Happy New Year! I hope that you enjoyed a not-too-chaotic festive season and are managing to maintain any New Year’s resolutions you might have made. Much to the horror of my kids, my first resolution is to declutter. This is particularly appropriate given the quantity of junk we’ve accumulated over the holidays. Thomas Edison said that “to invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” Imagination and junk are two things that many families with young kids have in abundance. So this week, I’ve collated some of my favourite activities for young inventors.
You might help the kids create their own playdough machine, deconstruct old household items, make a string telephone or craft some Willy Wonka-inspired sweets.
As a self-confessed tinker, I have tried each and every one of these activities with my kids over the years. They love them without exception. I hope yours do too. Why not put that junk to good use and inspire some new inventions whilst decluttering too?
Playdough Machine Making
You’ll need: play dough, (and some of the following) old cables, buttons, bottle tops, jam jar lids, string, pipe cleaners, cardboard tubes.
The Imagination Tree
Willy Wonka’s Inventing Room
You’ll need: pipe cleaners in different colors, scissors, straw, glue gun, ribbon, pencil.
Makes and Takes
The Inventor’s Box
You’ll need: old torch, keyboard, calculator, screwdrivers (other small tools or old electronics optional).
Stephanie Morgan on eHow
You’ll need: polystyrene or plastic cups, string, sharp pencil.