Today Jalopnik asked, “What’s The Best Way To Turn Your Kid Into A Gearhead?”
It’s a good question and it’s something I’ve pondered a lot since the birth of Mary, our daughter who is now 20 months old. I don’t believe in pushing your children into things but rather gently guiding them into interests and this what I’m trying to do with her by encouraging her to get into cars. If it turns out it’s not her thing as she gets older, that’s fine, but it would be a nice hobby for us to share.
So how am I doing this? Well, there are some obvious things. I’ve bought her a few Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels (she really loves the Datsun 510 and Ford Bronco). She makes the “vroom vroom” noises — music to my ears!
I’ve even let her play with some of the more well-worn now-vintage Matchbox cars that I played with 30 years ago.
She also has the Playsam Saab 92 Roadster, though she’s still not quite tall enough for her feet to reach the ground. I picked it up on Craigslist before she was even born and displayed it in my office at work until the nursery was finished!
Actually driving some interesting cars has surely helped too. She thinks that “Dadda’s cars” are pretty cool, I gave her her first ride in a vintage Saab, my ’72 96, when she was still an infant.
And then there are the books. Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is a classic, I remember my parents reading it to me and now I enjoy it with Mary.
As she gets older I look forward to teaching Mary the names of various cars, taking her to car shows, and having her help me as I wrench on my own cars. I’m hoping that someday she’ll even want to get an interesting old car to restore, much like the 14 year old girl who is rebuilding a Fiero as her first car. Now that’s some serious inspiration right there.