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With a loose plan to just enjoy our family Sunday last weekend, I charged up all the R/C cells just in case there was a slot of time we could muck around with our cars. Am I'm glad I did, becuase I found a great way to not only have some racing fun but also keep the kids amused too..

My son and I headed out to the lane outside our house, armed with the 2WD Stinger, his elderly Traxxas, my Carisma McLaren Mercedes drift car, and another mad lad turned up with his super-fast and super-brutal brushless truck. We had fun! And doubtless you won't be surprised that we also had some scrapes.

My lad and the mad boy unintentionally drove the Stinger and his truck head on into each other. Who got hurt? Well, with a loud crack, one of the brutal truck's oversize wheels went soaring into the air. Son's Stinger was unharmed, it being bendier than blu-tac. The truck is big, but actually pretty poorly built; even he'll admit - it's always breaking.

Despite being a normal road, our lane is too stoney for my Carisma Mercedes 1/14. I weep when the carbon chassis tries to take on even the smallest of stones, so it only got a few minutes use.

But the revelation for me was seeing how the kids on the street made up their own games around the car antics. It took me right back to my playground days, of making games up from thin air, relying on our wild imaginations to drive our play.

We'd been out the front for 10 minutes or so and gathered the kids from next door as well. And I realised we didn't have enough cars for all six of us. Things needed to quickly adapt. I had an idea. 'Who wants to do a running race against the cars' I offered.

Amazingly, in under a minute the kids had made up a whole run and race game against the radio controlled cars. First person to run up to the manhole cover an back before the Traxxas wins! Lilly from next door particularly liked the game, and loved running against the cars. She had a good go with the Stinger too, bouncing up and down kerbs, giggling. She was fun to watch - and got the hang of the R/C controls a matter of minutes.

This varied and creative play which involved movement, agility, cunning and speed was a delight to witness - a real triumph of outdoor ingenuity, which I was genuinely delighted to witness.

So there we are. R/C isn't just about going round and round. It can complement a play time for younger children, and radio control time can be integrated with healthy play. Whatever next - maybe it will be on the school curriculum!

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Written by Rupert Stelling

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Rupert Stelling writes the Radio Controlled Gamer column.

"Having grown up racing Tamiya radio and remote controlled cars and trucks I was keen to get my kids started on the same hobby. Here, I share my R/C reviews and guides to getting started in this electric and petrol powered world."

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