Archives for July 2018

Cars Birthday Party Ideas and Games

We’ve created some fun car related birthday party games and activities that are simple and inexpensive. These car games will be appealing to young kids having a car themed birthday party, or simply at the right age to play party games that are a little different from the same ones they’ve played at previous parties.

Cars Birthday Party IdeasCar Party Games

Icy Roads

If it’s a warm day, this is a great game for outside. Otherwise, you may want to limit this game to the kitchen or laundry room and be creative on how to contain the melting ice.

Prep: Freeze a small car in a (small) block of ice using a small Tupperware container, yogurt container, etc. Let each child use his or her creativity on how to get the ice to melt. Or you may choose to start this game and allow it to be an ongoing game throughout the party, checking on the progress of the melting cars. Another variation could simply be to “guess how long it takes to melt” and have kids put their guesses in a bowl and choose the closest estimate later.

Object: The object of the game is to be the first to melt the ice around the car, get it thawed enough to race it on a given track or area to “win”. If you’d rather not have a “winner”, then have the object to get every to the “Finish” line.

 

Traffic Jam

This is a fun game that doesn’t need to have a designated winner, but will get kids really excited. The added “plus” of this game is the thinking and problem solving skills needed to play. It can be tailored for any age, depending on how complex your instructions are made.

Prep: Gather a bunch of matchbox cars, vehicle related toys, travel items, etc and place in large, unstructured pile in the middle of the floor.

To play: The kids will sit in a circle around the pile. You will read off a pre-written description of an item they need to find in the pile. Example: A Red Truck, A Chevy, Four Doors, Hatchback, Tow Hitch, etc. There may be more than one item that fits the description. Each child only needs to find one item. Give them a little time, and then tell them to return the items to the pile and listen carefully for the next instruction.

Make it More Difficult: Add more items, even unrelated like socks, plastic containers, etc, so that it isn’t as easy to find what they are looking for and/or make your instructions more detailed.

 

Mystery Travel Game

This is a remake of an age old favorite where kids have to reach in a paper lunch bag without looking and try to figure out the item inside by touch.

Prep: Put one car related item into each bag. Ideas include: sunglasses, tire pressure gauge, lug nut, key, keyring, driver’s license, gas cap, toy car, window scraper, driving glove.

Object: The object is to guess the items in the bags. You can reward the person with the most correct guesses.

 

Drive By the Rules

This is a variation of Simon Says, but make it car related. There is really no prep to this game, just tell the kids they can only do what the driver tells them.

  • Driver says hold your hands out like you’re holding a steering wheel.
  • Driver says turn to your right
  • Driver says turn left.
  • Driver says hit the break.
  • Driver says check your rear view mirror.
  • Drive says pretend to buckle up.
  • Driver says drive in a circle

If you play these games, we’d love to hear your ideas or how you added to them. If you have pictures you’d like to share, visit our Facebook page.

If you liked this post, you might also be interested in how to use an old tire to create birthday party decorations; tire track theme!

 

Avoiding a Summertime Tire Blowout

prevent tire blowoutThere isn’t always a way to prevent a tire blowout, but on the other hand there are quite a few things you can do to improve your chances of dealing with an untimely summertime tire blowout.

The best place to start is understanding why some tire blowouts happen. According to Popular Mechanics,  “tire-blowout season runs from roughly the middle of May through early October.” The reason why more blowouts happen in the summertime than other times of the year have to do with

  1. Hot climates; Minnesota can be plenty hot and humid in the summer, as well as many other parts of the upper Midwest. 
  2. More travel, Longer Travel; More motorists traveling farther. More people on the roads for longer periods of time and farther destinations simply translates to higher number of tire related issues. 
  3. Towing increases: Many people are hauling heavy items such as boats, campers, landscaping trailers, etc. Industrial and road construction projects send large rigs around the country hauling aggregate and heavy equipment. It’s no wonder we see shredded tires along the side of the road so often! 

 

So what can you do to prevent a tire blowout?

There are things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding a tire blowout this summer.

  • Are your driving habits kind to your tires? Do you drive carefully and slowly so you don’t hit the curb at an odd angle when parking? Do you slow down around potholes and other obstructions? Are you paying attention to slow and avoid debris in the road whenever possible?
  • Do you know what your vehicle tire’s specific inflation amount is?
  • Have you checked your tire pressure when the tires are not warm, but cool?
  • Have you looked over your tires for any issues such as cracking, bulging, unusual wear?
  • Are you overloading your vehicle? Are you hauling too much weight inside the vehicle, trunk, or pick-up bed?
  • Are you giving your tires and vehicle proper and timely maintenance? Making sure your tires are balanced and rotated, as well as other issues are addressed that can cause uneven wear or stress on your tires is important.
  • Is there enough tread left on your tires? Do you know how to tell?

If you have concerns about the quality and safety of your tires, stop in so we can have a look. The time to address tire issues is before you head out on the road this summer.

Maximize Tire Life With These Tips

maximize tire lifeHere are a few tips to maximize tire life:

  1. Make sure you buy make/model of tires designed for your vehicle. 
  2. Keep your tires properly inflated.
  3. Look at your tires for anything unusual.
  4. Always check your tread, and watch for any uneven or premature wear.
  5. Check your tire pressure every 3,000 miles and don’t assume it won’t change between checks.
  6. Only inflate tires when cool.
  7. Rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or so to help ensure they wear evenly.
  8. Get your wheel alignment checked as part of your regular maintenance spelled out in your vehicle’s owner manual.
  9. Never drive on a too low or flat tire.
  10. Avoid excess acceleration and braking when possible.
  11. If unsure of something, don’t drive on them. Get your tires checked.

Stop in our Anoka or Bloomington location if we can help you with your tires and answer your questions.