When we think of inventors, I’m sure what comes
to mind is a white-haired old man sitting in a lab with lots of equipment and
gadgets scattered around.
But do you know that some of the things we
see around us were actually invented by young children?
Check out our top 10 products invented by children:
1. Braille: Louis Braille suffered a serious eye injury when he was just 3 years old. After more than a decade of struggling with the slow system of tracing his finger over raised letters, Braille was 12 when he learned of a method of silent communication originally created for the French military. He simplified it, and in 1824 the Braille language was born.
2. Water Talkie: In 1996, 11-year-old Richie Stachowski went on a trip with his family. “I was surfing with my dad. When we dove under, there were so many beautiful things to see. Eventually, he came up with the Water Talkie – a conical device with a blow valve and plastic membrane that enables swimmers to talk with one another underwater from as far as 15 feet away.
3. Christmas Lights: Before electric lights were invented, many people decorated Christmas trees with actual candles, but after the advent of electricity 15-year-old Albert Sadacca had the idea to create an affordable set of Christmas lights and had them produced by his parents’ novelty lighting company. Now Christmas lights have become an integral part of the holiday season.
4. Earmuffs: Earmuffs were invented by a 15-year-old boy called Chester Greenwood in 1873 in order to keep his ears warm during winters. Greenwood asked his grandmother to sew flaps of flannel or beaver fur onto some wires that he could bend around his head. Ten years later, Greenwood was the owner of an earmuff factory.
5. Trampoline: If you love to bounce, you can thank George Nissen. At age 16, he invented the trampoline after watching trapeze artists drop into the safety nets beneath them. He thought it would be cooler if they could bounce out of the net instead. The trampoline is nearly 90 years old; it was invented way back in 1930.
6. Ice Lollipops (Popsicles): 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally invented popsicles. While he was stirring powdered drink mix into a cup of water, something else caught his attention. The concoction was forgotten on his porch, and when Epperson rediscovered the drink in the morning, it was a deliciously portable frozen lollipop which he named Popsicles.
7. Crayon Holders: In an attempt to solve the problem of handling broken pieces of crayons, 11-year-old Cassidy Goldstein invented crayon holders. She searched her arts and crafts supplies and found a small plastic tube meant to keep flowers fresh during shipping, she inserted a crayon piece into the tube and “voila” crayon holders were invented. Her father helped her obtain a utility patent in 2002.
8. Toy Truck: Most little boys love to play with toy trucks so it’s no wonder that it was a 6-year-old boy who invented them. In 1963, Robert Patch drew up a sketch for his ideal toy truck – one that could easily be taken apart and put back together and could transform into other vehicles. Even at his young age, he got a patent for his idea and wound up creating the first convertible truck toy.
9. Swim Flippers: 11-year-old Benjamin Franklin loved to swim, he noted that he could cut through the water more easily if he had more surface area to push through it with. He made handheld swimming fins out of oval-shaped planks, making holes in the middle for his hands.
10. The Scooter: The ground breaker in the toy industry, Walter Lines started his toy business when he was merely 14 years old. He is the founding father of Britain’s major toy manufacturing company – Triang Toys. He invented the scooter at the age of 15.
Creativity, critical thinking and problem solving are the major skills every child should learn. These are the skills of future inventors.
Is your child the next inventor?
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