Danica Patrick. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Racing lightweights compared to your little tyke when he puts his pedal to the tricycle metal. Feed his need for speed with totally tricked out trike-able courses that challenge him to take the pole position. From wild obstacle course ideas to a full on neighborhood drag race, scroll down for five tricycle track set-ups that let your Little burn rubber.

photo: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr

1. Set up a killer obstacle course with all kinds of silly fixings. Sports cones and sidewalk chalk are the basics you need to plot a zany obstacle course for your little clown. Think turn-arounds and crazy eight loops when you set out the cones to make the course. Then draw chalk arrows (and other helpful suggestions) to keep tiny tricyclists on track. Once you’ve mapped out the basics, it’s time to get creative. Use what you’ve got to put in a few tame ramps, a cardboard box tunnel or two, and maybe a even a sprinkler to ride under so mini racers can cool off as they approach the finish line. Have your wee one navigate this one solo, or invite her besties for the ride of their lives!

photo: mazaletel via Flickr

2. Take on the neighbors in drag racing heats. Got road? Will travel. Set your sidekick’s trike for maximum speed on a straightaway that runs till the sidewalk ends. Line up mini competitors at a starting line, then let the flag drop as they make a beeline for the finish. Keep time on a stopwatch and run through a few heats where kids race against others who are just as fast as they are, before declaring the winners. No pink slips needed to race here!

3. NASCAR doesn’t have anything on your tricycle derby. This one’s all about the laps. And it works best if you’ve got a pond with a paved path or a public track, that the kiddos can ride around, nearby. Set a lap limit and then let ‘em race! Keep your little athletes hydrated with a water station (one for snacks too!) at the starting line, and keep them up to date on their track speed every time they fly past. The best part? Parents can cheer on their champions and get some grown-up convos in too while the minis lap it up.

photo: Roy Luck via Flickr

4.Race to the finish with your tricycle relay teammates. Riding this relay is just the first half of this fast-paced event. Settling on a team name and sporting colorful team uniforms is the other. Once your tiny avengers have assembled, it’s time to host a head-to-head competition pitting Team Tot Lot against the Half Pint Heroes in an all out down-and-back relay-style race. No baton passing here, just hop off the trike to pass the torch to the next tiny rider. On your mark!

5. Strike sweet poses during a stunt competition. Think old school skateboarding and roller skating when you stage this event, complete with glitzy costumes and decorated trikes. Map out 3-5 simple tricks that any tot cyclist can master, like riding one-handed or leg lifts off the back step (using the handle bars for balance of course!). Then have each competitor strut her stuff on her glammed-out tricycle before doling out scores. Hand out some shiny medals for all the hard work the kiddos put into preparing their best tricks ever, and you’ve got an event to remember

photo: Jonathan Silverberg via Flickr

What tricycle race looks like it’s right up your alley? Share your race experiences in a comment.

—Allison Sutcliffe

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