Family Activity: Remote Control Cars as a Family Winter Hobby
Remote control cars are perfect for our family because we Moessers like to be outside. We function better as a family when we can play outside together. So we camp and we boat and we dirt bike most of the year. Unfortunately, we live in Utah, where for at least some of the year, our outdoor activities are limited due to extreme weather (it has to be pretty cold for us not to go outside) and the shortened days of winter. During those times, we've found that playing with remote-control cars is a handy family winter hobby.
Our r/c adventure started several years ago when we bought a $60 truck from Radio Shack like this one:
We now have several models ranging in size from small to large, costing anywhere from $20 to a few hundred dollars, and some going as fast as 45 mph. Each member of the family has his or her own, except for our three-year-old, and he's chomping at the bit for one. We also have "a guy"—the owner of the local r/c vehicle hobby store, Gus, who helps us with all our r/c car needs and questions. We have multiple rechargeable batteries for each car, and a quick charger, so we can play for hours if we want. It's a simple enough thing to load the cars and the batteries into our truck and drive to a hilly patch of dirt not far from our house, and drive 'em around for an hour or two.
I've observed that the upper-end r/c vehicles seem to be designed to break/geared for guys who like to tinker, like my husband Bruce. He's constantly fixing/"playing" with one of the vehicles, and is also teaching our oldest son how to make little repairs on his own vehicle, which is a good way for him to learn basic engineering and auto mechanic skills, as well as spend time with his dad.
There are others r/c car hobbyists, our friend Gus among them, who race their cars at our local Boys and Girls Club every Saturday morning. They lay down special carpet, pvc course curbing, and miniature pit crew gear and race around the course competing for best time. Call me nerdy-as-all-get-out but I have visions of showing up all babe-out and beautified with my own car, pit crew/husband, and garnering best time on my first run.
In my opinion, a family is healthiest when it makes time to do something together that the majority of family members enjoy. We're lucky to have found one that we all enjoy, and I think that others would enjoy it too because it's relatively simple to do, inexpensive to get into if you start out with a basic model (which can sometimes last longer than even the fanciest models), go fast vicariously, and be outside together.
What are your family's favorite activities to do together?
Feature image courtesy of Flickr.
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