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Monster Racers STEAM Craft & Activity

You will have all kinds of fun making and racing these monsters (and you can sneak in some learning too!).

Create and compete with your very own monster racers! You will have all kinds of fun making and racing these monsters (and you can sneak in some learning too!). You just need some cardboard tubes, paint and the Arts and Crafts Library to create your own crazy racers.


-Arts and Crafts Library

                -Wooden dowels (2 per racer)

                -Wood circles (4 per racer)

                -Cardboard tubes (1 per racer)

                -Pom poms

                -Googly eyes

                -Pipe cleaners

                -Felt pieces


-Single hole punch


-Hot glue gun (*ALWAYS have an adult help you use a hot glue gun!)


1.  Paint your cardboard tubes! We used a different color for each racer: Goldfish, Pool and Avocado.

2.  Once paint has dried, use your hole punch to make 4 holes in your tube. You will need 2 pairs of holes on each side of the racer. Start by making two holes, one on either end of the tube, that are in line with each other. Flip the tube over so that your holes are on the bottom. Carefully line up your hole punch so that the new set of holes are directly above the first pair of holes you made. You can check that your holes are lined up correctly by looking through them – you should be able to see straight through both holes!

3.  Carefully insert your scissors into each hole and twist them to widen the hole. You want your hole to be slightly larger than the wooden dowels in the Arts and Crafts Library. Check as you go by putting the dowel through the hole and spinning it – it should spin easily!

4.  Take your two wooden dowels and run them through each pair of holes to create the axles for your wheels! Check again to make sure they spin. Next, use your hot glue gun (and a grown-up’s help!) to glue one wooden circle to the ends of the dowels. Place a dot of glue right in the center of each circle and then onto the dowel. Give it a few seconds to dry and then move onto the next circle!

5.  Give your cardboard tubes a squeeze to flatten them a bit! This will make it easier for your racers to roll! Test out your racers by placing them on a hard surface and giving them a push! Your cars should roll easily!

6.  Decorate your racers! Using your hot glue gun and supplies from the Arts and Crafts Library decorate your monster racers! Let your imagination run wild and see what kinds of creations you can come up with! We used white felt to cut out teeth for each monster and glued them to the front of the cardboard tubes. We also used pom poms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners and colored felt to make faces for each monster!

Add A Little STEAM!

Now that your racers are complete, you can use them in a STEAM investigation! This investigation is all about SPEED! Follow the steps below to discover different ways to make your racers move faster and slower down a ramp.

First up, create a ramp!


-1 large piece of cardboard


-Craft sticks (from the Arts and Crafts Library)

-Hot glue gun (*ALWAYS have an adult help you use a hot glue gun!)


1.  Paint your cardboard! We painted the entire piece with Onyx and then watered down some Avocado paint to add the splatters! TIP: If your cardboard curves as your paint is drying, let it dry completely and then paint the back! It should lay flat once both sides are dry. After our paint dried, we used the Cotton paint to write START and FINISH on each end of the ramp.

2.  Glue crafts sticks between the lanes on your ramp and along edges. Run hot glue along one of the long, thin sides of each craft stick and hold them onto the cardboard for a few seconds as the glue dries. This will help keep your cars in their lanes as they race!

Next, test them out!

Place a box under one end of your ramp. Hold both racers at the top and let them go! Gravity helps pull your racers down the incline of the ramp to the bottom.

How can you change the speed of your racers? Try out some of the ideas below to test and see what makes your racers move FASTER or SLOWER! Use a timer to see how long it takes each racer to roll the length of the ramp.

-Get a stack of books. Start by placing the whole stack under one end of your ramp and let your racers run. Remove one book and test them again. Did they go faster or slower? Keep removing books and testing your racers to see how their speed changes!

-Add weight to your racers by placing small objects INSIDE the tubes. Try things like a pair of socks, some small blocks, a small bag of beans, etc. Roll your racers down the ramp with and without these objects inside to see if the weight of the car changes its speed!

-Make a racer from a different recycled material! Using the same directions, try making a racer from a small box or plastic bottle! Is it faster or slower than your cardboard tube racer?


This post is by Emily Limer from Making with Mommy! Follow her on Instagram for more kids craft and STEAM ideas!


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Monster racers STEAM activity