His Milky Way Pinball Machine

So my 8 year old managed to turn his Milky Way into a decent looking pinball machine
Doesn’t matter if it didn’t look half as grand as what he drew
It’s the lessons we hope that will stay with him

It was quite a bumpy ride
with a handful of hurdles to cross in a single night
Many features had to go because he couldn’t figure out how to make them work

First there was the type of balls to shoot
He chose a metal ball which was too heavy
and we skipped a couple of rubber balls which didn’t quite work
In the end, it was ping pong balls that could finally fit

However ping pong balls were too big for kitchen toilet roll
so instead of shooting pinballs into outer space through space tower
we tossed them freely using hands
which was how his little brother likes to play
turning the pinhole machine into some sort of a skee ball machine

Then there were the 2 launch pads for suspending balls in outer space
Dad had to do some tweaking before they could finally work

And there were the number of ramps
which was reduced from 5 to 1
He learned that ramps weren’t easy things to build
And we would probably remain clueless
if not for Handy Manny Dad

But because they were tricky to make
Many things that came with them had to go
Super Nova, Wormhole and the Trojan Asteroid
His Milky Way ended up with none of these
neither the Sun nor planet Jupiter

And his pinball machine was finally ready when the clock struck 12
It was a simple one with Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud scoring loop
5 points for each and 10 points for the Black Hole ramp
Complete with a Saturn V rocket which couldn’t fire
and a bunch of aluminium foil scrunchies that worked well as comets and asteroids

It was far from what he had on paper
Much higher was the ambition
Much lower was the final product

But it worked, and the kids had a blast fooling around with it
More importantly, I hope that he realizes that while great ideas are important
Being able to follow through and turn the ideas into reality
Is what really really counts


Here are the stories behind some other kids’ creation that day

Evelyn’s Get Creative With Cardboard

PC’s Cardboard Challenge

Jasmine’s Cardboard Challenge

Elisa’s In Memory of RSS SWECS

Sarah’s Foosball Dream

Dee Loh’s The Cardboard Challenge at Singapore Botanic Gardens


  1. pc says:

    Enjoy reading all the stories behind the creations!

    Indeed, great ideas are important, and like what Jasmine said, the kids learnt more than just creativity here!

    [Thanks for linking -up, glad to be part of the challenge, can never thank enough for Evelyn’s kindness =).]

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