Squatty Body Cars

By Brian HodgeWelcome back to Tinkering at Home. Again it is I; the man, the myth, the legend (in my own mind, of course), Mr. Brian. This week up in “The Hollow” the tinker tots built squatty body cars. I took 2 ½ x 1 ½ s and cut them into 6-inch pieces, made a 45 degree cut on one end. Then I cut 3/8-inch sections of a 1-¼ inch diameter dowel for wheels. Finally, I cut two rectangle pieces from a 1 ½ x 5/8 inch strip of wood into 2 ½ inch sections, to be used as the axels. As usual, we first sat as a group and briefly discussed the project and I explained the steps that the children would do to build their car. Each child first attached wheels to their axels with box nails. Once each child had finished with the wheels, they then nailed the axels to the underside of the car, also with box nails. Finally, the children decorated their new cars with markers or paint. This project was a lot of fun to teach, the children are getting so amazing with hammers and nails. It was so fantastic to see all the different types of cars roll off the tinkering assembly line. And just like that little engine, repeat to yourself, “I tink I can, I tink I can, I tink I can”. Materials:

  • 2 ½ x 1 ½ s cut into 6-inch sections, then one end cut at a 45-degree angle for the body
  • 1 ½ x 5/8 inch strips of wood cut into 2 ½ sections for the axels (x2)
  • 1 ¼ -inch diameter round dowel cut to width of at least a half inch for wheels (x4)
  • 1 ¼ inch box nails (8 per car)
  • Markers or Paint
  • Wood doll body for driver


  1. Cut wood and set up materials for the child(ren)
  2. Give a brief explanation of the project
  3. Attach wheels to the axels (2 wheels per axle) with nails
  4. Attach axels to the underside of the car with nails
  5. Decorate your new automobile
  6. Go cruising

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