While it’s commonly believed that most innovation is done by well-qualified scientists in laboratories, some of the best ideas have actually come from people who aren’t experts at all. It’s no surprised that children are more imaginative than adults, and therefore, often come up with some pretty great inventions. They might not be eyeing a million dollar royalty check – but that’s what makes their ideas so refreshing, fun, and valuable. We honor childlike ingenuity with a little-known holiday called Kid Inventor’s Day. This holiday is meant to celebrate the kids who came up with better solutions to the world’s problems than the adults to tried before them.
Kid Inventor’s Day is celebrated on January 17th, as it’s the anniversary of Benjamin Franklin – a renowned child inventor. At just 12 years old, Franklin invented the world’s first swim
flippers, totally revolutionizing the summer pool scene many generations later. Children have also invented several other popular inventions still in-use today, like popsicles, the trampoline, ear muffs, and perhaps most importantly, brail. At age three, Louis Braille lost his vision in an accident, and spent his teenage years inventing the new touch-based language. 200 years later, teenager Ryan Patterson also invented a hugely helpful product for the disabled, by developing a glove with sensors that translated sign language into written words on a digital display.
Kid Inventors Day is means to encourage kids to seek opportunities for innovation, and pursue creative avenues that may lead to invention. To celebrate the holiday right, take your child to a local museum to really get the creative juices flowing. Educate them about fun inventions they use every day to inspire them to make their own, or sit down for a crafts session with them and create something unique. You never know – it might turn out to be a truly special product. For more ideas on how to celebrate this holiday, visit the Kid Inventors Day official website. They have some great suggestions on how to get your kid involved, and even how to follow through on submitting an invention, if your child turns out to be the next Benjamin Franklin:
Read books about Young Inventors and Inventing. K.I.D. recommends Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey. For more info: http://www.susancaseybooks.com/
Keep a detailed Invention Journal for your brainstorms, notes, design drawings, etc. Date each entry.
Make a prototype or model of your invention.
Do a patent search to make sure no one has already invented something too similar to your device or game. Visit either the U.S. Patent Office Home Site http://www.uspto.gov/ or their Inventor Resources page: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/index.htm
File a Provisional Patent Application: http://www.uspto.gov/
Enter your invention in school-sponsored science fairs, invention conventions and contests.
Make your invention and sell it! Or, license your invention patent to a company that will make and sell it for you
If you or your child has invented a product you’re particularly proud of, submit it to the professionals at Lightning Launch to see if it has a future on the shelves.