We have been using plastic rain gutters as ramps for Hot Wheels cars for a while, and Aidan decided that he really wanted to build some type of launcher that would send cars spending down (or up!) the ramp. Dad helped him come up with a simple design using two bolts, two nuts, and a long rubber band.
Building the launcher is simple. Drill a hole in each side of the rain gutter. Insert the bolts. Before tightening on the nuts, loop the rubber band around each bolt. The bolt will hold the rubber band in place and keep it from slipping off.
Learning to launch cars takes a little practice, but Aidan and Gresham (ages 10 and 7) are both able to do it. Owen (4) is a little too young for this one.
Aidan has been busy designing all kinds of tracks using the launcher! He discovered that he could launch cars with enough speed to get them to turn upside down in this cardboard tube that he found in our garage.
More play ideas with Hot Wheels cars: