You may be encouraging your children to clean their rooms and to help out with other chores around the house in order to teach them about responsibility, but what are they learning about cars? Many kids are fascinated by cars (How many tiny models have you stepped on with bare feet?), but they don't understand much about what vehicle ownership requires.

Kids Help with Car Care

car maintenance, driving education, vehicle upkeep

When educating your children about the importance of taking care of things that have value, doesn't it make sense to include lessons about the family car? According to Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council, "By taking the time to teach your children the basics of car care, they will not only learn to appreciate the value of taking care of a car, but they will be more informed and better prepared for the day they become a car owner."

Need help getting started? Here are 3 fun and easy car "lessons" to start teaching your kids:

  • Check the oil.
    Explain to your children that this is something that must be done regularly to keep the car going. Talk about how oil and filter changes keep the car's engine clean. What else has to be filled? Point out the gas tank and the wiper fluid reservoir.
  • Check the lights and the wiper blades.
    It would be pretty hard to drive at night if you didn't have headlights and taillights, right? It would be equally unsafe to drive in the rain without windshield wipers. Show your kids how these important parts must be periodically tested and sometimes changed.
  • Wash the car.
    This is an especially awesome summer activity. Throw on some bathing suits, and have some wet and splashy fun while talking about how maintaining your vehicle's cleanliness makes it last longer. You can also have the kids look for dents and scratches on the car's surface, explaining how it's good to catch those early so they don't lead to further damage down the road.

Make a habit out of revisiting these automotive "chores," and don't be surprised if your little mechanics take a very active interest in keeping your car "healthy!"

Time for a Change?

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