Ways to Nurture & Encourage Your Child’s Love of Cars
Easy ways that parents can teach their kids about cars well before they have a driver's license
Every child is obsessed with some subject when they’re young. Whether it’s dinosaurs, superheroes, trains, or Santa Claus, this infatuation can consume their conversations and playtime. They’ll practically eat, breathe, and dream it.
If your child loves cars, nurture that interest in them and find ways to encourage your child’s love of cars. They’re never too young to love motorized vehicles, even a decade before they earn their driver’s license.
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Encourage your child’s love of cars by sharing these activities with them
Show them television shows: There are plenty of child-friendly shows on television and online streaming platforms to engage and educate your young ones, including a whole bunch on Netflix. The proliferation of child-oriented animation has led to an abundance of automobile-themed media, from transforming car-robot hybrids to heroic emergency service drivers.
Take them to a car show: We’re not talking about a classic car gathering where collectors display their prized possessions. Rather, take your children to an official auto show where the automakers show off their brand-new models. This is a great opportunity for kids to touch, climb in, and explore real cars in a safe, supportive environment.
Introduce them to a hobby: Most children’s activities these days don’t extend beyond sports and video games, but an interest in cars can lead to a plethora of other creative hobbies. Spend time building model cars together, find a community pinewood or soap box derby club to join, or get them a slot car track. Not only do these activities give them a creative outlet, they also foster an understanding of and interest in basic physics, mechanical, and engineering principles.
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Let them drive a car: No, we’re not encouraging you to allow your kid to illegally drive a real car underage. Buy a plastic, pint-size car that they can pilot in your driveway, whether that’s a motorized ride-on Jeep or a foot-powered Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. If they’re too big for those, then should be old enough to race laps at a go-kart track. Find a way to let them get behind the wheel.
Take them to a race: Seeing cars in action far surpasses seeing them on the screen. See if there’s a local dirt track in your neighborhood or if the Monster Jam competition circuit is making a stop in your state. Just make sure they wear headphones!
Even if you aren’t a gearhead, don’t deny that passion in your children. Find ways like these to allow them to explore their automotive interests in creative, interactive ways. Who knows — it could lead to a career in the car industry.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.