Today is Kid Inventors' Day!
I know, I know. It feels like there's always some crazy made-up holiday on the calendar; but this one was invented (get it?) to celebrate kids who love creating, building, and tinkering, and that's a notion I can get behind.
My brilliant five-year-old dude is always making things. Give the kid a roll of duct tape, a cardboard box, and fifteen minutes, and he'll produce something spectacular. Sometimes it's something practical, other times it's a creation of his very own imagination. Either way, I love to encourage this thoughtful problem solving.
True story: Grant's Kindergarten teacher sets up a wood-workshop table for the kiddos most days. They use hammers and nails and screws and heavy-duty glue to make mystery masterpieces... from scratch. It's pretty impressive. One time he made a pogo-stick! (And, yes, I had to make sure my tetanus shot was up to date when I pricked myself with an exposed nail, but, hey, my inventor was proud of his handywork... and so was I.)
I think it's so important to foster these creative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) skills--so I'm sharing four ways to encourage aspiring inventors to keep on creating.
1. Have a Box of Scraps: You know the cliche: give a kid a new toy and he'll play with the box. There's truth to this statement. A cardboard box is essentially a blank canvas for your child's imagination. But anything can become an integral material in the making of a new invention: toilet paper, paper towel rolls, wrapping paper scraps, spare screws, and all the tape! Keep these items in an inventors' kit for your creator and add some fun store-bought items: googly eye-balls, pipe cleaners, stickers, etc.
2. Play and Problem Solve Together: My son and I made this robot together, and it was, to my surprise (I admit), so much fun! We bounced ideas off of each other, compromised, and problem solved as a team. What more can a mama ask for?
3. Subscribe to a Service: Try ordering a subscription box from a service like KiwiCo for your inventor. They offer engaging and educational projects in a box, that help promote those oh-so important STEAM skills.
4. Encourage School Participation: Talk to your child's teacher and the school administration, at large, about incorporating STEAM programs into the curriculum. My son was a bit disappointed when I signed him for a lunch-recess STEAM club (it meant he had to miss running around the playground with his friends for two whole days). But once they started building a functioning model chair lift together, he was pretty psyched to put his awesome engineering skills to the test.
Happy Inventors' Day to all the aspiring creators! Now, go make something!
This is not a sponsored post.