Friday 6 December 2013

Makedo Pinball Wizard

 A couple of weeks ago we bought a new shelf, nothing fancy but it came in a nice long box which a certain little person claimed as his own! He is very much into making games at the moment and this was no exception, he decided to make a pinball machine.

For the most part it all went accounting to plan with the exception of the trigger to fire the ball. I watched and bit my tongue as he set about making the first version, I could see from the offset that it was doomed to fail and it would have been easy for me to step in and help but I think learning to fail is an important life skill. So, I sat back and watched. It failed. He had a strop (can't imagine where he gets that from!) Calmed down and then asked me to help. 

I explained why the first effort wouldn't work and together we came up with a new plan. We made a 'tunnel' from one piece of card and a piston from a piece of rolled up card. The tunnel is held in place with makedo and the one more makedo piece went through the piston. Then we looped an elastic band around the makedo pieces. Works a treat. The photo was take sideways on, you pull the piston back, pop the marble in the hole then let go….

Ebi-kun played with it for a good hour after he finished making it and then played with daddy the next morning before school.

You can't really see on the picture but there is a goal next to the piston, the air is to get the marble into the goal. Makedo really is a fun toy and leads to all kinds of creative making, after posting my Top Ten List Of Gifts For Boys last week I had a lot of questions about makedo so I will try and answer them for you below…

Which pack do you recommend?

We have the pack of 65 pieces and we have built some pretty big things with it, like the submarine and never managed to use the whole pack. They have some great smaller packs which would be good as a stocking stuff too. The big pack has worked well for us.

I read that pieces often break, is that true?

We haven't had any broken pieces and it gets used quite often. 

Will my 4 year old be able to use it?

For making small things he should be fine, Ebi-kun who is 8, sometimes needs help punching the holes through thick card, there is a tool provided. Sometimes it is quite difficult to get the pieces off again for little fingers, good exercises for those pincer muscles!

Is it just for boys?

Hell no, and not just for kids either! I wish I had makedo as a kid, I remember so many battles with rolls of tape and then pieces of my rocket/house/plane falling off, no thanks to gravity! Rather than 'engineering' toys marketed at girls I think open ended toys are a much better idea. If your little girl loves Princesses fine, how about she builds he own special princess castle?

Did you get paid to promote makedo?

Hahaha, nope! I really think it is a great toy and deserves promotion. Full discloser, the links are affiliate links, I don't make much from it, just about keeps me in reading material! You can buy yours HERE :D

If you have any other questions, pop them in the comments section.

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The MOC Playbook: What Macgyver Would Do If He Had Kids
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