Originally published at https://www.weareteachers.com/invention-ideas-for-kids/
The world around us is full of items that started in someone else’s imagination. From light bulbs and airplanes to peanut butter and shampoo, inventors have used new ideas to make the world a better place. Want to encourage students to be innovative? Introduce them to famous inventors everyone should know, and then encourage them to try one of these incredible invention ideas for kids—or come up with one of their own!
Real-Life Inventions by Kids
Kids might believe they’re too young to invent anything meaningful. Prove them wrong by sharing these inspiring stories of real-life kids who made something new that the world really needed. Then, use these innovations as a springboard to brainstorm more invention ideas for kids to try.
One of the world’s most popular frozen treats was originally invented by an 11-year-old! Learn more about Frank Epperson’s story from NPR.
Invention Idea: Invent a new and delicious portable food item, preferably one that’s healthy too.
Braille is a system of raised dots that allow those who are visually impaired to read with their fingers. This groundbreaking system was the brainchild of a teenager! Discover the story of Louis Braille at Forbes.
Pediatric IV Backpack
When Kylie Simonds was receiving her cancer treatment, she found the large IV she had to lug around just one more frustration. To solve the problem, she invented an IV backpack to make the experience better for future kids. Read about Kylie’s inspiring story at ABC News.
Invention Idea: Design an innovative product to make things easier for kids undergoing any type of medical treatment.
Alzheimer Alert System
When Kenneth Shinozuka was 15, he wanted to find a way to keep his grandfather safe in case he wandered off and got lost. His invention, a pressure-activated messaging sock, won him worldwide acclaim. Find out more about Kenneth’s story at WebMD.
Invention Idea: Devise a new way to keep people safe in dangerous situations.
After reading yet another story about a child who died in a hot car after being forgotten by caregivers, 14-year-old Alissa Chavez decided to do something about it. Her invention, Hot Seat, notifies parents if they walk away from their child in a car seat. Here’s more about Alissa and her invention from Raising Smart Girls.
Invention Idea: Devise a product to make the lives of parents and kids easier or safer.
STEM Challenge Invention Ideas for Kids
STEM challenges are always classroom favorites, but many of them present real opportunities for kids to come up with a clever new invention. Start with these STEM challenge invention ideas, then take a look at our STEM topic pages for even more activities.
Rube Goldberg Machine
These silly machines use a series of extraordinary steps to accomplish a single simple task. Students use them to learn about chain reactions, but they can also inspire creativity when it comes to solving problems. Set a basic task, like ringing a bell, and challenge kids to come up with the wackiest possible ways to make it happen!
Learn more: Rube Goldberg Machine at Tinkerlab
This is a popular classroom STEM project that utilizes a shoebox and magnifying lenses. Once kids have the basic concept down, encourage them to come up with a more advanced version with additional features like zoom, remote control, etc.
Learn more: Smartphone Projector at The STEM Laboratory