Do you have imagination? Do you like to solve problems? Can you think outside the box?

If so, you could be the next great inventor. “But I’m just a kid,” you might say! Don’t worry about a little thing like age. Some of the greatest inventors in the world got their start as kids.

For example, one famous inventor — Benjamin Franklin — got his start when he was only 12. At that young age, he created paddles for his hands to help him swim faster. Eventually, his creation led to what we now call flippers!

You don’t have to be an adult, a scientist or a genius to be an inventor. One thing you do need, though, is something that kids have plenty of: curiosity and imagination. Kids are known for looking at things in new and unique ways. Sometimes the insights they have lead to great inventions!

Sometimes inventors come up with completely new products or devices that solve a particular problem. At other times, though, new inventions are merely existing items that have been changed or improved so that they work better or serve a different purpose.

So what should you do if you have what you think is a great idea for an invention? Talk to a friend or family member about it. Get input from others about your idea. Then ask them to help you create a working model — called a prototype — of your idea.

Once you have a prototype, you can test it. Sometimes your idea turns out to be not quite as great as you thought. At other times, though, you realize it is a good idea and your prototype can help you figure out how to make it even better.

If your idea really is a good one, an adult can help you contact companies that might be interested in it. You will also want an adult’s help to get a patent for your idea, so that it is protected and can’t be stolen by someone else.

If you need some inspiration, consider these kids and their inventions:

  • Jeanie Low invented the Kiddie Stool when she was just 11. It’s a folding stool that fits under the kitchen sink. Kids can unfold it and use it to reach the sink all by themselves.
  • At the age of 15, Louis Braille invented the system named after him that allows the blind to read.
  • Chelsea Lannon received a patent when she was just 8 for the “pocket diaper,” a new type of diaper that includes a pocket for holding baby wipes and powder.

24 Join the Discussion

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    • Thanks for WONDERing with us today, Mo! We WONDER if you have created an invention of your own, or one that another kid has thought up? We can’t wait to find out what tomorrow’s WONDER will be, either! :)

    • What a WONDERful, slithering guess, Abbey! We can’t wait to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder will bring, either! :)

    • We think kids can do great things too, Mia! We WONDER if you have a favorite invention or have an invention of your own? :)

  1. I would love to be an inventor, it would be amazing to invent something you never knew to build. And you can make something that one touch can take your breath away. These things that are already invented are a flying car, solar car, iPod car, and a TRON motorcycle. :-D

    • We believe you can do anything you put your mind to, Carlos! We think it’s great that you are so interested in learning about inventors and new inventions! Thanks for visiting and WONDERing with us today! We WONDER if you have a favorite invention to share? :)

    • Thanks for WONDERing with us today, Emily! It’s great to have you here!! :) We think you’re on to something about tomorrow’s slithering WONDER… we can’t wait to find out! :)

  2. I loved today’s WONDER!
    My best friend and I planned an invention called the ‘O-mega 2 thousand barbeque holder.’ Its purpose is to hold barbeque sticks itself and has stretch-out-fans for keeping cool. Inside, there is a device to hand plates out when it detects the food is ready! I think tommorow’s wonder is about slithering in the woods… … snakes of course!
    :)

    • What a SUPER invention to cook up, Sophie! You and your friend must have had tons of FUN creating your idea! We think it’s WONDERful how much you’re using your imagination to dream up great, useful creations! Keep up the GREAT work and SUPER WONDERing! :)

    • We LOVE having you here to Wonder with us, Athenamarie! Thanks for your comment about great Wonders– we are tickled pink! Have a WONDERful day! :)

  3. Well, anyone who has invented something was at some point a child. So children must be able to invent things, if they have the same brain as they grow up! Because when you grow, you don’t lose your brain and grow another!
    ~Christie~

    • What a great connection you made, Christie! Everyone, at some point, was a child and inventions can come from people of all ages! We LOVE that you’re WONDERing with us– thanks for joining the fun! Keep up the SUPER work! :)

  4. Love this wonder! :D I once read a book called Frindle. The main character in the story (Nick) found a pen on a street and he gave the pen to her and asked her if this was her friendle. Soon, Nick was famous and frindle was published in the dictionary.

    • That sounds like a great book, Julie! We love to hear about what your reading, especially when it relates to our Wonders! You’re making great connections– you ROCK! :)

  5. I absolutely think kids can be inventors!! The ideas kids come up with may not be as high tech or useful for big jobs as those that adults do but that shouldn’t stop kids from inventing. Sometimes if there seems to be an easier way to do something kids may try to figure out an invention to go along with it!! There is nothing wrong with kids having creative brain “flow” at early ages.

    • How ‘inventive’ of you to think outside the box, Grace! Kids can absolutely invent new and helpful products and services– sometimes they are so creative that those inventors inspire others to become inventors! We Wonder if you have any favorite inventions to share, or if you’ve invented anything on your own? We are SUPER happy to have you here, WONDERing with us! :)

  6. H!!!!! I wonder what tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will be?!! I can’t wait to find out!! I just love Wonderopolis. It is so entertaining at the same time while giving information. I am just a big fan of Wonderopolis. I love watching the youtube movies.

    • WOHOO, we LOVE your enthusiasm, Ally! We are SUPER happy that we have great Wonder Friends like you! We love learning and using our imaginations together– there is so much exploring to do at Wonderopolis! :)

  7. Hello, my name is Sheena Bloom. I have an invention, but I am only 12. My invention could change the lives of Ichtheologists and Marine Biologists everywhere. PLEASE HELP!

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Can kids be inventors, too?
  • How do things get invented?
  • What famous things have been invented by kids?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Do you have your own bright ideas for some new inventions? How about a toothbrush that brushes your teeth while you’re sleeping? Or a robot that does your homework while you’re at soccer practice? Maybe even a pencil that knows the answers to test questions!

Share your ideas with your Wonder Friends by posting a few of your ideas on Facebook. We can’t wait to hear about your big plans for future inventions!

Still Wondering

Science NetLinks’ Invention at Play website challenges children to explore, question, invent and collaborate to make their own discoveries.

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