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Friday, August 31, 2012

Bridgewater Library Youth Services Newsletter – Last Week to Post Summer Reading Club Times. Labor Day Closing Reminder. Special Programs including a NASA Engineer, a Stuffed Animal Sleepover, and a Children’s Book Festival.



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Reminder: The library will be CLOSED on Monday September 3rd in observance of Labor Day.  As we are scheduled for soggy weather that day and much of the week (the remains of Isaac), families may want to stop by the library Saturday for some good reading material or DVDs!  Our Sunday hours resume on September 9th – we’ll be open 1-5.




If your child will be starting school this September, check out our “Starting School” book display at the library and these titles from The Children’s Book Review. Buying "Back to School” Supplies for your children? Consider helping out another child at the same time. Here’s how.


SPECIAL EVENT: Meet a NASA Engineer at Mary Jacobs Library!
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Programs @ the Bridgewater Library:

clip_image009_thumb4_thumb1_thumb_th[2]Time is growing short to record  minutes --  Last day to record minutes is Sept. 8th.





September Programs:
decorative image Sing-a-Long: School Daze (For Children of All Ages) Wed. Sept 5th 10 a.m. No registration required. Bid farewell to summer and hello to a new school year with these timely tunes.

Stuffed Animal Sleepover (Ages 3-8) Thursday, September 6th from 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Registration begins August 23. Wear your pajamas and bring your stuffed animal or doll (not the one you need to sleep with!) to the library for a bedtime story during Thursday night’s PAJAMA STORYTIME on Sept. 6th at 7 pm. Leave your stuffed animals overnight for a fun filled slumber party. Pick your stuffed animals up Friday morning and receive a special souvenir of their library sleepover! Remember, this is a sleepover for your stuffed animals ONLY!

After-School Adventure: 'The Paper Bag Princess' (Ages 5-10) Monday, September 10th from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Registration begins August 27. Join us for this untraditional fairy tale, 'The Paper Bag Princess,' and then make a paper bag gown (or knight’s tabard) to take home.




 

clip_image014_thumb_thumb_thumb_thum[1]Our school year storytime schedule resumes on Tuesday, September 11th. Family Storytimes (ages 2-6) are held Tuesdays at 10 and 1:30, Toddler Times (ages 18-36 months) Wednesdays at 10 & 11 and Thursdays at 10:30 & 11:30, Baby Times (Birth-18 months) Thursdays at 9:30. No registration is required but we ask that you only attend one session each week. Full details are posted our September Calendar or you can call us at 908 526-4016 x126. We also offer a satellite storytime/craft on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. at the Neshanic Station Library.
Looking for an Evening Storytime? Somerville Public Library has one Tuesday September 11, 2012 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Program space is limited. Registration required.


Kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month with Jesse Rivera Saturday September 15, 2012  10:00 AM to 2:00 PM  (For all ages)No registration required.  September is Spanish Heritage Month, and what better way to celebrate than with Jesse Rivera! Join us for a unique Hispanic Heritage Celebration with live music from award-winning musician Jesse Rivera as he plays captivating songs from different Latin countries on his Spanish Nylon Guitar. Throughout the show, Mr. Rivera will be sharing information about Hispanic heritage, as well as Hispanic-Americans’ contributions to the United States through music, art, movies, sports, food, and more.  Audience participation is encouraged, as Mr. Rivera will dedicate certain portions of the program to sing-alongs of some of his favorite songs.


Drop-In Game Day (All ages) Monday, September 17th All Day Registration is not required, just come on in!  Sure, you have the day off from school, but do you really want to be sitting in your room twiddling your thumbs? Of course not!  That's why you should join us for 'Board Game Day!'  We'll have all of your favorite board games available so that you and your friends can have fun all day long.  There'll be Scrabble, Chutes and Ladders, Connect Four, and plenty more!


Tail Waggin' Tutors: Children Reading to Dogs (For Children of All Ages) Wednesday, September 19th  4-5pm  Telephone or In-Person Registration Only -- on a first-come, first-serve basis starting Sept.5th.  Call the library at 908 526-4016 x126 for more information. Did you know that dogs like listening to stories as much as kids do?Come to the Bridgewater Library for Tail Waggin’ Tutors, our new program where children will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills by reading a story to Xena the Therapy Dog, a friendly, six-year-old chocolate labradoodle. Each child will have 10 minutes to read a favorite story to his or her new, canine friend.  Therapy Dogs International (TDI®) is a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registration of therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.For more information, please visit www.tdi-dog.org.

Lego Club (Grades K-6) Saturday, September 22nd
from 10:30 am - 11:30 am  Registration begins September 7.
Hey LEGO fans, here's a club just for you!  Get together with other LEGO-maniacs, share ideas and tips on building, and have a great time!  Library LEGOS will be available for building, so you do not need to bring your own.


There are ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS at other system libraries for children & teens…find their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page.
If you register for a program and realize that you won’t be able to come, please call (908 526-4016x126) or email us (bwljuv@sclibnj.org) as early as possible so we can make someone on the waitlist very happy. Next time that waitlisted participant might be your child!

@ Bridgewater Library for Teens:


The last day to record time for the Teen Summer Reading Program is Sept. 8th.



5th & 6th Grade Volunteers Wednesday, September 5th from 7-8pm Registration required. ATTENTION STUDENTS IN GRADES 5 AND 6: Here is your chance to make a difference by volunteering at the library! You can help the library with special projects cluding creating bookmarks for young children, organizing and tidying up the Children’s Room, and much more!

End of Summer/Teen Volunteer Party! (Grades 6-12) (For students entering grades 6-12) Friday, September 7
From 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Registration required.
Come celebrate the end of summer! Ice cream sundaes will be served and our teen volunteers will be honored for all their hard work over the summer. We’ll also be raffling off special prizes!


TAB (Teen Advisory Board) Meeting (Grades 6-8) Tuesday, Sept 18th from 5:30-6:30pm TAB Meeting (Grades 9-12) (For students entering grades 9-12) from 6:30-7:30pm. Registration required. Do you want to make a difference at your library? Do you have suggestions for programs, new books, movies, or video games? Then come to one of our upcoming T.A.B. meetings! Community service hours will be awarded for attendance and snacks will be served.


clip_image031_thumb_thumb_thumb1_thu[1]Open Mic Cafe Night (Ages 13+) Thursday, Sept 20th From 7:00pm – 8:30pm  Registration Required to perform begins Sept. 6th. Think you’ve got what it takes to get up on stage in front of your peers with nothing but your voice and guitar? Want to share your poetry, comedy, or original music? Then this is your night! Join us for this one of a kind experience, and help local musicians and writers get their voices heard. Depending on registration, artists will receive 10-15 minute slots to play music or recite poetry. Sign ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check back for more registration information. **You only need to register if you are interested in performing.**


Accepted: Getting Into Your First Choice School (Grades 9-12) (For students in grades 9-12 and parent(s)/guardian(s)) Wednesday, September 26th From 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm    Registration begins September 5.
This one-hour seminar presented by Kaplan is designed to show students and parents what college admissions officers expect from applicants’ high school experiences. Topics covered include a variety of admissions policies and the key factors used by admissions officers when making admissions decisions.
This program is open to students in grades 9-12 and their parent(s)/guardian(s).  All who plan on attending must register.
Want more info? check out our September teen calendar here.

Around the Community:

UKRAINIAN DANCERS/SINGERS COME TO BROOK ARTS CENTER IN BOUND BROOK
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Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia will host the Zoriany Ukrainian Song and Dance Ensemble of Kirovograd, Ukraine. For tickets or more information, visit www.brookarts.org.
WHEN: Friday, September 7, 8 PM
WHERE:
The Brook Arts Center, 10 Hamilton Street, Bound Brook
TICKETS: $25 Adult in advance; $20 Students (with ID) & Senior Citizens;
$35 At the Door, Day of Show
 

74 awesome authors and illustrators all in one place. Author/Illustrator List, seating and presentation schedules HERE!
DICKENS’ CLASSIC COMES TO LIFE ON SVP STAGE
Oliver Logo
Music, Lyrics & Book by Lional Bart
Based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist
Directed by Lance Hilfman

Sponsored by Petrock’s Bar & Grille and RAM Law—Rebenack, Aronow, Mascolo, LLP
WHEN: September 7-23, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays 8 PM; Sundays 2:00 PM
WHERE: Somerset Valley Players, 689 Amwell Road, Hillsborough
  
Just a few miles west of Route 206.
TICKETS: $18 adults, $16 seniors & students; Thursday performance tickets are $15 for all seats
For tickets please visit
www.svptheatre.org or call 908.369.7469.
"Yes, we are the little red schoolhouse!"
Wheelchair Accessible and Air Conditioned

The musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale follows Oliver Twist and a rag-tag gang of pick-pocket urchins along a hair-raising journey through the high class opulence and low-life poverty of 18th century British life, as Oliver learns lessons of love, trust, and integrity while joined by an oddball assortment of vagabond characters.
CELEBRATE THE ANNUAL MONARCH FESTIVAL
MEET A MONARCH FESTIVAL
WHEN: Saturday September 8, from 12 Noon to 4 PM
WHERE:
Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area in Montville Township
ADMISSION: $4 per adult, $3 per child ages 2 - 10, FREE for children under 2.

Join the fun at this popular annual event,Meet a Monarch Festival, during the monarch butterfly’s peak migration time in New Jersey. Take a guided “Bug Safari” adventure through the butterfly garden searching for hidden critters among the colorful blooms.
Meet live monarchs from eggs to adults, and experience the monarch butterfly’s metamorphosis firsthand. Prior to the release, the monarchs are tagged in order for scientists to track their migration. Then witness the amazing release of live monarch butterflies as they begin their migration to Mexico.
Enjoy live music and storytelling, as well as crafts, including butterfly origami with professional instructors! There will also be native plants that attract butterflies and NJ butterfly guides for sale.
 

All That Jazz! Sunday Sept. 9th 1-6 p.m. on the Somerville Courthouse Green

Are you looking to take in some world-class jazz without breaking the bank? The Somerville Jazz Festival is for you!
The all-star lineup includes jazz greats Will Calhoun, Christian Sands, Antoinette Montague and Nat Adderly, Jr. plus many more!
The Somerville Jazz Festival is a FREE event designed to enjoy with a date, a friend or the entire family! Stroll the downtown to take in some tunes, enjoy a meal, beer or glass of wine al fresco, peruse art by more than 30 local artists and artisans, and get the perfect find at one of many unique boutiques.
Be sure to check out the
Festival website for all the details, transportation information and the full event lineup!




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Leapin' Lipizzans!

Come one, come all...to see the World famous Royal Lipizzan Stallions of Austria!  Hermann’s Original Lippizan Stallions return to Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge September 14-16. These unique equines will perform “Airs Above the Ground”, a spectacular display originally inspired to put fear into enemy foot soldiers.

Founded in the 16th century for the exclusive use of the Hapsburg Royal family of Austria, the Royal Lipizzans are unquestionably the rarest, most aristocratic breed of horses in the world. Only a few hundred have ever existed at any one time.
Equally rare is this performance, the only one like it to take place in the tri-state area this year! Don't miss this unique opportunity to see a carefully preserved equestrian line and dressage style...plan your visit today!
Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.flss.org/for $20 or at the door for $25. Children under 5 are FREE, and seating is limited. All Proceeds benefit the Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable. For more information, visit the Somerset County Park Commission website.
 

Autumn By Horseback

There's nothing like taking in the beautiful fall foliage of the Somerset County countryside...but have you tried it on horseback?
Somerset County is known for its equestrian past, with hundreds of acres devoted to horse farms and it being the home of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation and Headquarters.
If you're looking for just a taste of the horseback life, we recommend you check out Lord Stirling Stable's Fall Nature Ride. This leisurely hour-long ride along picturesque trails takes place September 23 at 7am. No experience is needed and pricing ranges from $30 for members to $35 for non-members. Pre-registration is required; please visit the Friends of Lord Stirling Stable website for more information and forms.
Want to plan a special group riding or hayride event? Savor some of the 18 miles of beautiful equestrian-use trails from the back of a horse or from our tractor-pulled hay wagon. Group rides for adults and youth include a mini lesson with a certified instructor who will then guide your one-hour trail ride. Guided rides are available on Sundays and weekday afternoons. Tractor-pulled hayrides are an excellent option for those who would love a trail experience but aren't quite ready to mount a horse or for large groups.
If you're ready to take horseback riding by the reigns, fall lessons are your best bet. English style riding lessons are offered from beginner through advanced levels for juniors and adults. Trail, jumping, and various specialized flat (non-jumping) classes are also available. Sixty minute lessons are offered once a week for 10 consecutive weeks. Adults also have the option of a five week session. Students may register online or in person at the Stable office.
By horse or by wagon, the trails of Lord Stirling Stable are definitely worth a visit. Call (908) 766-5955 today to for pricing, availability and reservations!
Looking for other things to do in our area?   Visit or subscribe to http://www.visitsomersetnj.org/media/e-newsletter  (also listed in the “useful websites” section on the right side of this blog under “Events – Visit Somerset County” …if you are getting this in an email, click on the title at the top to see these links.)


Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking:

TIME TIME.com Healthland
Family Matters
PARENTING  Lance Armstrong: How to Talk to Your Kids About Cheating
Why would someone celebrated as a hero break the rules? Lance Armstrong's decision to stop fighting anti-doping charges prompts parents to parse right and wrong  … Read more














Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer is Drawing to a Close…But There is Still Time to Explore Our Area Before the Kids Return to the Classroom

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Check out our Museum Passes and Look at the Events Listings in the “Useful Websites Section” of this blog. (If you are getting this as an email, click on this headline to see them.)





If your child will be starting school this September, check out our “Starting School” book display at the library and these titles from The Children’s Book Review. 



Buying "Back to School” Supplies for your children? Consider helping out another child at the same time. Here’s how.



Before you buy that anti-bacterial soap for your child’s classroom…take a look at this worrisome study ….reported in TIME Magazine last week.

Gerard Brown / Getty ImagesFreaky Clean: Chemical in Antibacterial Soap Weakens Muscle Function A new study questions the safety of triclosan, a common chemical in antibacterial products like soap, toothpaste and mouthwash was found to impair muscle function in lab and animal tests.

According to a recent Smithsonian article:
Studies have shown that the chemical can disrupt the endocrine systems of several different animals, binding to receptor sites in the body, which prevents the thyroid hormone from functioning normally. Additionally, triclosan penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream more easily than previously thought, and has turned up everywhere from aquatic environments to human breast milk in troubling quantities. Read more...
(MORE: Can Overuse of Antibacterial Soap Promote Allergies in Kids?)

House-cleaning? Want to make more room? The Friends of the Library are accepting book & media donations for their fall sale 9:30-8:30 Thursday August 23rd, 9:30-4:30 Friday & Saturday Aug. 24th&25th and 9:30-noon Monday August 27th.




 
Programs @ the Bridgewater Library

clip_image009_thumb4_thumb1_thumb_th[2]_thumbThough we have no more summer programs & activities, there’s still time to register and record minutes in our summer reading clubs. The clubs are open to preschoolers as well as school-aged children. Come by the desk to learn all about them! Last day to record minutes is Sept. 8th.


September Programs:
decorative image Sing-a-Long: School Daze (For Children of All Ages) Wed. Sept 5th 10 a.m. No registration required. Bid farewell to summer and hello to a new school year with these timely tunes.


Stuffed Animal Sleepover (Ages 3-8) Thursday, September 6th from 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Registration begins August 23. Wear your pajamas and bring your stuffed animal or doll (not the one you need to sleep with!) to the library for a bedtime story during Thursday night’s PAJAMA STORYTIME on Sept. 6th  at 7 pm. Leave your stuffed animals overnight for a fun filled slumber party. Pick your stuffed animals up Friday morning and receive a special souvenir of their library sleepover! Remember, this is a sleepover for your stuffed animals ONLY! 

After-School Adventure: 'The Paper Bag Princess' (Ages 5-10) Monday, September 10th  from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm  Registration begins August 27.  Join us for this untraditional fairy tale, 'The Paper Bag Princess,' and then make a paper bag gown (or knight’s tabard) to take home.



 
clip_image014_thumb_thumb_thumb_thum_thumbOur school year storytime schedule resumes on Tuesday, September 11th.  Family Storytimes (ages 2-6) are held Tuesdays at 10 and 1:30, Toddler Times (ages 18-36 months) Wednesdays at 10 & 11 and Thursdays at 10:30 & 11:30, Baby Times (Birth-18 months) Thursdays at 9:30.  No registration is required but we ask that you only attend one session each week.  Full details are posted our September Calendar or you can call us at 908 526-4016 x126.  We also offer a satellite storytime/craft on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. at the Neshanic Station Library. 
Looking for an Evening Storytime? Somerville Public Library has one Tuesday September 11, 2012 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Program space is limited. Registration required. 

There are ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS at other system libraries for children & teens…find their online calendars under the “events/programs” tab on our home page.
If you register for a program and realize that you won’t be able to come, please call (908 526-4016x126) or email us (bwljuv@sclibnj.org) as early as possible so we can make someone on the waitlist very happy. Next time that waitlisted participant might be your child!


@ Bridgewater Library for Teens:


The Teen Summer Reading Program continues through Sept. 8th. Stop by anytime this summer to register or record your time.




Talk It Up: 'Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life' by James Patterson (For students entering grades 5-8) Wednesday, August 22nd From 7-8 pm Registration begins August 8th. When Rafe Khatchadorian enters middle school, he teams up with his best friend, 'Leo the Silent,' to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the school's code of conduct.



clip_image031_thumb_thumb_thumb1_thu[2]_thumb[1]Open Mic Cafe Night (Ages 13+) Thursday, Aug. 30th From 7:00pm – 8:30pm Registration Required to perform. Think you’ve got what it takes to get up on stage in front of your peers with nothing but your voice and guitar? Want to share your poetry, comedy, or original music? Then this is your night! Join us for this one of a kind experience, and help local musicians and writers get their voices heard. Depending on registration, artists will receive 10-15 minute slots to play music or recite poetry. Sign ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please check back for more registration information. **You only need to register if you are interested in performing.**


5th & 6th Grade Volunteers  Wednesday, September 5th from 7-8pm Registration requiredATTENTION STUDENTS IN GRADES 5 AND 6: Here is your chance to make a difference by volunteering at the library! You can help the library with special projects including creating bookmarks for young children, organizing and tidying up the Children’s Room, and much more!

End of Summer/Teen Volunteer Party! (Grades 6-12) (For students entering grades 6-12) Friday, September 7
From 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Registration required. 
Come celebrate the end of summer! Ice cream sundaes will be served and our teen volunteers will be honored for all their hard work over the summer.  We’ll also be raffling off special prizes!


Looking Ahead?  check out our September teen calendar here.

Around the Community:

Last Chance to see the RVCC Planetarium Summer ShowsAll shows run approximately 40 minutes. Admission: $7 for one show, $12 for two shows on the same day. Call 908-231-8805 for reservations!

Solar System Odyssey Tuesdays through August 28 2:00 p.m.Go on a futuristic journey through our Solar System. With Earth's resources being rapidly depleted, a tycoon sends our hero, Jack Larson, on a mission to discover a new home to colonize. This character-driven show is perfect for middle school students! (recommended for ages 8-12)



Attack of the Space Pirates Poster Attack of the Space Pirates Tuesdays through August 28 3:00 p.m.Hidden somewhere in the vast reaches of space is an alien technology so powerful that it threatens the very galaxy itself. A gang of rogue pirates will stop at nothing to find that technology and unleash its awesome power against the rest of the universe. Now, only one valiant ship stands between the pirates and their total domination of space. It’s a race against time for the Starship Intrepid as it seeks to find the alien technology first while defending itself against the attack of the space pirates! (recommended for ages 8-12)


Magic Tree House Space Mission PosterMagic Tree House: Space Mission
Wednesdays, July 11 - August 29 2:00 p.m.
And Fridays, July 6 - August 24 7:00 p.m.What would you do if you found a note with lots of question on it? "How many stars in the starry night sky? If we flew to the Sun, how long would we fly? Will we travel to planets and will it be soon? Will we ever be able to live on the Moon? How does it feel to journey through space? Why is our Earth so special a place?" From the authors of the best-selling novel series, join Jack and Annie as they discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel, and more. Who can help them answer the mysterious "M's" questions? (recommended for ages 5 and older)

Laser Kids Wednesdays, July 11 - August 29
3:00 p.m.
Our popular show has gotten a new song list. Songs include "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," "Supercalifragilisticsexpialidocious," and "Yellow Submarine," to name just a few. (recommended for ages 5 and older)


Space Shapes & Tycho to the Moon
Thursdays, July 5 – August 23 2:00 p.m.

Exploring shapes in space: are the Moon and its orbit "round" like a ball or a pancake? Play connect-the-dots with the stars to find triangles and squares and constellations. Meet Tycho, a dog who doesn't just howl at the Moon, but wants to go there. Blast off on an amazing ride. Learn about night and day, space travel, the phases of the Moon, and features of the lunar surface. Watch meteors shoot across the sky and see the Earth from space. (recommended for ages 5-10 accompanied by an adult)

Moon Rock RockSkyLights Thursdays, July 5 – August 23
3:00 p.m.
Our youngest audience members can sing along with songs by Mr. RAY (Family Ride, Kalien the Alien) and Jane Murphy (Moon Rock Rock, The Planet Song). Some songs are illustrated with lasers and other songs feature video images. (recommended for ages 5-10)


FREE Summer Movies in Somerville. Bring a chair, or a blanket, bring your friends and kids, pack a snack for movie time, and head down to Division Street (now a plaza, not a street). Questions? Call 908.541.1600 or email dsa@findsomerville.com.

BACK TO THE FUTURE Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m. Rated PG
1980s teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is transported back in time to 1955 where he accidentally changes the course of history through a series of comic misadventures and finds he must return things to the way they were, back to the future.

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL Aug 29, 8:30 p.m.Rated PG
A being from outer space is accidentally stranded on Earth. In his search for refuge, E.T. wanders into a backyard where he is discovered by ten-year-old Elliott. Elliott assumes responsibility for E.T.'s safety while searching, in a race against time, for a way to reunite E.T. with his own kind in this heartwarming story of friendship and discovery.

Looking for Music in the Parks this summer? Check out the “Events – Summer Concerts” listings in the “Useful Websites” section on the right side of this newsletter. (If you are getting this as an email, click on the headline to open it up in the bookcase format and these will appear.)
 
Let Your Fingers Do MORE walking:

girl wirh idea lightbulb over head shutterstock_83194927From Wonderopolis.org

Wonder of the Day #673: Can Kids Be Inventors, Too?

We hope today’s Wonder of the Day gives you a few ideas and encourages you to pursue your dreams!



Have you ever wondered…
  • Can kids be inventors, too?
  • How do things get invented?
  • What famous things have been invented by kids?
Did you know?

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.
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.

Look for MORE WONDERS at Wonderopolis.org.

 
Want to encourage more creative & inventive play in your children? …check out this article: The Best TV for Grade-Schoolers, and Other TV Tips