Rubber band fun

Crafty toy cars encourage model building

 
 

Diana Xin

Paper airplanes are old hat compared to the cars in Mike Rigsby’s Amazing Rubber Band Cars. If your kids need a new craft, take a look at Rigsby’s book (recommended for kids 9 and up). The activities inside are simple in both instructions and supplies, but the end product can amaze.

These cars made with cardboard, pencils and rubber bands really move. The "Life-sized Rubber Band Car" at the end of the book can even take you around the block.

Rigsby started making car models five years ago when he was talking to kids about engineering and wanted to keep their attention. "It was really interesting to see that little kids were interested in this kind of thing," says the electrical engineer from Florida.

Rigsby spent about a year developing unique models for the cars, creating racers, distance cars and some shaped like animals. "I didn’t want to do anything that was too complicated or required things that were hard to find," Rigsby says.

He presented his materials at a fair in Austin, Texas. "It was gratifying to see people so interested."

The life-sized model takes about two weeks to build, but the little ones take only about 30 minutes. Kids can easily do it by themselves and then decorate in their own way.

"(As) a kid, you can’t use power tools and you can’t get any materials. ... I can see kids having these on their shelves for a long, long time, because it’s something they made with their own hands," Rigsby says.

Rigsby is working on another book on electric crafts such as motors, burglar alarms and talking greeting cards.

Amazing Rubber Band Cars was published in November by Chicago Review Press Inc. It retails for $12.95.

 
 





 
 
 
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