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



Do not play with the red car.  That one is MINE.


You must only play with the car I allocate you.  You do not get to choose your own car.


You must never win any car races.  All races are to be won by me.


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.


Do not attempt to suggest locations our cars are driving to.  I decide on the destination.  It will always be Nana’s house.


I make the brum brum noises, not you.


Any car collisions must be instigated by myself.


Your complaints about your knees will not be acknowledged (see point 17). 


Do NOT ask to play with the red car.


You must never attempt to name the cars.  I name the cars.  It’s called ‘red car’.


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.


Do not ever stop driving your car.  Not even for baby announcements on Facebook.


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)


I control the lift in the garage at all times.  Do not attempt to use it. 


You are responsible for knowing the whereabouts of the red car at all hours of any given day.


I decide when the game ends.  Alternative suggestions of play will not be welcomed.


If you have a complaint please note that there is no complaints procedure, so therefore all complaints are null and void.


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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Claire Kirby

40 Comments on The Rules For Playing Cars With a Toddler

  1. 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?!?!!?!

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. I’m amazed you managed to work out what the rules were for long enough to write this. I usually find the best way to get out the games is to keep being naughty, eventually the Child puts me on the naughty step and I go and have a cup of tea. #fridayfrolics

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. I actually can’t stop laughing. Toddlers make the best dictators! What’s the deal with RED car? It’s the same in our house. #FridayFrolics

  12. 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!)

  13. 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

  14. 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!

  15. 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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