Derby Time

My boys are 3 and 5. Well below the typical Cub Scout age. And yet this past week I found myself whittling away at a rectangular block of wood, trying desperately to make it resemble a racecar.

All because my church is putting on a Pinewood Derby Party tonight for people of all ages.

I heard about the party months ago but brushed it aside. It wasn’t until church leaders started talking it up to my 5-year-old that I had any desire to participate. He got so excited at the idea of making a racecar that I couldn’t tell him “no.”

I tried to get my dad to help him. I remember him and my brother working on their Pinewood Derby cars for hours when I was younger. I think they actually won the grand prize a couple of times.

But time ran out and we needed a car. Fast.

So I spent two afternoons hacking at two awkwardly shaped pieces of wood transforming one into a “shark car,” the other into a “fire jet.”

If it weren’t for my friend Heidi, I don’t think I would have ever thought I could do it. But after I saw the awesome Ghost Buster van and Mermaid mobile she made with her two young kids, I was inspired to grab a hack saw and try making our own cars.

Of course the boys wanted to “help” but their poor little arms couldn’t make the old-school saw move up and down. They mostly played on the lawn while I sawed until my sides hurt.

For double what I paid for the wooden block, I could have bought a precut car at the store. But this frugal mom wanted to save $4.

Thank heavens for my parent’s electric sander. It helped smooth out and camouflage the rough and uneven saw marks. If you look closely you can tell that one side of the shark’s fin cuts in more than the other, and you just may see fire jet’s curves in its slant, but it’s the best we could do.

And my boys LOVE their cars. They have been carrying them around ever since we made them. We probably won’t win any type of award tonight, but we had fun working on our first cars.

Luckily the party isn’t an official Pinewood Derby race so there aren’t any official rules. We didn’t have to worry about design or weight restrictions. Who knows what we will do when we enter a real race.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Travis Clemens (@TravisMClemens)
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 13:58:24

    I LOVE Pinewood Derbies. #sarcasm


  2. Elise
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 17:03:10

    In my last ward (I was in YW there too) we had a pinewood derby for the YW. It was so fun to see such untraditional cars! While it sounds like this time around was very stressful for you, I hope they’re more fun in the future – like when your boys can actually make their own!


    • Natalie
      Apr 19, 2012 @ 06:34:16

      I wonder how the YW in our ward would like a Pinewood Derby… It turned out to be really fun. They let the kids race and race and race their cars. My oldest had the time of his life. That made all the hard work worth it.


  3. Trackback: What Boogers Taught Me This Year « Boogers on the Wall

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