MLB finally brought back the infamous and quirky bullpen carts last year. Although they had been missing from the game for several years, we couldn't get them out of our heads!
It's pretty simple - find/use an older Little Tykes Cozy Coupe Car. In the spring, you'll probably find loads at local garage sales, thrift shops or online secondhand platforms (eg. Kijiji).
Step 1: Clean Your Car!
Give that little hot rod a good scrub at the backyard car wash! Peel off any stickers that may be on the car and then disassemble (on this model, the roof, front columns, side door, steering wheel and ignition just popped off with a little wiggling and elbow grease - no real tools required). We left the wheels on as they are more tricky to take off and put back on.
Step 2: Prep and Paint!
After disassembling, tape off the wheels and wheel rods that are still attached to the body of the car. Spray paint each part with a primer (or use a spray paint that has a built in primer). Once the primer is totally dry according to the can label, spray paint associated colours on each component - body of car = white like a baseball, front columns = brown like wood bats, roof = whatever team colour you choose.
Be sure to do this outside or in a very well ventilated area! You may need to do more than one coat of each colour depending how thick you got the first coat. Don't forget to do the interior and underbody of the car as well!
Step 3: Reassemble and Decorate!
We made this one for our little buddy Grayson who we call Baby G. We used black Sharpie to put Baby G on the license plate at the back. You can also paint or draw with Sharpie red "threads" on the body of the car following the white. The red of this particular car was in good shape so we taped those off with painter's tape after washing and disassembling (sorry, no pics!).
Since Baby G's family are Blue Jays fans, we used a beautiful royal blue on the roof and affixed a car sticker on the roof. We also drew "wood grain" and "Slugger" on the front columns with Sharpies to make them appear like bats similar to traditional bullpen carts.
Step 4: Vroom Vrooooooom!
*If you think your kiddo will be playing with this outside, we recommend spraying a sealer on the finished car to prevent the paint from getting ruined or weathered too quickly*
**Also be sure your kid is old enough that they aren't in the "chew-on-anything-put-everything-in-mouth" stage as spray paint isn't part of the Canada Food Guide**