October 12, 2017 4:36 pm

Is your child always coming to you with an idea? Do you save cardboard boxes and paper towel tubes so your child can bring their ideas to life? Is your child always asking you how things work? Sounds like you might have a young inventor on your hands! Children’s minds are very active and imaginative, so it makes sense that they might have a natural knack for creating things. Here are some ways you can encourage your young inventor to pursue their passion.

Do at-home science experiments

What kid doesn’t love trying out a fun and messy science experiment in the kitchen? Not only can you make awesome memories, but you can also help encourage your children to be curious, inventive, and creative. There are plenty of ideas online for DIY science experiments, or you could ask your child if they have any ideas based off what they have learned in their school classroom. Make sure you understand how and why the experiment works and ask your child some follow-up questions to keep the fun focused on education, too.

Have your child research a famous invention or inventor

Products are often remembered for being innovative, but sometimes they have a cool story behind them, which is often forgotten. By having your child research a famous invention or inventor, they can learn about the invention process and the hard work it takes to create something. An inventor’s story can show them that it’s okay to struggle and fail as long as you get up and try again. You might learn something new, too!

Encourage your kids to ask “why?” and “how?”

Inventors are naturally curious. They want to explore the world around them and learn more about how things work. Children are no exception. Even though having to answer “why?” or “how?” may be annoying at times, you’re teaching your child to be engaged with the world and to learn from their new experiences. If you don’t know the answer right away, that’s okay. Research your child’s questions with them and help expand their world.

Take a field trip

There’s no better way to learn than by experiencing something first hand. Take a field trip; the possibilities are endless. Science centers, makerspaces, factories that have tours open to the public, colleges with 3D printers, and libraries that host events are all awesome options. Many places like this have special STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) events, so your child can meet other like-minded young inventors, too. If your child is a Boy or Girl Scout or a member of a similar club, encourage their leaders to take them on an innovation-themed field trip like this.

Send them to camp

Invention and STEM-related camps are becoming more popular. Whether your child prefers a day camp or a sleepaway camp, there are many options to fit your budget and lifestyle. In this immersive experience, your child will soak up new knowledge like a sponge, meet new friends, make memories, and become more passionate about their ideas and curiosity.

Enter competitions

If your child has made their idea into a prototype or model, you should encourage them to enter a science fair, either held by their school or by another local organization. Getting feedback on their project can help them improve their current ideas and think of new ones. They can also learn and get inspiration from their peers.

Children are enthusiastic, imaginative, hardworking, and creative – characteristics that all good inventors share. If your child is a budding innovator, encourage their ideas and thought processes and help them explore their interests with hands-on activities.

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