The early years of parenting can decide whether a child is hooked on cars for the rest of their life, or something more boring, like golf. That’s a lot of power to hold, so use it wisely. These ten toys should have your kid begging for a license.

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By the way, in case you’re doing some holiday shopping, we included Amazon links to some of these things. Hope you find that helpful.


10.) A Racing Game

Letting your beloved spawn master video games like Forza or Grand Turismo is one of the easiest, most accessible, and affordable ways to get them loving cars. Soon your kid might be high up on the world leaderboards and clipping apexes like it’s nobody’s business.

Suggested By: XYCromersome, Photo Credit: PS360H via YouTube


9.) Slot-Car Track

Slot-car tracks might not be as popular as they used to be, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have the same effect on kids as they’ve always had. Reader Cazzyodo misses those good ol’ days.

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My grandmother got me one of these when I was little and I loved it.

Glow in the dark track and cars. 1930’s hot rods. Sparks shot out from under them. Little barrels could be smashed through. So fast the cars would spin off the track if you weren’t careful. It was a modern day choking hazard nightmare but my sister and I would race for hours.

It got us interested in racing and being competitive (though, ironically, we don’t really follow racing now) and we both still hold attachments to our respective vehicles of choice.

I tried for years to find that track in our and our family’s houses, but no dice. I’ll look again on Thanksgiving.

Suggested By: cazzyodo, Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr


8.) Legos

Successfully constructing a lego set as a child is just like successfully finishing your most-recent car build as an adult. It teaches patience, perseverance, organization, and most important of all, to watch where you step when all you have to work with is a single droplight or an iPhone LED flashlight.

Suggested By: Justin Westbrook, Photo Credit: Lego


7.) Revell Engine Model Kit

If your kid is always questioning every little thing about everything moving or mechanical, throw one of these Revell engine kits their way. That should keep them preoccupied.

Suggested By: JimZ, Photo Credit: Revell


6.) A Remote-Controlled Car

Piloting a quality remote-controlled car through the house, down the sidewalk, or around the backyard can be an extremely satisfying experience for a youngin’, and can potentially leave them wanting more, for the rest of their lives. Oh, and some tips if you do buy your kid an RC car: The faster, less breakable, and more buttons, the better.

It might drive your cat crazy but it’ll just have to deal.

Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane, Photo Credit: Gazanfarulla Khan via Flickr


5.) A Big Wheel

As a kid, there’s not much better than pedaling a big wheel as fast as possible then pitching the handlebars at just the right angle to achieve plastic-wheel drift greatness. It’s truly what childhood is actually all about. Don’t neglect your children. Get them big wheels.

Suggested By: burglar can’t heart click anything, Photo Credit: Peter Dutton via Flickr


4.) Hot Wheels

Having a Hot Wheels collection as a kid is like having a garage of all your favorite cars as an adult. Tom McParland can explain.

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Pros: They are cheap. You can buy ALL THE CARS you can’t buy in real life. They are great for teaching your little one different makes and models. You can even be real geeky about it. My son as an original M3 Hot Wheels, he calls it an E30 M3. He knows the blue Skyline is an R34. He knows the black Porsche is the 930 and the yellow one is the GT3.

Cons: They will get everywhere...and I mean everywhere. Be prepared to have some go missing, especially if your little one has access to HVAC vents in the floor. As a gearhead you may develop a “problem” with always having to get “a cool one” when you see it.

Tip: Be careful with timing and don’t always give them to your kid. You don’t want them thinking they get a toy everytime you visit the grocery store, WalMart, etc... If I see a good one while I’m out shopping I’ll get it and put it in the closet for Holdiays, Birthday, potty-training etc.

Suggested By: Tom McParland, Photo Credit: AP Images


3.) Power Wheels

The relationship between children and their Power Wheels is a beautiful thing. For many children, it’s the first time that they are able to actually drive something that looks like a car and moves under its own power. It makes them feel like they can go anywhere or do anything. Kids might not have much freedom or rights, but when they’re behind the wheel of a Power Wheels, it changes everything.

Don’t you want your kid to be that happy?

Suggested By: takeshi72, Photo Credit: AP Images


2.) A Project Car

Keeping an old project car sit around that your kid can help you tinker with can help engrain the whole “wrenching 4 life” lifestyle in his or her mind forever. Reader HammerheadFistpunch can share some experiences.

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I think that the best “toy” for kids to get hooked on cars is real tools to work on real things with real people. They may not have the best attention span or be the best to call on to hold that breaker bar in place while you bump the starter, but they can be helpful and cheerful little nuggets. It’s how I got my start.

Suggested By: HammerheadFistpunch, Photo Credit: via The Garage/Jalopnik


1.) A Kart

If you have the monetary resources and your child has proven that he or she is ready for it, getting them involved in kart racing at a young age one of the best things you can do to ensure their track-rat automotive enthusiast status for their whole life. Not only will your kid almost be guaranteed to achieve license-status, he or she will also probably be one of the safest, most-confident young drivers on the road, which isn’t really a bad thing.

Suggested By: Jeremy Overholster, Photo Credit: PaulyRacing via Flickr

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Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Top Photo Credit: Fisher-Price via YouTube