Build Two Cars!
That’s right—build two cars.
It is impossible for your child to win the Pinewood Derby if you, the parent, build the car. Even if your car comes in first place, your child will know that he is accepting a trophy that you earned. The Pinewood Derby is about more than just winning; it’s a time for children to learn skills and to develop a lasting relationship with an adult role model. Don’t rob them of these opportunities. It is absolutely possible to build a winning car and still allow your child to do most of the work. Here are a few suggestions that I use every year as I build cars with my sons.
Building two cars is also a speed tip that has helped us build faster cars and has saved us a lot of grief in the past. Because building mistakes and errors into a Derby car will not make it go faster, having two cars will allow you to make mistakes and have learning opportunities on “your car.” Then, you can apply the techniques correctly to “his car.” This is especially true the first time you attempt to apply a particular speed tip or method. After all these years of racing, we still build two cars every time.
– David Meade