Friday, February 18, 2011

STEAM Remote Control Art

*This post contains affiliate links

After reading about "drawbots" on Irresistible Ideas for Playbased Learning I was inspired to create something of my own.  My son has several remote control vehicles and after applying the right amount of tape and markers, we created our own RC "drawbots". This is a fantastic STEAM activity for preschoolers, especially if you have several vehicles or wind-up toys to use for this art experiment.

Our first prototype was a fire engine with 4 markers taped in various places around the truck. Make sure whatever vehicle you use, the tips of the markers are lightly touching the paper.  This is likely through bit of trial and error.  

The remote was very simple for this vehicle; it was specifically designed for a preschooler.  The truck went forwards and in circles creating a modern masterpiece!  We used a large pad of newsprint paper which was given to us.  Opening the paper pad created a larger creative space. Of course the most difficult part is keeping the vehicle on the paper.  

Our 2nd prototype was a non-RC train. It's the type of vehicle you pull backwards and let go in order for it to move.  It didn't travel very far and was a dud.

Our third prototype was an RC spaceship.  The drawback with this vehicle was as soon as you turn it on, it moved forwards.  You have to be quick on the remote or the spaceship leaves the drawing space.  It was too difficult to control in this situation.  

The winner of our STEAM drawing project was the firetruck!  Easy for a preschooler to use and it was fun to draw multicolored circles.  If you wish to try this at home, I suggest large pieces of paper or cardboard.  A roll of paper would work as well.  My driveway was very colorful afterward, but I figure, that's what rain is for!     

  1. Remote control vehicles
  2. Markers (scented would be fun!)
  3. Large Pad of Newsprint or Easel Paper Roll
  4. Tape
I hope you and your child enjoy this STEAM project.  Let me know how it goes  Find a creative RC unit to experiment with?  Share your pictures on my Messy Kids FB page! 


  1. Yeeehaaaa ... What fun! Aren't they cool Rachele AND super fun (for all ages!)
    Donna :) :)

  2. I was also inspired by that post, and have been thinking on how we can, ahem, give it a spin. I love your version with the RC vehicles, and now I'm wishing we had a few of those to play with. I'll be on the hunt now that it's garage sale season :)

  3. This is so neat. What a creative idea. I would never have thought of this. We don't have any remote control cars but we should!
    Thanks for sharing this with the outdoor play link up.

  4. We love drawbots. They are sooo much fun. I like your nice big-boy twist with the RC vehicles. I just taped some markers to the back of J's toy cars :) Thanks for sharing :)

  5. What a clever idea! Thanks for linking!

  6. What a nice idea.i like your Rc vehicles.Playing with RC Products as a hobby has been growing worldwide.



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