When people hear the word “inventor” they normally think of an adult, not a kid. Well, I am here to tell you that the definition of inventor is “one who devises some new process, appliance, machine, or article,” and that has nothing to do with age. I was eight years old when I first started getting ideas about how to change existing toys, and ten when I had my first invention.
The inspiration for my invention came out of personal necessity. When I was younger, one of my favorite games was “Miss Mary Mack,” the hand clapping game, but there wasn’t always someone to play with. So I invented the Hands On Hand Clap Game. It is an electronic board that players hang on a wall or hold on their laps. A pair of hands lights up when players clap against them in time to the music.
If you enjoy coming up with new ideas and inventions, here are some tips I’d like to pass along to you:
Be creative. Don’t worry if your idea is a little strange or seems too different. Imagine how Ben Franklin felt when he was flying a kite in a thunder storm, with a key attached to it. I bet his neighbors thought he was a little strange! His discovery gave us electricity, which changed the world!
Stay positive. Don’t get frustrated while you’re trying to figure out how your invention will work.
Persevere! Keep working with your idea. Inventing is a process where you will not only find challenges and obstacles, but creativity and fun too!
Always stay true to yourself. Don’t allow others try to change or influence your concept or idea so much that it is not what you imagined. Focus on your idea, and the rest will follow.
Get a journal and keep it with you! Always write down your ideas and inventions. Keep it by your bedside. Some people have dreams of their inventions! Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919) is in the Guinness Book of Records as the first female American self-made millionaire. She had a dream that gave her details on how to invent hair care products!
Enter contests. My first contest was in fifth grade. It was a class assignment to invent something new. I submitted the Hands On Hand Clap Game. The inventions were judged by the lower classes and I won! Winning gave me the confidence to enter the BKFK Invent-A-Toy World Games Contest! This contest not only helped me become a better inventor, but because of the experience it gave me, it helped me develop my creativity, self-esteem and confidence as a person and inventor.
Lastly, have fun! Enjoy the process and keep inventing! You may be the next Ben Franklin!
– Ana Lingenfelder, Kid Inventor
At the age of 10, Ana thought up the Hands On Hand Clap Game – an electronic clapping game. Ana came up with a mobile board with a screen showing a pair of hands. Hands On Hand Clap Game allows a single person to play by following along with glowing lights on the hands. The player is free to choose the difficulty level of the game, as well as select which rhyme they want to clap along to. Ana even wanted the user to be able to input their own rhymes by teaching new hand clap patterns to the game. Ana’s game won her first place in the By Kids For Kids Xerox 2005-06 Invent-A-Toy World Games.