So about a year ago, my husband and I were given this great toy. Its called Spacerails and it was a blast! Now it has taken this long for us to get it out and put it together because, hey, we have 4 kids. We are a little busy.
Anyway, so the Spacerails is like a mini marble roller coaster. You have to make the tracks using thick plastic tubes. They give you everything you need, you just have to put it together. I do have to say the instructions where not that helpful mostly because the English part of it was not in complete sentences and where hard to find. Plus, after I finished putting it together I found another page that would have solved a lot of my problems. 🙂 (Just like your teachers always say, read the instructions all the way through first!)
Since I was little I have loved building things, and making things. I loved the Knex sets and eitech sets. They are a blast to put together and then you can take them apart and build something else! This is kind of on the same lines as those. When I get going on one of these type of projects, I get addicted! I have to keep going until it is done, and then I have to make sure it works correctly.
Previously, when I have done projects like this I haven’t had any kids… totally makes a difference.
Most the time my husband and I waited until the kids were asleep to work on it because we knew they would keep asking if it was done and trying to touch all the pieces. That is just what kids do. When we needed a break we would just put it in our room on the top of the bookcase. Of course Vincent would see it and ask over and over again if it was done, and when it was going to be done. After so much asking you have to buckle down and just do it for the poor kid. So that’s what we did. The first part was actually really easy. It was just putting pieces together, then sliding them onto these metal bars. Brooks did a lot of that.
The next part was a bit harder, and when I say a bit harder I think I spent upwards of 12 hours trying to get it to work. Brooks gave up on attaching the tubing for the rails so it was up to me. Apparently, I totally get tunnel vision when it comes to technical construction stuff. I was addicted!
There were three separate tracks to build. One had a double loop-de-loop, and another had a helix turn. Each part had to be installed, tested with a marble, adjusted, tested, adjusted, tested and so on until it worked. It took 4 hours alone to do the loop-de-loop (This is where the complete instructions would have come in handy). Then after I it was working I found the page in the back of the instructions that gave you the diameter of the loops, so it wasn’t just a bunch of guess work! Lol, go figure. My way was funner right?!
Next came the second and third track that has a split, which is where you get the three separate tracks. These ones where not nearly as hard. One section has a step down feature, which came together pretty fast compared to the loops, and the helix was pretty quick also.
Now I started to get excited because it was almost done. My brilliant idea was now I could just get it out whenever and work on it because I was almost done right? Wrong. 😦 It took another two days of little adjustments to get it running smoothly again. As you adjusted one section it would screw up a previous section, so you would have to go back and fix that section. This happened over and over again. Once again, reading the full instructions would have helped because I forgot that the angle of the clamps could also be adjusted! 🙂 Silly me!
The whole two days I am working on this I have my kids right by me because they are excited about it and can’t wait to see it run which was the whole point in building this thing anyway! I had total tunnel vision and focus. I was telling my kids, just a minute over and over again, then saying leave me alone so I can finish. They were constantly touching me, and leaning on me trying to see. So I would say stop touching me, I can’t finish if you are on me! And most importantly, Don’t touch! (Every time someone touched it I had to go back and readjust almost everything.) Basically I was ornery, grumpy, and touchy for two days, and then it hit me! I was acting just like my kids! No wonder I can’t get them to do anything!
I realized my kids do the exact same thing I did to them. They have terrible tunnel vision. Vincent can’t stand it when he hasn’t finished a project to perfection just like me! Jaxon is already planning the next 5 things he is going to do and ignoring what your telling him at the at moment, just like I was doing with the railing! And of course the touching! If someone else is working on something it takes everything I have to not stick my hands in there and do it myself!
Here I thought most of these actions were coming from my engineering, tunnel vision, ADHD side of my husband. Nope! Not even close! They are just as much from my tunnel vision, engineering, focus side! Go figure!
Once this dawned on me things went much smoother. Monday, with the help of my kids we got the final adjustments done, and the boys got the marbles rolling! It was the best babysitter for the next couple of hours!
In conclusion, it was awesome! I learned a lot about myself, and the way that my kids are. I learned that my struggles are similar to my kids, and that I need to be aware of it when I am trying to get things done and when I need them to do something. I learned that I still love building Legos, Knex, eitech, and fun mechanical devises! I know what I want for Christmas! I am totally putting a page together of my favorite engineering toys for kids and adults and Spacerails is going on it! I would recommend starting with the easier version like SpaceRails Level 1, first as apposed to level 4 like we did.
I may have gotten frustrated and angry while doing it, but as soon as I finished, I asked my husband when we could get another one! He told me no, but I won’t give up! It was way too much fun, and felt way to good to get it working!