Pinewood Derby’s used to be an annual activity when our older boy’s participated in cub scouts. But since shifting to other activities, we haven’t worked on any wooden cars. A guy in our neighborhood has a track his dad built and he invited all the kids his son’s age (Briggs) to come over for a few hours on a Saturday and build, paint, and race cars with a parent. As luck would have it, Briggs woke up sick that morning and was so sad to miss out on race day. Cannon was more than happy to step in and build a car in Briggs’ name and race for him.
He brought home a second place trophy and was generous enough to give it to his little brother.
A week later, Bennett had his own pinewood derby when this same family hosted a birthday party and the activity was building, painting and racing cars! Unlike Cannon, Bennett’s car was built entirely by him – no parent involvement – and he came home with a 3rd place medal.
We were on a roll with derby’s and the fun didn’t stop after two kids. Hunter and Hallie’s church group had an evening activity where they too built and raced cars (Hallie showed up late and wasn’t able to get one built in time). But Hunter and his buddy were enthusiastic about their little car after watching Mark Rober’s tips and tricks for building derby cars. Aside from a wheel coming off on one of their races, their car was actually decently fast and they took after Bennett and brought home the bronze.
To be honest – I’ve always dreaded pinewood derby races which is saying a lot because I enjoy building. I just dreaded showing up to watch cars race that were clearly not even touched by the cub scout – it was a competition as to what dad had the most experience building cars. And then dad’s getting visibly upset when the kid bumped the wheel as they walked it to the track.
But this was totally different and it was refreshing. Everything was built and painted on site and all the kids were so proud of their creations because they truly created it and they had fun. I could do more of these pinewood derbies!