The joys (and learning benefits) of pinball!!

If you were you a pinball kid – you’ll probably understand and enjoy this post.

If you have kids – here’s how pinball can actually help kids learn life skills. Yes, I’m serious!!

Before home video games – pinball was a common amusement. There is a juvenile joy to the flashing lights and the noises and the physicality of the game.

nugent pinball

I was keen to show my son the old-school joys of pinball and so I took him to a nearby café that had a vintage pinball machine.

O pinball

He loved playing pinball.

I don’t know if it was beginner’s luck but he kicked my butt.

I wasn’t even trying to let him win – as I sometimes do – he was just so much better. Better reflexes? Better instinct?

He sure plays a mean pinball!

At first I explained to him that I needed to warm up and get back my old Jedi pinball skills.

T pinball

(Hey – give me time for my Jedi pinball skills to warm up!)

I truth I never was that good at it – but I enjoy the game


(Dad enjoying pinnies back in the 80s!)

Then when that “warming up” excuse wore out – my son delighted in  scoring lots of points as he placed the ball in the bonus “hole” (I should know the proper professional terminology).

“Don’t get cocky, kid!” I warn (borrowing from a line from one of our favourite films Star Wars)

“Is there a Star Wars video game?” he asks showing off how he can talk to me and look over at me  – as his score kept mounting up.

My pinball victory!

Still, I had my little victory too – as the ulterior motive of our visit was to help him with his maths. His teacher said my son  needed to work on his multiplication and division  – so I was using my Jedi stealth teaching techniques.

I love how this old school amusement also has a retro cost – 2 x 20c pieces.

pinball 40c


“OK – how many 20c pieces will we get for $1?”

After we work out that $1 is 100c  – the answer – “5!”

“How many games will we be able to play? Remember -1 game costs 2 x 20 cents. You’ll get some change – how much left over?”

“2 games. 1 x  20c left over!”

From my experience, kids can pay attention and work out “maths” problems if they have a reason to do so.

Of course, you can encouraging kids to do work out maths problems without using pinball.

I just found pinball was a great win for both of us. We’re both having fun – he’s applying some maths – I’m telling my wife I’m helping my son with his maths (not playing pinball!) Triple win!

As my son gets so immersed in the game – I have to console myself by getting an early start on our Oreo Milkshake.

oreo milkshake

T milkshake

(You just keep on playing son – take as long as you want!)

My pinball skills may be rusty – but my stealth teaching skills  (making learning fun and memorable) are working OK this day.

And, if he does well in his maths tests – guess where we’ll be going for a reward?

T + O southside

The place we visited is Southside Tea Room in Morningside, Brisbane. I’m not connected with the place in any way. I’m just a  big fan! I see lots of creative types writing on their laptops as they listen to the cool music and enjoy the food and beverages. I have a feeling, I’ll be a regular there!

Here’s an earlier post about this place:


If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.


tony biancotti


Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s