1 Second Time Machine

One of the advantages of being married to a tech-geek (who also happens to be a pack-rat) is there is never a shortage of old computer equipment for pretend play! This afternoon, Emily asked me if there was a way to stop time, which reminded me of a clip from the movie The Science of Sleep. If you haven’t seen the 1 second time machine clip, you can view it here.

We built our own version of a 1 second time machine using lots of Mark’s old computer junk. Just looking at this stuff made it feel like a real time machine for me! A Commodore 64??? Really??? You’re saving that?????
I covered the coffee table with aluminum foil for added sci-fi drama, and let Emily arrange the antique computers how she wanted them. Then it was time to play!
Basically, the one who is wearing the headphones is “in” the time machine, in this case Emily. She would press a bunch of buttons and then I would pretend it worked by repeating the last second of whatever I was doing whenever she ejected the floppy disk from the drive. She thought this was HILARIOUS!

This quickly became more than just a 1 second time machine, and was soon transformed into a tele-transporter which sent us on adventures all over the world. We made several stops at China, Disney World, and Grandma’s house. I was surprised at her suggestions for where we would go back in time…. She wanted to go back on vacation, to Clara’s birthday party, and to Christmas, to name just a few of our destinations.

The phone was used to call people from the future. Here she is calling a bank to find out that they have money that talks in the future!
She enjoyed time travel very much, but was quite relieved to make it back to the “present”, and have an afternoon snack!


  1. The sad part about this is that I have a 2nd 5 1/4 floppy drive in the basement. It's with my ISA bus SCSI card and an old 2GB SCSI drive.

  2. So funny! I had a Commodore 64 once upon a time! Cute play idea.

  3. sunnymama says

    That is so cool πŸ™‚

  4. Night Owl Mama says

    lOl great imaginations what fun your girls are having thanks for sharing are those discs I think I have some around here some where πŸ™‚

    Come on by for a few laughs
    I heart comments too

  5. Can we come play at your house?!

  6. That has to be the coolest set up for pretend play ever! I love it and the girls clearly did to. Once again you win the award for rock star mom!!!

  7. @ Mark — You don't happen to have an old Atari sitting around here somewhere, do you?? I never know what you've been hiding in the basement!

    @ Night Owl Mama — Thanks so much! I'm heading over there now….

    @ Denise — Wouldn't that be fun??? It would be like cuteness overload!

  8. That is so fun, I didn't think of handing over the out-dated tech box to the kids – great idea to spark creativity.

  9. No Atari, sorry.

    I do, however, have a game pad which plugs into the midi port on 8 bit soundblaster cards. It even has a turbo switch and a switch to make it easier for left handed people.

  10. I gave you an award! Thanks for reading my blog.

  11. how adorable!! We've got some old equipment too and how perfect for our little time travelers!! Great idea!!

  12. Kitten Muffin says

    Lovely lovely fun! I showed my husband earlier and he said "why would anyone *Not* want to keep a Commodore 64? I don't understand". Tech hoarding husbands for the win! Actually, I'm worse than him. I have a BBC micro tucked away along with many of the hunormous old school floppy disks. We'll definately be having some fun with your idea in the future! Thank you!

  13. My tech-loving hubby's old computer junk is at his mom's house on the other side of the country, but maybe I'll let him haul it back with us the next time we visit after seeing this post – looks like you had a wonderful time!

    He does have a few memory chips we brought with us that he and Emma pull out and ooh and ahh over every once in a while…

  14. @ Christy — Wow! Thank you so much for the award… I am so honored!

    @ Mark — I'm sure Emily will find a way to integrate the game pad into the time machine some how… I still can't believe you kept all this junk!

  15. @ MaryAnne — Mark had lots of stuff at his parents' house too, but they brought lots of it back here when they came to visit. He was happy to see it again. Funny how that sort of thing brings back techie memories!

    @ Kitten Muffin — Sounds like your hubby and mine would get along quite well! I bet you have quite the collection going on there. πŸ™‚

  16. Mama King says

    Looks fun!

  17. Pink & Green Mama says

    You are such a cool mom!! I love it : )

  18. This so creative! What fun!

  19. I love it! I'll have to see what we can find for old computers and do that sometime. We'd probably use it to play "Space Show." Also known as Star Wars

  20. Meninheira says

    Con lo que le gustan a mi marido los ordenadores seguro que se unΓ­a al juego πŸ™‚

  21. My kids love playing with the old keyboards and mouse. That whole set up looks like great fun.

  22. SkylarKD says

    Oh, I would have LOVED this as a child.
    Probably still would, actually. πŸ˜‰

  23. designergirl says

    "Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest"!! What a great post! I bet the girls had a blast and what a great way to get their imaginations going! Talk about recycle-reuse, what a green mom you are!!