Kid Inventors’ Day was created to encourage children’s curiosity for the world around them and tap into their creative problem-solving skills. January 17th each year is Kid Inventors’ Day. It’s no coincidence that this day was chosen to highlight the accomplishments of child inventors and to encourage the next inventor. January 17th is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, founding father, politician, author, and child inventor. Franklin invented swim flippers at the age of 12.
Did you know that children invented braille? The snowmobile? The trampoline, walkie-talkies, popsicles, and Christmas lights were also all invented by children. Inventions are created on purpose to solve or fulfill a need or desire and at times by accident. Dr. Alexander Fleming invented penicillin by accident when he left out samples for 2 weeks and their growth had been prevented by a mold called…penicillin!
I recall in elementary school that one of my teachers assigned us to create a solution to a problem we observed around the house. I designed and created (with the help of mom, of course) a contraption made of a 4-inch piece of wood with a piece of sharp metal nailed to it, which I believe was a deconstructed soup can. I don’t recall the name of my gadget, but it was designed to take the sealed ring off the milk jug, a problem I observed my mother having. Inventions are intended to make life easier or to fix a problem. I fixed my mom’s problem and I was so proud of my creation.
STEM or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) is a trending topic in child care and schools lately. Kid Inventors’ Day is a great way to promote children’s interest and use of these skills through an invention exhibition or contest and highlight the impact that has been made through other child inventions.
How might you encourage children in your classroom to identify problems and come up with solutions to those problems?
Would this be a good activity for small groups to work on together?
How might peers help one another in creating their invention or testing that their invention works?
What supplies might children need to create and make their invention?
How might parents and families get involved in Kid Inventors’ Day?