When I was a young teenager, I saved my allowance money for a long time and bought myself a radio-controlled car kit. I built it myself, with minimal help from grownups, and when it was done I was amazed at how capable it was, and how able I was to fix it when things went wrong. I wanted to give my own kids this experience.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!
I made sure to do some research and get the right kits. I knew that Will would be thrilled, but this isn’t the kind of thing that Lucy would have chosen for herself, and she’s a bit younger than the recommended age for this kind of thing. After consulting with a hobby shop in the area, I picked up a pair of ECX Barrage kits, which include everything necessary to build and drive the car.
They reacted about how I expected when they opened them – Will with unabashed excitement, Lucy with enthusiastic confusion. I assured her I’d be around to advise and assist, and when I told her she’d get to do her own paint job, she decided this was for her.
It took them about three days of building sessions to get them done. There are a lot of pieces, and we all made some mistakes and had to backtrack a bit, but frustrations were managed, and the rapid progress was encouraging.
When they finally finished them, they drove them around without paint until the freshly-charged batteries were dead. Indoors, front yard, back yard, they didn’t care. They even had a crash that pulled some wires loose, and knew enough to take off the body, fix the problem, put it back together, and get back to it without even asking me for help!
I’m proud of these two, and I feel really fulfilled seeing them go through this process and enjoy the fruits of their labors. I don’t know if they’ll continue this particular hobby in the long-term, but they now have the experience of building something pretty difficult, and having the satisfaction of doing something big and impressive.