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.
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.
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.
(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.
“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.
(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?
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:
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