old planks on bricks.  Here gravity is providing the force and you can play with the steepness.
  8. Opening doors – Hinges provide a different sort of movement, turning, plus it lets kids explore inside and outside.
  9. Different sizes – Compare different sized cars to see which go faster.
  10. Different floors – Test them on different floors, such as carpet or tiles.
  11. Races – Isn’t that everybody’s favourite?  Especially if one veers off into nowhere.
  12. Remote controlled cars – giving a toddler the control of a car is hilarious.  Often they don’t realise the buttons they are playing with so happily have anything to do with the car zipping around the room.  For kids who do get the connection it’s a great way to develop fine motor skills and cause and effect.
  13. Imaginative play – C’mon, they’re cars.  Of course you should pretend with them!

Have fun!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

cathy@nurturestore September 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I think sometimes parents are concerned if their child is obsessed with a particular toy, and ‘all they do is play with cars’. This shows how much opportunity there is to explore and learn if you let kids follow their passions and play. Hope you’ll come and link up with us again at the Play Academy on Friday. Cathy :0)

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Deb September 30, 2010 at 8:53 pm

That’s a good point. I don’t worry exactly, but sometimes I think my big girl spends way too much time playing babies – doesn’t it get boring? I’ll have to watch to see what sorts of different things she’s doing during the game.

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cathy@nurturestore September 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I always find it valuable to sit and observe their play for a while – especially listening to their chat. You might find she’s got colours, counting, all sorts going on. And of course there are so many things you can add into doll play if you think you’d like to encourage her to explore a bit more.

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Judy September 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

As a former preschool teacher/administrator, I really enjoyed this look into cars 🙂 Play is the most important job kids have…and I wish more parents understood the importance of playing.

Thanks for a good reminder. And Happy TT!
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Adelle Laudan September 30, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Very interesting. Something I’ve never really thought about. Happy T13!

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Janet October 1, 2010 at 1:01 am

I <3 that you worked Gomez Addams into the list!

Thank you for your kind comment on the T13 page…I'm getting better every day!
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Harriet October 1, 2010 at 2:31 am

Wonderful post. Loved the cars.

Have a great Thursday!
http://harrietandfriends.com/2010/09/the-most-powerful-blacklist-on-earth/

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Xakara October 1, 2010 at 6:23 am

Thank you for this, it completely changes the way I’ll look at my godchildren play. 🙂

Happy TT

~X

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Ian @ http://www.squidoo.com/thomas-the-tank-engine-toys October 8, 2010 at 5:52 am

I have to admit when I read the title to this topic my mind went straight to games to be played on car journeys rather than the actual content.
Wow I never thought that the simple process of playing with a toy car could actually be quite an education process.

Ian

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Daniel October 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm

I have always believed toys and games must be educative for kids. Your analogy of comparing three basics laws with some basic car games is just brilliant. Balls and other motion toys can help too.
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