Soapbox Cartie Construction

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Old School CartieThe traditional cartie made from pram wheels, an old fish box, some planks and a bit of rope for the steering is an important part of many childhood memories. The simplicity of the design and the use of recycled components makes them very appealing, but unfortunately they can be extremely hard to steer at anything above walking speed.
The sections below will give you some hints and tips on how to build something slightly more sophisticated and infinitely more drivable.
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Activity/skill levels involved

Would you say that carting is physically active or requires the development of gross/fine motor skills? Not for adults, but for primary school aged children.
Anonymous | January 6, 2009 - 05:25
scottishcarties's picture

Soapbox carties in schools

I'm not an educator and I don't know anything about child development, so I wouldn't really be able to give and authoritative answer. Having said that, however, I am just about to start a project at my kids' primary school to help the P6-7 class (10 - 11 year old) build a soapbox cartie. The main focus of the project is a team activity to design and build a soapbox racer to take part in some local races later in the year. It's also a vehicle (pardon the pun) to introduce some basic principles of physics and engineering to the kids. Although driving the cartie involves physical coordination and skill, not to mention a fair amount of courage and determination, it's really only a tiny part of the whole project.

There is an organisation in the UK called "Formula Gravity" that aims to "inspire students and teachers in the fields of engineering and motorsport" by setting up soapbox cart building projects in schools. That is aimed mainly at secondary school kids, but it might be worth getting in touch with them anyway - their web site is at

scottishcarties | January 6, 2009 - 21:01

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