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Toddler Talk: Painters' Tape Racetrack

I admit it: I don't get the obsession my toddler has with toy cars. Or planes. Or trains. Or that weird, white stretch limo toy my parents brought back from Vegas. But I appreciate that he loves—and will spend 20 minutes! At one time!—driving, flying or choo-chooing his mini vehicles all over the house.

But even for a car-obsessed 2-year-old, the playtime garages and heliports can get old. So I decided to build him his very own racetrack ... all over the living room. It was fun, easy, and he played with it for at least 30 minutes. Success on all fronts! Here's how to craft your own indoor roadway, all in under 10 minutes and for under $5.


-painters' tape/low-tack tape

-a slightly bored toddler

-all your random toy planes, trains and automobiles (are we the only ones who have a limo?)

First of all, I have to say that I used painters' tape specifically because it is low-tack (i.e., will not leave a sticky residue on the carpet, sofa or your child). That being said, if your rugrat is like mine and decides to explore your racetrack as you are building it (e.g., crawling over it and unwittingly destroy it, like a cute, benevolent Godzilla), then the low-tack nature of the tape works against you. I had to redo a section on the sofa after my Minizilla decided he wanted to sit on it/rip it up. Thank goodness painters' tape is cheap (and easy to remove from a toddler).

I also admit that I didn't plan out my racetrack. In fact, I put more energy into planning my dinner menu (so that I'd have room for dessert) than I did for this DIY. And it still turned out totally cool. I started with making a roadway on the back of a love seat, an area where my son already liked to "drive" his cars.

From there I decided to defy gravity and plunge straight down to the floor. Then I whipped across the living room, up and onto the sofa, down and through a toy garage, and back to the starting point. Once I was finished, within minutes my kiddo was busy driving every vehicle he could find all over his very own racetrack. He especially liked defying gravity, plunging his cars over the edge of the sofas. (Watch out for falling limos!) And I had time to make a cup of coffee and check my email. With a happy child and a serenely caffeinated mom, this is one race in which everybody wins!

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