Build your own DIY car racing track with Dickie Toys

    Von Sabrina
TIPS & TRICKS

Build your own DIY car racing track? Dickie Toys shows you how!

Wondering how you can get the best out of your remote-controlled cars and experience even more fast-paced adventures?
Our suggestion: a homemade race track!
You can adapt it to your own ideas and, of course, take your child's wishes and ideas into account.

Below we provide you with tips and ideas on how you can build a car racing track yourself and explain which aspects you should definitely consider.

What makes a good race track?

If you want to build a racetrack yourself, the first thing you should think about is what features make a track a really good RC racetrack. From our point of view, these are the main features:

  • Stability: The track can withstand even the wildest races and is resilient.
  • Exciting course: The course is challenging and perfectly suited to the driver's skills.
  • Realistic design: The DIY car racing track is visually appealing and is based on reality.
  • Safety: The track is safe to use.
  • Electronic features (optional): The racetrack has a number of optional electronic features that crown the DIY project.

From idea to reality: planning and designing your self-built race track

Good planning is important when building a racetrack , so think carefully about which steps will lead to your goal and make it clear what the ideal racetrack for you and your child should look like. One of the key planning issues is the length and course of the track. How long should the track be? Where should it start and end and how do you envisage the route in between? Make a sketch and measure the space exactly. Also make a list of the tools you need to build the racetrack yourself. Do you have everything or do you still need to get one or two tools?

When planning the course, you should think directly about how you want to design the course and which elements you want to integrate. This depends largely on whether your course is to be indoors or outdoors. For indoor track layouts, you can consider furniture standing together and, if necessary, cleverly integrate it into the course. There may also be movable everyday objects, such as stacks of books or boxes, that you can turn into obstacles.

For outdoor courses, you can think about water obstacles, sections with sand or natural obstacles and jumps. Outside, of course, you also have to arrange yourself according to the season and the prevailing conditions - at best, you can use them to your advantage! In winter, for example, build an RC ramp made of snow or a small icy surface for the thrill of a slide. If you are building your own racetrack in the beautiful summer months, flat water ditches and dust-dry sandy roads are ideal, while in the fall you can get to know the pitfalls of tracks covered in leaves.

An overview of materials for your DIY car racing track

Below we will tell you what materials and tools you need to build your own car racing track.

Materials

If you want to build the entire track or parts of it on a base plate, you can use a wooden plate, plywood or a PVC plate. If necessary, you can pad the side boundaries and obstacles with hard corners and edges with foam to protect the vehicles from accidental damage. You can also use cardboard for "crash barriers" and visually appealing cladding of obstacles. However, you must be aware that cardboard components are far less resistant than elements made of PVC or wood.

You can line particularly slippery parts of the track with pieces of carpet or rubber mats. This will improve traction, which is of particular interest if you want to build an RC car track. If you are planning a track purely for manually driven toy cars, this type of equipment offers no significant advantage. If you have planned different surfaces for your track, you will of course also need to obtain these materials and add sand or gravel, for example, to your list of materials.

You will need suitable fixing materials to fix obstacles. These include screws and nails as well as material-compatible adhesives and, if necessary, cable ties and adhesive tape for the temporary attachment of obstacles.

You can decorate and embellish the track and obstacles to make your race track a visual hit. For example, paint start and finish lines and add color to the obstacles - for example, tunnels made of PVC pipes. Make traffic lights and road signs or paint a crosswalk on the ground. You will need paints and brushes for this.

Tools

The exact tools you should have at hand for building your own car racing track depend on the planned track and the materials you want to use. These tools come into question:

  • Saw and sawhorse
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • hammer
  • Sandpaper or sanding machine
  • Ruler or meter stick
  • Pencil
  • Safety goggles and gloves

Garden racetrack for toy & RC vehicles: outdoor track construction

Do you want an action-packed outdoor racetrack for fun in the open air? These steps will lead you to your goal:

Preparations before building the racetrack

Building your own racetrack requires the right preparation!

  1. Go through your plan step by step in your head and make sure you have all the materials and tools you need. Lay them out right away, as neatly as possible within easy reach so that you can quickly find what you are looking for later.
  2. Mark out the route for an optimal overview, taking into account any natural obstacles such as trees, piles of earth or stones, and clear up where the route is to run if necessary.
  3. If it is necessary to level the ground in some places, you should also take care of this as part of the preparations for building the RC track.

Building the outdoor race track

Building the race track itself is usually not complicated. As long as you have planned well in advance and made all the necessary preparations, not much can go wrong.

  1. First of all, prepare the track elements according to your ideas. Before you can lay them out, you may have to wait a certain amount of time for the adhesives and paint to dry.
  2. Then it's time to get serious about building your own car racing track! Now it's time to place the track elements in their intended location and install the obstacles as planned. This step is particularly exciting, because now the many carefully planned individual parts come together to form a large whole.
  3. Finally, all you have to do is attach the decorations you have made so that your track shines in all its glory.

Choosing the right vehicle

In order to exploit the full potential of your brand new racetrack, you need a suitable vehicle. All-terrain models with plenty of ground clearance, large, grippy tires and a robust body are ideal for outdoor tracks. If your child's fleet doesn't yet have a vehicle like this, you're sure to find it among the Dickie tractors and monster trucks or among our remote-controlled vehicles.

First test drive

You have successfully completed the "Build your own race track" project and your child can hardly wait to race their cars on the new track. What's holding you back? Immerse yourself in the fun and give the track a thorough test , but be prepared for the fact that not everything may be perfect straight away. You may find that some aspects work differently in practice than you thought. No need to worry - take the opportunity to reflect, enjoy the successful elements and, if necessary, make adjustments to further improve the course.

Our extra tip

The Dickie Toys range has the perfect accessories for afternoons on the outdoor race track: Walkie-Talkies. The child-friendly radios can be perfectly integrated into outdoor play, whether you're out on the streets with your child or having fun with friends of the same age. With the Dickie Toys walkie-talkies, all racers can stay in touch and communicate with each other.

Experience excitement indoors: Instructions and tips for indoor racetracks

Of course, you can also build your own cool car racing track indoors, for example in the living room or garage. Here's how you can proceed:

Preparation

The preparations are essentially the same as for outdoor tracks. Get the required materials and tools ready, take another close look at your 'construction plan' and set up the room of your choice so that you can build the track as planned. In other words, clear the areas where the racetrack will run and place objects and furniture that you want to integrate into the track according to your plan.

Building the indoor racetrack

Next comes the construction of the track elements and obstacles, which naturally takes more time the more complex, longer and trickier your planned track is. There are all kinds of ways to make your indoor track as exciting as possible. For example, you could plan a sharp bend through chair legs and use strings, building blocks or play fences to make the road narrower or wider. Or you can grab a sturdy piece of cardboard and use it as a ramp to let light vehicles shoot over doorsteps or lead to a second track level. You could also let the track run under a bed or sofa with sufficient distance from the floor or set up a few play pylons and build in a short slalom track section.

When everything is ready, lay out the track layout, place the track elements in their designated locations and install the planned obstacles and electronic elements. If you have prepared decorations, distribute them at the end.

The perfect vehicle for your indoor racetrack

If you go to the trouble of building a car racing track yourself, the ultimate driving fun must not fail because your child lacks sleek vehicles! Due to the limited space, maneuverable cars are particularly suitable for indoor tracks, and their size should also depend on the space available . Many of the Dickie Toys racing cars and motorcycles meet these criteria. However, if you have plenty of space, there's nothing wrong with fire engines or buses and trains. In addition to non-powered toy cars, you can also use RC cars to test out the DIY car racing track via remote control. We are thinking, for example, of the compact  RTR Track Beast racing car in a trendy tiger design.

First test drive

Just as with outdoor tracks, the same applies indoors: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Once the racetrack has been built, you and your child will definitely be drawn to the track - go ahead! Try out the new racetrack to your heart's content, as this is the only way to find out what works well and which elements you may need to adjust and improve.

The right technology: electronics for your racetrack

Electronic features such as  traffic lights, lighting systems and timers play a major role in building your own car racing track. They open up exciting possibilities. A traffic light, for example, adds a pinch of unpredictability to every race. This is because the driver in the lead can never be sure when he might have to make a stop to allow his rival to catch up. Various lighting options make the track look better and allow you to simulate driving at night. With an integrated, automatic time stopper, you can do without a race attendant who stops the time manually. Such stop systems are often available in combination with lap counters - a practical extra for your self-built RC track!

Although the installation of these electronic elements sometimes requires some know-how, if you follow the manufacturer's instructions and read up on them, you will certainly succeed. While some electronic elements work with batteries, others must be connected to the power supply. In addition to weather protection, this is one of the main reasons why you should only install such components outdoors in good weather.

Design creative worlds: Themes for your car racing track

The perfect DIY car racing track transports your child into a world of their very own. To create such a world, you base the construction of your car racing track on a theme. This could be a jungle, a desert, a big city or a rural idyll, for example. Think about which elements characterize the respective theme world, collect decoration ideas online and brainstorm together with your child.

For example, we could imagine an evergreen jungle world with houseplants, matching cuddly toys and play animals and large, colorful flowers made of crepe paper. Perhaps one or two Dickie dinosaurs and dinosaur vehicles will also cross the path of the riders. If you also play jungle sounds and dangle a green rope or two from the ceiling as a liana, the jungle track is perfect.

You could implement the desert theme with camel figures, sand drifts over the track, cardboard pyramids and a water oasis lined with self-made palm trees. You can simply use a shallow, larger bowl as a water hole and camouflage the outside with some moss or sand.

Does your child want a real city course with a real metropolitan flair? Then build skyscrapers from building blocks or upright kitchen paper rolls with painted windows and plan space for  parking lots where the toy cars can be lined up close together. Of course, passers-by are also a must: Use as many toy figures as you can find and let them stroll past printed advertising posters. Integrate public transport stops and search for typical city sounds to download. The city feeling can no longer be denied once the horns start blaring.

Of course, we also have a few ideas for a rural backdrop up our sleeve. Here you can really let off steam when it comes to wildlife: Make fences out of ice cream sticks and create artificial grass pastures where chickens, cows, pigs, horses, sheep and the like can enjoy their lives. Pour fresh soil or some coffee grounds in rows to create fields where little toy tractors do their work and scatter small bundles of straw or hay here and there. You can find suitable accessories for this in the Playsets & Stations category, among others.

As soon as you have collected enough ideas, it's time to put them into practice: craft or buy the decorative and miniature objects that are essential for your themed world and, if possible, use things from your household. You could use stones from the garden as rocks, green the play world with houseplants or make the route more lively with existing play figures from the children's room. Whether it's a play animal, miniature building or homemade road sign, every element must be child-safe and as easy to attach as possible .

Plan exciting races on your self-built race track

Building your own racetrack would only be half as fun if you couldn't share the end product with others! Races and competitions with friends or family are even more fun than driving alone . Our quick tips will turn your race into a spectacular event:

  • Teams: divide the guests into teams, each with their own team name and battle cry.
  • Rules: Establish fixed rules and make sure that all guests know them at the start of the event.
  • Catering: Adapt the catering to the theme of the course and organize a rustic picnic at a rural course, for example, while there are exotic fruits and juices to try in the jungle.
  • Prizes: Get medals and end the race with an award ceremony.

Environmentally friendly materials and approaches for your DIY racetrack

Is it possible to build your own racetrack and be environmentally friendly at the same time? Absolutely! Of course, it is difficult to build said track exclusively from natural materials. But it's not about perfection, it's about making the construction as environmentally friendly as possible. You can do this by using recycled, reused materials where it makes sense. For example, a tunnel for toy cars doesn't necessarily have to be made from a newly purchased PVC pipe. Perhaps an empty kitchen roll will suffice for small vehicles instead. It is just as environmentally friendly if you use existing animal figures from your child's toy collection instead of buying new figures. Or have you gotten creative and created natural outdoor obstacles in the garden? This also makes building your own car racing track more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Now it's your turn: build your own racetrack and race off!

A customized car racing track that meets your child's expectations and runs right through the children's room, living room or garden doesn't have to remain a dream. Start your DIY car racing track project. It's important to prepare and plan well, as this will make building the car racing track easier for you. With a little know-how, exciting obstacles and a little attention to detail, you can create exciting themed worlds that are perfect for unique races with the whole family.

The track is ready, but there is a lack of suitable toy cars for indoor and outdoor use? Then visit the Dickie Toys homepage and browse through our large product selection full of vehicles with which you can inaugurate your brand new race track in style.

Authors
Sabrina
Our blog is all about the latest and exciting products from Dickie Toys. I also share practical tips & tricks and useful advice with you here.
4 weeks ago