National Inventors Month is for recognizing the people who have changed the world with their inventions. Where would we be without inventors? Every day, we each use several things that someone invented. And it took courage to come up with an idea, design and test it, and then release it to the public. We can appreciate the individuals who came up with these wonderful inventions throughout history, and we can celebrate our own kids’ ideas and efforts to invent too.
Do you have little inventors in your home or in your classroom? I know a little boy who always has a random item in his pocket. It’s not random to him though. If you ask him about it, he has a very clear purpose for the random item. Quite often, this purpose is completely fictional, but just as often, it really does make sense, at least if you try to see it from a four-year-old’s perspective. I often wonder if he will come up with a new invention of his own, made up of all the random items he carries around. The entire month of May is National Inventors Month, so we have plenty of time to get our little ones’ minds on creating and inventing.
The first step to inventing is to have an inventor’s mindset. To help our kids with this, we can ask engaging questions, especially those related to solving a problem. So anytime we face a problem, simple or complex, we can ask them if they can think of a way to solve it or fix it. Often, our kids’ ideas may be far-fetched, but even in those whimsical ideas, there could be a bit of logic or the beginnings of the right direction. So let’s invite our kids’ ideas when we face a problem. And let’s thank them when they try to help find a solution.
Problem solving is the main idea behind inventing. When we invent something, we’re seeking to meet a need or solve a problem. And this requires logical thinking. So logic puzzles and games are another way to encourage kids to be problem solvers. If you do an online search for logic games for kids, you’ll find all kinds of really fun games. They are meant to be played by one person, and there are so many varieties. There are various themes to interest anyone, like castle building, traffic jams, fairy tails, laser beams, and even chocolates. You may even find that you play your kids’ logic games because they are so fun, and they force you to think a little harder than usual.
Not all children have specific inventions in their minds, but for those who do, see what you can do to help them accomplish this dream of theirs. And remember, inventions do not have to be complex. Any creation is a sort of invention, so encourage your kids to imagine and to create.
Learn about Inventors
Books are a great way to inspire your kids in their inventing efforts. The “Who Was…?” series tells the stories of many inventors. These books are simple enough for early elementary kids to read, and they can be used for read-alouds too. Your library probably has picture books about some adventures, and these would be fun for your kids to enjoy. It’s fun to learn about the inventors who made the things that we use today.
As you’re learning about inventors and inventing, you can learn the signs for smart, student, learn, and why. And to inspire your kids to keep learning and discovering, check out Rachel & the TreeSchoolers. You can see the first episode for free right here. With a digital subscription to My Signing Time, you can access the entire series and many other shows too. Try it out with a 14-day free trial right here!