How to Make a Toy Car

How often do you spend time outside with your kid? It is an open secret that many parents are quite busy, and this limits their association with the kids. However, this shouldn’t be the case.

There exists a myriad of things that you can do together with your kids to improve the bonding. One of them is making toy cars. Instead of purchasing the electric cars for kids, you can make one at home while using locally available materials and save a few bucks to spend on other stuff.

When making the toy cars with your kids, you also have time to rewind the years to the old days when you used to make them with your peers. In case you’ve forgotten how to make toy cars, the following are some of the steps to follow:

1.    Assemble all the materials

You need to be well set before you begin making your toy car. This is through ensuring that you have all that you need in place. You don’t have to use costly materials, especially given that there are very many items that are commonly regarded as wastes that lie around. For the particular toy car that we are going to construct here, you require the following materials:

•    Plastic bottle

•    Knife

•    Paint

•    Caps

•    Straws

•    Brush

•    String

All these materials can be locally sourced, and it is a perfect way of ensuring that they are put in good use instead of lying all over, ending up as environmental pollutants.

It is imperative to note that those are not the only materials that you can use to make toy cars. There are loads of others, and you can modify depending on what you have with you.

2.    Clean the bottle

The bottle that you are going to use for making the car previously contained a substance such as a soft drink, and you need to clean it first before proceeding. The best way to clean is first to soak it in hot water then clean with a detergent.

Soaking in hot water ensures that any microorganisms that are in the bottle are destroyed. Also, soaking in water eases the process of removing the label on the plastic bottle.

3.    Drill holes on the sides of the bottles

Once the bottle is clean and dry, it is now ready for use, and you can proceed by drilling holes on the sides. This can be done using objects such as a driller, a hot nail, or anything else that is capable of piercing. On this part, you need to be careful and ensure that the holes are aligned parallel to each other.

Remember that the holes are the points where the axles will be fixed. To ensure that the process is seamless even in the latter stages, you need to drill holes that are large enough to allow the free movement of the axle. 

4.    Fix your axles

Here, you can use any available materials such as straws, pencils, toothpicks, or anything else that can be easily sourced around. However, of all these materials, straws are the best pick as they are easily available, and they are also easy to use.

Therefore, you need to fix your straws and ensure that they can freely move. The straws should extend to the sides of the bottle. In this case, you just need two straws for the front and the rear wheels.

5.    Gather your bottle caps

You need at least five bottle caps for this toy car. Four of them will be used as wheels while one will be used to cork the bottle at the front end. Ensure that the four bottle caps for use in making wheels are of equal size; otherwise, your toy car will be unstable and prone to toppling during riding.

6.    Paint the bottle and the caps

The easiest way to ensure that you apply a uniform coat of paint to your car is to ensure that you paint each part separately before it is assembled. Once it is connected, you will realize that it is difficult to apply the paint on some parts. Painting ensures that the toy car has a uniform color, and this makes it appealing.

7.    Drill a hole on the lid

As mentioned earlier, one of the bottle caps is to be used as the lid. You need to drill a small hole that allows the passage of a string to the bottle. The string is for pulling the toy car during riding. Once you drill the hole, pass the string through and make a knot on the inside. The knot should be big enough to ensure that that string doesn’t come out from the cork during riding. Alternatively, you can cut a small stick or straw and tie it to the inner side of the cork. It will serve the same purposes as the knot.

8.    Make a windscreen

Remember that you want to mimic how a typical car appears. One of the ways of achieving this is through making a windscreen, and this can be easily done by cutting the upper side of the car. You need to cut three sides and lift the piece that is attached on one side to act as the windscreen. You should ensure that the windscreen faced the front end of the toy car. During painting, you can leave out the designed windscreen areas unpainted. This will enable you to have a clear part that mimics the actual car’s windscreen.

9.    At this stage, all your materials are ready, and all that is left is to fix all parts together and come up with the toy car of your choice. You need to drill holes onto the four caps and attach them to the straw axles, and your toy car is ready for use. With the string tied from the front end, your toy car is ready for use. You can alternatively push the toy car from the back if you don’t want to pull using the string.

In a nutshell, making a toy car is as easy as the above steps illustrate. All that you need is first to assemble the materials and then follow the above procedure. The whole process will take you at least two hours, but with time, you can even do it within a shorter span. Therefore, go ahead and make a toy car for your kids. They will enjoy every bit of making it. With time, the kids will be able to make the cars on their own, and this kind of creativity is crucial for their development.

Protect Teenagers from Cyberbullying

In as much as technology has brought a wide array of benefits to various spheres of life, we can’t afford to overlook its negative side. One of the most serious concerns is cyber bullying which seems to have the most impact on teenagers.

A research survey done in April 2018 by PEW Research Centre shows that 59% of the teenagers in the United States have been cyberbullied at least once in the past. According to the survey, the most common form of teen cyberbullying is name-calling, followed by the spreading of false rumors, stalking and physical threats. Cyberbullying isn’t limited to teens in the U.S; every teenager who has internet access can be a victim, irrespective of his/her location.  It is an international public health issue among adolescents.

As a parent, friend or a relative to a teenager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that he/she doesn’t suffer the effects of the form of violence.

So, what’s cyberbullying?

You can’t fight something that you don’t know. So, fast-forward, it’s important for you to understand what cyberbullying entails.  Well, cyberbullying is basically the use of digital devices such as mobile phones, computers and tablets to harass, threaten, humiliate, or natively target another person.

This form of violence takes place in digital platforms such as social media pages and groups, online forums and gaming platforms where people can participate in or share/view content. It includes various activities such as sending, posting, or sharing undesirable, harmful, untrue, or cruel content about another person. Sharing, sending and posting of personal or private information about another person which could make him/her feel embarrassed or humiliated is also treated as cyberbullying.

Some of the places where teenagers are most likely to experience cyberbullying include:

  • Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as Snapchat.
  • Phone text messages (SMS)
  • Emails
  • App, social media, email provider or device instant messages

Effects of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can have various adverse effects on an adolescent including:

  • Depression symptoms
  • Reduced self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Heightened stress and anxiety
  • Reduced attentiveness
  • Fear
  • Social isolation feeling 
  • Regular failure to attend school
  • Degraded school performance
  • Self-destructive behavior, including suicide (in extreme cases)
  • Shame feelings
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Bedwetting
  • Psychosomatic symptoms such as stomachaches, headaches and muscle aches
  • Substance abuse

When it comes to teenagers who are cyber-bullies, they too are also adversely affected by this wicked act. For instance, the more they engage in cyberbullying, they kind of lose part of their conscience and become more rogue. As such, they are highly likely to engage in other risky behaviors which they might carry on with even in their adulthood. Some of the other bad behaviors they are likely to engage include:

  • Abuse of drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, bhang and nicotine 
  • Early sexual activities
  • Fights
  • Property vandalism
  • Regular failure to attend school or dropping out
  • Abuse to their romantic partners, spouses and/or kids

Do you see how the effects of cyberbullying are devastating? That’s why it’s important to protect a teenager from being its victim and prevent him from committing it. 

What can you do to protect teenagers from cyberbullying?

Well, you can help a teenager combat cyberbullying and its effects by advising him/her on the appropriate protective measures and tactics. Advise them to:

  •  Ignore bullies

Just like other bullies, cyberbullies provoke their targets to get the attention they need, mostly to create pain and clash. Advise the teenager to do everything they can to make sure that they don’t give their attention to the bullies. Some digital platforms have blocking features which if activated, the blocked person won’t be able to contact the target through the blocked account or communication line.

The best way to avoid giving such people attention is by blocking their communication as soon as a teenager realizes that they have ill motives.  If a bully creates another account to continue the hurting communication, he/she should be blocked immediately. After all, activating the block option is a matter of a second. Eventually, the tormenter might get tired to creating many accounts and do away with their bully mission.

  • Keep a record of the offensive content

In case the intimidator is successful in conveying the hurtful or abusive content to the teenager, advise the teenager to keep records of the content and guide him or her to take legal action

If a malicious act is reported with accompanying evidence, the relevant authority will most likely take stern action on the offender. The move will not only discourage the offender from continuing with the offensive behavior but will also serve as a warning to other cyberbullies and anyone else intending to commit the vice. 

  • Protect their passwords

Some bullies in the internet steal passwords of other people’s accounts, access the accounts and post or share embarrassing content. Other people reading the content will think it’s the owner of the account who posted or shared the content.  As such, teenagers should be advised not to disclose their passwords to other people and change them periodically to prevent theft by such malicious people.

In case damage has already occurred; that is if the bully has already posted or shared the embarrassing or offensive content, a teen should delete it and inform other people who’ve been affected about what happened. He/she should then change the password and ensure that the new one is strong to prevent another hacking.

  • Open up to you

Teenage is a very delicate stage because that’s where a child tries to understand their identity. As such, they tend to gauge themselves according to how other people see them. It’d be very hurting if bullies take a toll on a teenager. Don’t allow that to happen because you are there to help them realize their true selves and their capabilities.

Be the best friend to your teen kid and encourage them to talk to you about anything they are facing. It is through such open communication that will help you to know when they face cyberbullying and step in on time to save the situation. Besides, being there for the adolescents and reminding how important they are will help them develop a thick skin against bullies both offline and online. Protecting a teenager from cyberbullying is saving a life.