Review: Build Your Own Pinball Machine

Disclaimer: We were kindly gifted this Build Your Own Kit, however all words are our own opinionswe will also be genuinely purchasing more of these kits for gifts.

Lily had previously enjoyed the Build Your Own Ladybird Kit, so when we then went to Blog On Kids this summer, she was blown away by the amount of choices on offer – so much so, that out of all the toys in the whole event, this was one of her top 3 toy areas that she kept asking to go back to – especially for the Pinball Machine!

When she had the chance to build her very own Pinball Machine too, she jumped at the opportunity, and couldn’t wait to get started. Here’s our review.

What are Build Your Own Kits?

Build Your Own Kits are STEM building kits made out of sustainable cardboard, encouraging children to spend time with the family, away from the screens, doing something fun, and creating their very own moving toys/games.

Lily had previously made a ladybird from one of the Build Your Own kits
Lily had previously made a ladybird from one of the Build Your Own kits

Designed in the UK, there are a whole host of Build Your Own Kits to choose from, ranging from animals and insects, to telescopes, pirate ships and more, all with moving elements and facts too.

All kits are made from sustainable cardboard with fully recyclable packaging, and we love the science tips in each pack too, helping little ones learn without even realising.

Kits come flat-packed with labelled instructions and pop-out pieces
Kits come flat-packed with labelled instructions and pop-out pieces

Kits come completely flat-packed in the box, with full instructions on how to fit them together.

There is a difficulty guide on each as well as a suggested age range, but even though Lily is under the suggested age, we completed the packs together, following the instructions and labelled pieces to complete the kit.

Build Your Own Pinball Machine
Build Your Own Pinball Machine

They’re such good quality, giving your kids plastic-free games and toys that they’ve not only built themselves, but that they can play with too.

This is a game she is already playing with every day!
This is a game she is already playing with every day!

They make fantastic, unique birthday or Christmas presents (I’m buying Lily the turtle and the owl for Christmas) for older children too that really are different from standard toys – and eco-friendly too.

The Build Your Own Pinball Machine Kit

The Pinball Machine kit has 61 press-out cardboard parts, two elastic bands and 5 marbles to create your very own working pinball machine.

It has a difficulty rating of 3.5 stars and a suggested build time of 60mins.

The kits use no glue, just differently shaped tabs to slot into each other and clear instructions on what piece to use next / which bit needs to go where.

All the pieces slot into each other with tabs
All the pieces slot into each other with tabs

Elastic bands (included) are then used to help with the movement of the flippers – it works just like any other pinball machine, complete with vortex, ball launcher and numbered areas to score points!

Spoiler Alert: It'll be hours of fun!
Spoiler Alert: It’ll be hours of fun!

Our review

Lily has recently turned 7 years old and is a huge fan of any kind of craft kit or activity box. These kits would be slightly more complicated for her to complete herself, but it was absolutely fantastic to complete together.

Lily's little fingers were great at getting the pieces slotted in
Lily’s little fingers were great at getting the pieces slotted in

I’ve recently had surgery, so while I’m recovering and unable to go on our normal adventures, we have been finding more activities to do together at home – and this kit was really lovely.

The kit said it would take around 60mins to complete, but we took around 1.5hrs, however Lily was completely engaged throughout all of it, and was really keen to to as much of it herself as she could, with me there to check she was doing it correctly.

She build her very own pinball machine from cardboard!
She build her very own pinball machine from cardboard!

There were some more fiddly bits that I had to work out (such as the ball launcher), however Lily was brilliant at doing all the little bits, where her tiny fingers had an advantage. It wasn’t over challenging, just enough to help us progress and learn together as we went along.

We loved following the instructions to complete the machine together
We loved following the instructions to complete the machine together

She also loved popping out the pieces and trying to find the correctly numbered piece for what we would need next – it was team work, where we both needed each other.

Building the walls of the pinball machine
Building the walls of the pinball machine

We also loved how you could see distinct progress as you went along, with the shape building up, starting with the base structure, then the details, before adding the outer rim and then the flippers.

You could see the progress clearly as we went along
You could see the progress clearly as we went along

Conclusion

Did we mess up at any stage? Yes! Was it easy to fix? Yes! It was totally my fault that I put the flippers on the wrong way round, but it was easy to see where I’d gone wrong and I found it useful to have the picture from the front of the box to help see where each piece went.


We loved the challenge of completing this together - something so new and different
We loved the challenge of completing this together – something so new and different

I also used both the zig-zag cardboard pieces that came with the launcher to help give our marbles extra power – but I can’t believe how well it works and how sturdy it is!

It all works like a real game with ramps for the ball to fire up too
It all works like a real game with ramps for the ball to fire up too

We absolutely loved this kit and this will be a game she will be playing for a long time – it is fully working and great fun to play with.

The Pinball Machine is so much fun
The Pinball Machine is so much fun

I can’t wait to see her excitement at opening the turtle and the owl at Christmas, as it’ll give her some lovely screen-free activities to do while we’re visiting her grandparents too.

They’re great quality, eco-friendly and so much fun – what more could you want?!

To find out more about the Build Your Own Pinball Machine, click here

Thank you Build Your Own Kits
Thank you Build Your Own Kits

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Check out our screen-free travel activity ideas for pre-schoolers and toddlers here

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