I am continuing to make new DIY projects for the classroom, I started small with these literacy and math loose parts, then made some colorful blocks. After seeing this awesome post for making your own outdoor tracks by Buggy and Buddy, I knew I had to make my own wooden car tracks. I wanted a set that students could use while playing outside since we do not have a lot of outdoor games. I know students are always excited about building with blocks and playing with cars, so this seemed like a great summer project!
I started off by having my amazing SO cut me the boards out of old palettes. He used his table saw to cut the pieces all roughly the same length. Then his imagination and inner child took over and he made me smaller pieces, some straight and some curved. For the curved pieces, he made himself a template and then cut each piece using a clamp and a hand-saw. This is not something I would not have tried doing this on my own so thankfully I am with a handy-man that was really excited about this project!
Then we sanded each piece. I was able to use the handheld sander to do the long boards, but the smaller pieces had to be done by hand. We watched Netflix (if you haven’t seen Ozark, you should watch it!) and sanded all the pieces. We took our time and did this over a few days.
Then I waited for a nice, non-rainy day (which was a while since it rained almost every day this summer) and brought the pieces outside. I put masking tape on the long pieces for the lines in the road. Then I spray painted. Then I ran out of spray paint and had to go back to the store to get more. In total, I used 4 cans of this spray paint. I painted the front, the back and the sides of the planks, and I did two coats.
Note: do not make the same mistake I did the first time I spray painted- WEAR GLOVES! You will look like you have some weird hand disease after you spray paint most of your hand black if you don’t. Even when I wore gloves, the fingertip tore and my finger was black for a few days.
Once all the pieces were spray painted, I took the masking tape pieces off and hand-painted the lines in the road with white paint. You could leave them without paint, or you could figure out a template to stick to the board to spray paint the lines to make this faster. I chose to hand paint them. Again, Netflix is your friend (have you watched Atypical? No? Go watch it now!)
And there you have it! Car tracks for students to use in your outdoor play space (they can also be used in the classroom, we just need more activities for outside) that students will be excited to use!