Car combinatorics

I run a regular program at WPL called “Discover DIY” (formerly known as “Mini Makers”) for children aged 2-4. Each week I set up and run 1-2 new activities with the kids, interspersed with some story time.

Recently, I had an idea for a program for the kids where I could use up some scrap wood from my workshop. I would cut the wood up into regular-sized pieces, and give the kids instructions to make cars with them. I brought in some thin dowel to use as axles, some thick dowel pre-cut into thin strips and drilled with holes for wheels, and I brought in a power drill to make axle holes wherever the kids wanted with my help.

I was pleasantly surprised with the variety of the creations. These are kids aged 2-4, while they all have an idea of what a car is, it isn’t as cut-and-dry a definition as what an adult would have if you asked them to create a new car. Below is a sampling of the results of the kids’ work:

This one was going to get a sail when it went home:

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This one had issues when we drilled out the axle holes, so the addition was necessary to make it functional (it was really important to many of the kids that the cars run well):

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Have a seat:

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This one came with a bumper to keep their sibling out of the way:

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A simple, yet effective, racer:

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This one, below, is my favourite:

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Simple yet it drove really well:

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Three prongs was a fun one:

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A common theme among some of the cars was to make them high:

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Another one growing tall:

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For some reason this one makes me think of a toilet on wheels:

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These blocks stacked up reminded me of fig newtons:

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