Hot Wheels/Matchbox Game

So in between all the other projects I’m working on, I am helping to raise 4 wonderful children and occasionally entertaining their cousins and friends. And I’ve been creating games since I could draw and use scissors, this is just one more from a life long list.

I guess I call it the Hot Wheels Game, though personally I prefer Matchbox most of the time. The detail on some of these models is amazing, if you take the time to check it out. As a designer with more than a passing interest in automotive design, I’m always surprised at the level of sophistication in these mass produced models that always end up under the couch. I’ve even found some with writing so small that it takes a low-powered microscope to read. Anyway, this is how it goes.

So, kids love toy cars, right? Right. Proven fact.
Kids love games, right? Again, proven fact.
Kids love drawing and making stuff, right? Once again.

So all you need is:

    At least two standard sized toy cars, Matchbox or Hot Wheels or similar.
    A sheet of poster board.

1. Have an adult or older kid draw out a track on the poster board. It should be wide enough to allow two cars side by side at all times. Then divide the track into spaces using the car as a measuring. Each space should be a little bigger than one car. Make one space have a checkered divider bar for the starting line.
2. Have the kids color the track in.
3. Then each player takes turn rolling the dice, moving their car forward by the number.

Some variants:
1. Turbo Dice and Pit Stop: Put a couple dice in an extra space off to the side marked “Pit”. A player can spend one full turn in here and get one additional die for each turn spent. Then, at any point, this player can roll the additional die for a burst of speed.
2. Hazard Spaces: On ours, I marked some spaces as hazards, where if a car lands on this space they roll to see how far back they go or just get stuck for a turn. In this case we turn the car upside down.
3. Wrecks: When two cars land on the same space, both players roll. The player with the higher roll goes forward one space, the player with the lower roll goes back one space.

And that’s it more or less. It seemed kind of obvious to me but I’ve never encountered another parent doing this so I figured I’d post it. Its a nice game in many respects, as it allows the kids to make something, use their toys in a new way, compete in a friendly game, and use math at the same time. And the rules are so simple, I can get back to work while they play independently.

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