Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Sculpture

A Wheely Fun Car-Making Event!

Meghan Burch

Last month a special guest from the Cotsen Children’s Library of Princeton University came to host a special event for our Art Studio guests. Dana Sheridan, the Education and Outreach Coodinator, loaded her car full of supplies and tools and drove to The Carle for an exciting afternoon making Cars and Trucks and Things That Go! You might also recognize that as the title one of Richard Scarry’s books (Golden Books, 1998).

Dana and her colleague, Katie, first hosted this event at Cotsen Children’s Library, a very special library within the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Princeton University, and this year’s Carle Honors Angel honoree.  

As each guest arrived to the Art Studio they stopped at a welcome table to choose either long, flattish white cardboard box (dragster!) or a taller one (truck!) with axles and wheels already attached.  All the details about kinds of boxes/wheel assembly parts/where to get/how to attach are spelled out in Dana’s original post over at Pop Goes The Page, so go take a look!

Guests shopped at our materials table for all kinds of stuff to trick out their vehicle. We had out everything from plastic eggs to paper drinking fountain cones, to chenille stems, to leftover party decorations, to stuff from the recycling bin, and even little animal finger puppets that made great drivers.

After selecting materials, guests worked and families collaborated at worktables that were stocked with clear and colored masking tape, markers and scissors. We also had a few hot glue stations set up for the connections that needed serious treatment.

After guests completed their construction phase, it was time to drive the test track! Dana brought beautifully crafted ramps made especially for the event at Cotsen Children’s library. Some guests raced their cars against each other and others decided to make a few adjustments to their designs after testing them out.

As an additional activity, guests could also search for the 5 paper Goldbug cutouts hidden in our orchard. When they found the five and deciphered the code, they recieved a fun little paper finish flag for their car.

Our guests had such a fun time selecting from the plethora of colorful supplies and creating together, but I could definitely see an equal amount of fun happening with a more modest buffet of supplies. Inspired by all the fun, I took a couple of dragster starter sets home and made cars with my kids (2.5 and 4) with just markers and what we had in our recycling bin for quite a while.

Thanks again to Dana and Cotsen Children’s Library for making such a fun event possible!


Meghan, smiling and wearing a grey shirt with a blue background.

Meghan Burch

Art Educator from 2003-2016, Meghan has a BFA in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She tries to think with materials and work with her hands every day.