Go Carts

go-cartsOne activity that we did for Cub Scouts when I led a group of Bears (3rd grade boys) was to make go carts. The instructions on how to make them are in the Bear Cub Scout handbook. I asked the dads in the group, “Who would be willing to be in charge of assembling the go-carts?” I actually had one of the dads volunteer. He cut all the pieces of wood to the correct size. We wanted two go-carts so that we could have races down a hill right next to my house. The man happened to have one set of wheels, but he needed another set. I told him we had a lawn mower that no longer worked. Could he harvest those wheels? He said yes.

go-carts-raceWe decided to assemble one before the children arrived so that we wouldn’t spend the whole hour just assembling them. We also met half an hour early so that we would have half an hour for the boys to assemble the go-cart, and the remaining hour to actually ride the go-carts. I asked all the dads, “Who rides a motorcycle?” I told the dads to bring their motorcycle helmets for the boys, which are much safer than bicycle helmets.

After assembling the go cart, we rolled both go carts to the top of a hill. I’m talking about a street, so I positioned one parent in the middle of each street at the intersection. If you have orange cones, this would work even better. I also had a first aid kit ready, knowing that there would be injuries. (Legal notice: This is dangerous, and I do not technically recommend it.) (Non-legal notice: This was so much fun! Who cares about the scrapes and blood? It was worth it. As you can see, I was meant to be the mother of three boys. Thankfully there were no broken bones.)

cub-scouts-go-cartsThe children were able to steer by pulling the rope right or left. There was also a way to slow down; you had to apply the brake, which was a piece of wood that was either touching the ground or not. The brake was in the center of the go-cart, with a boy’s leg on either side of it. Unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me to tell the children not to put their hand on the street to slow down. Several children scraped their hands in this bird-brained way. For this reason I recommend that the boys wear gloves as well as a helmet before they get on the go-cart.

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6 Responses to “Go Carts”

  1. Nan says:

    I have two boys and I know we will be making these soon! They are always wanting to build a dirt bike, a go-cart, a four wheeler, a power wheels, a boat, etc… I’m saving this!!

  2. My FIL made go carts for his boys when they were kids and they have now been resurrected for our kids. But ours are run with a lawn mower motor! I was awfully nervous when it first got brought home, but I drove it myself and realized it does not go very fast at all. Whew! 😉

  3. That’s awesome! We just got back from Nevada, and my kids had a blast on the riding lawn mower (with the belt for the blade removed!).

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