We have a sizeable collection of toy cars in our house.  Between the age of 2 and 5 playing cars was the big one’s favourite thing to do.  If he wasn’t playing cars, he was watching Cars.  I have to say I was a little sad when Lego took over his affections for Lightening McQueen and the gang.  I have nothing against Lego, it just seemed like the end of an era for toys he had loved for so long.

The little one however is following suit.  Cars are now his go to choice of things to play with.  Although it has been a reminder that my nostalgia with the big one may have been through some rose tinted glasses.  Like his brother before him, the little one has a very long and strict set of rules for playing cars with him.  And woe betide you break a toddlers rules or code of conduct.


Image of two toy cars with the text rules for playing cars with a toddler


  1. Do not play with the red car.  That one is MINE.
  2. You must only play with the car I allocate you.  You do not get to choose your own car.
  3. You must never win any car races.  All races are to be won by me.
  4. If your car does something really cool and funny, I will want your car.  Hand it over.  This is not a swap.  You do NOT get to play with the red car.
  5. Do not attempt to suggest locations our cars are driving to.  I decide on the destination.  It will always be Nana’s house.
  6. I make the brum brum noises, not you.
  7. Any car collisions must be instigated by myself.
  8. Complaints about your knees will not be acknowledged (see point 17). 
  9. Do NOT ask to play with the red car.
  10. You must never attempt to name the cars.  I name the cars.  It’s called ‘red car’.
  11. Suggestions of ramp building (and other road modifications) are allowed.  If agreed to, you will be expected to do all the building work under a strict time frame.  Once completed you will not be permitted to play with the ramp.  It is mine.
  12. Do not ever stop driving your car.  Not even for baby announcements on Facebook.
  13. There will be occasions when your body will be the road for my car.  In all likelihood your head will be the impact point for any vehicle collisions.  Complaints will be ignored (see point 17)
  14. I control the lift in the garage at all times.  Do not attempt to use it. 
  15. You are responsible for knowing the whereabouts of the red car at all hours of any given day.
  16. I decide when the game ends.  Alternative suggestions of play will not be welcomed.
  17. If you have a complaint please note that there is no complaints procedure, so therefore all complaints are null and void.
  18. I make the rules and have the right to change them without any prior notice, or indeed without any communication at all.

When the big one was little, and the little one following in big’s footsteps…

Image of child playing with cars

Image of child playing with cars


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40 Comments on The Rules For Playing Cars With a Toddler

  1. Hayley Mclean
    October 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm (3 months ago)

    Me and my partner are pissing ourselves…I had to call him in to read it…this is our lives EVERY DAY! Omg, what would happen if both of our toddlers tried to play cars together?!!! I fear the universe would implode..WHO WOULD GET THE RED CAR?!?!!?!
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  2. Emma Plus Three
    September 29, 2016 at 10:14 pm (4 months ago)

    Haha so true! Why so many rules little people?! x #coolmumclub

  3. Let your light shine Mummy
    September 29, 2016 at 8:30 pm (4 months ago)

    Love it, this made me laugh. You’ve gotta love toddler rules. Never the Red Car or the Blue one for that matter x #coolmumclub
    Let your light shine Mummy recently posted…Toddler GroupMy Profile

  4. Catie (An Imperfect Mum)
    September 29, 2016 at 8:10 pm (4 months ago)

    I recognised almost every one of these rules. NO. 6 and No. 14 struck a chord, I remember distinctly being told not to make noises. Oh and no. 3, winning is a big no no! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

  5. Talya
    September 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm (4 months ago)

    I love the fact we are never allowed to win anything, even when we have clearly won *cough*! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely! Xx

  6. Ellen
    September 29, 2016 at 11:47 am (4 months ago)

    Ahhhh, gorgeous pictures, how sweet!! Brilliant, love the way you wrote this as I can imagine it perfectly. It sounds like there is a very precise way to play cars – who knew?! I am sure I have all this to come, I will bear this in mind… #ablogginggoodtime
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  7. Maja @ Mumma Hack
    September 29, 2016 at 11:08 am (4 months ago)

    Bahahaha! We’re in the car phase too. So so true… every single one!

  8. Lucy At Home
    September 28, 2016 at 10:48 pm (4 months ago)

    Hehe this is the funniest post I’ve read in ages! My youngest daughter is really into cars (maybe she’s rebelling because here older sister is such a girly-girl!) and this is exactly how it plays out in our house! Fab!
    Lucy At Home recently posted…The Nappy Police Live On AngleseyMy Profile

  9. Silly Mummy
    September 22, 2016 at 12:12 am (4 months ago)

    Haha – yes, I recognise many of these rules, apparently they don’t only apply to cars, also to dinosaurs, wands and tea sets according to my two! #FridayFrolics

  10. Emma - This Little Sprogblog
    September 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm (4 months ago)

    Yup 🙂 It’s the same in our house – cars are also the only thing we are allowed to draw, paint etc. V.funny and your photos are gorgeous by the way! <3 #fridayfrolics

  11. Muma on the Edge
    September 20, 2016 at 7:21 am (4 months ago)

    This made me laugh and laugh!I can really relate to this, what a great post!
    I don’t have boys, BUT my toddler LOVES playing cars, we have a tracks thing, and a garage – snazzy. Anyway she likes to build the track that she cant build. and she likes to use the garage lift pully up thing that she cant pully up. So she has to squeal for assistance. Its a time game – if I do not complete track within her time frame, OR release the 4 cars from the bloody lift swiftly enough then its a big old leg thumping tantrum!!
    some people are just so demanding…
    big love, L

  12. Lisa Pomerantz
    September 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm (4 months ago)

    We have nephews, but our house is all estrogenic! 2 girls so princesses and fairies would sub in for cars. We did have a token car for when boys came over, but…Fascinating how their minds work. And adorable pics. Glad you have mastered the rules, that are indeed subject to change! #fridayfrolics
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  13. Squirmy Popple
    September 16, 2016 at 9:49 pm (4 months ago)

    You have to love toddler logic, eh? It makes them so much fun to play with. I love it when they hand you something and then grab it back immediately, like “How dare you play with that? It’s mine?”. I give up. #FridayFrolics
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…Am I failing at adulthood?My Profile

  14. Alana - Burnished Chaos
    September 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm (4 months ago)

    This brings back so many memories, we spent hours and hours parking cars. Especially if we ever went out to eat anywhere, we would all have to park them round and round and round over and over and there were always very strict rules to follow x
    #FridayFrolics #TheList

  15. Turning Up in Devon
    September 16, 2016 at 5:58 pm (4 months ago)

    Ahh that brings back memories of playing cars and sometimes trains with my son, I remember the sore knees and the numb bum from sitting on the floor. I think I used to regularly coincide this ‘carpet’ time with having Deal or no deal on in the background!!!!! You’re right, there were no negotiations on the rules whatsoever! #fridayfrolics

  16. Jen @ thehollyhockdoor
    September 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm (4 months ago)

    So true! Especially about the red car – why is it always that one?! #FridayFrolics

  17. jeremy@thirstydaddy
    September 16, 2016 at 3:34 pm (4 months ago)

    we had many of the same rules with dolls and action figures. They were only allowed to say what she told me to make them say. I was just there to hold them upright #fridayfrolics
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  18. justsayingmum
    September 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm (4 months ago)

    Oh this is just spot on! It was all of these rules that really put me off playing with toddlers “Mummy, will you play with me? But you have to be the teacher and you have to say this and you have to say that!” I’m not sure you can class it as play really – more let me boss mummy about! Hilarious post #FridayFrolics

  19. Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)
    September 16, 2016 at 8:56 am (4 months ago)

    Love this! Marianna’s thing at the moment is making the cars sit on your lap – and woe betide anyone who thinks they need to move and do anything! #FridayFrivolity
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  20. Alison (MadHouseMum)
    September 16, 2016 at 6:30 am (4 months ago)

    This post really tickled me. You captured the scene perfectly and your son also sounds super cute! (Although it would drive me nuts not being in control of that red car!) Alison FridayFrolics (hashtag key has given up!)
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…Know Your PlaceMy Profile

  21. Mummy Muckups (Anna)
    September 16, 2016 at 4:55 am (4 months ago)

    My son is not one for cars, but replace his red care with the tiny swords for his ninja turtles. If I don’t know where they are, there is bedlam. Does me in. #FridayFrolics
    Mummy Muckups (Anna) recently posted…SHOVELLING SH*T UPHILLMy Profile

  22. Emma
    September 15, 2016 at 11:28 pm (4 months ago)

    Oh we have this with Youngest who has the Paw Patrol cars and race track. Youngest has a fondess for boy-racer driving and will often force me off the track. That’s just rude and quite frankly dangerous driving. There needs to be a toddler school for driving! I suspect Mr Tumbles would be the chief examiner! #FridayFrolics
    Emma recently posted…Friday Frolics – Friday 16th September 2016My Profile

  23. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville
    September 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm (4 months ago)

    I can relate to this post whole-heartedly since Little Man eats, drinks, sleeps and breathes cars (and diggers and tractors and garbage trucks – anything on wheels will do!). Points 2, 3 and 13 happen with me every time:)
    Boys and their toys!
    PS: ADORABLE pics. Same joy, same spot, different times. Love!

  24. Harriet
    September 15, 2016 at 10:15 pm (4 months ago)

    Ah yes, I too have a car enthusiast. There is no preference for a particular car, just whichever car I pick up of course. Our ‘road’ will often roam onto the walls despite my loud requests to keep it on the floor. We are also impartial to dinosaurs, tigers and a zebra. They too venture onto the god damn walls!! #fridayfrolics
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