Remember the days when you were out in the yard, rolling that little car around the curves and bumps of the ridges in your backyard?
Maybe you saw a commercial with a kid who had a really cool racetrack for his toy cars that made you really jealous. What a fun thing it would have been to have a fully functioning race track in your backyard!
Fast forward 20 years and you’ve got kids, tools, and a little spare time. Would you rather binge that new series on Netflix or spend a few hours in the yard creating something that your children will remember for a lifetime? Probably the latter, right?
We thought so. Here’s how to build a DIY backyard race car track.
How to Build a DIY Backyard Race Car Track
“Race Car” might be a bit excessive of a term. We’re really talking about little toy cars or RC cars that your children have. That brings the price down about 100,000 dollars, for one.
There are a few ways to get the process done, and we’ll cover those options. That being said, there is a general formula for constructing a race track that works like a charm. Read on and transform your home into a place that your kid will love.
1. Dig Out a Course in the Yard
This doesn’t have to be a super deep hole, so don’t freak out just yet. You should dig around four to six inches into the dirt, making a path that’s long enough and wide enough for the cars that your children have.
If your kids just have little HotWheels cars, you don’t have to make the track very long. The thing could even be a circle that spans four feet from start to finish if the cars on it will be one to two inches long. If you have RC cars in the home, though, the story might be a little bit different.
Depending on the size of the car, you should make your path about two to three times the width of the vehicle.
If it’s an RC car, this means that you should probably dig your road about one to two feet wide. RC cars also require a longer track because its no fun if you’re driving it in a circle all day.
Consider making your path span around your yard, looping and spinning, going over terrain and through different avenues. Essentially, the more elaborate your path, the more fun your kids will have playing with it.
If you think your child needs a new RC car, RC planet is a great place to start looking.
2. Fill in Your Path
If you’re really dedicated, you’ll use some kind of concrete or tar to fill in the road. This will provide the feeling of a real road and it will enhance your child’s experience tenfold. You may only want to do this if you have the right yard and you know for a fact that your kid will play with it for years to come.
If you don’t want to lay down concrete in your backyard, which would be very understandable, there are a number of other materials that you can use to fill your track in. One very common one is brick.
If you’re dealing with HotWheels only, you can dig a track that is only the width of a brick, eventually filling those spaces with a line of bricks that will serve as your track. If you have a large path for RC cars, you could use finely cut plywood to fill in your track.
Another excellent and cheap option for filler is finely cut pieces of rubber.
The rubber you need could be found at any home improvement store, and will cost you very little. The real effort comes in when you have to cut it to the specifications of the hole that you’ve dug.
3. Add All of the Elements
No racetrack is complete without a crazy amount of unrealistic roadblocks and distractions that could never happen in real life! You should start with the basics, adding tunnels, road lines, traffic lights, or whatever else suits the feel of your child’s new race track.
After that, you can start to branch out and use your imagination in order for them to use theirs.
Start brainstorming ideas that relate to other things that your child is interested in. If he’s really into Harry Potter right now, for example, you could try and build something that looks similar to Hogwarts and place it in the corner of your track.
You could also put things like Pirate ships, moats, jumps, drawbridges, boulders, and other fun imaginative objects on your course. If you’re out of ideas, bring your kid in to help you with the brainstorming process. There’s no one better to give you ideas that a child.
Kids can literally go on for hours in their heads, meaning that they could definitely conjure up something imaginative to put on the track. That being said, don’t promise anything unless you can come through. It’s likely that they will come up with some wild, outlandish stuff that you may not be able to pull off.
Some common things to look into would be objects to jump over, ways to add a river or bridge into the terrain of the path, and a place that the car can drive through and go out of site for a while.
The last option in the list above could be something like a building, an underground tunnel, or a loop that spins around like a roller coaster. To keep going with the Harry Potter idea, the RC car could ride through a little hole in the side of Hogwarts and exit out the other side.
The thing is, these things sound like a lot of work, but if you dedicated one or two afternoons to the construction of a backyard track, your kid would have memories for decades.
Don’t Stop There
Think of how excited you would have been if your parents made you a DIY backyard race car track. Now imagine how excited you would have been if your parents always took that much time and effort to create things for you.
If you need any more tips and tricks on ways to improve your life, we’ve got everything you need.