Summer is a great time to ignite the inventive spark in kids. It is a great time to try new things, learn new things through exploration, and use creativity and imagination. There are many ways to inspire children to be inventive and it is something that should be done year round. To me it starts with letting them explore, with supporting their ideas that may seem silly or crazy or impossible. Then to build on that, adding in some materials that they can learn from and with. Since I am a Camp Invention Ambassador, my kids had the opportunity to attend Camp Invention this summer and it was an amazing opportunity for them to reach beyond their normal limits and dream big! This post is sponsored by Camp Invention but all opinions expressed are my own.
How Camp Invention Ignites The Inventive Spark In Kids
Camp Invention is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and I can see why it has been so successful. As a day camp that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) it also allows children to use creative thinking and innovation and it recognizes inventiveness as a driving force for the future. The 2015 curriculum was created with the help of innovation giants, including National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Inductees, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) representatives and high-profile educators.
Camp Invention offers children the chance to learn and to dream and to make plans for turning dreams to reality. Wow. Those are some big life lessons, huh? Yup, I am pretty proud that my kids were able to attend Camp Invention. It is a week long day camp with very affordable prices and it is offered nationwide so it very accessible. Check campinvention.org to find camp locations and dates near you. If you missed the camp, you can begin to use some of the principles I will talk about her to support your child’s inventive spirt until they get to the camp the following year.
At this year’s Camp Invention, children explore their inventiveness through an introduction to famous inventors, investigation of circuits, and the opportunity to take apart appliances and use parts to create a video game MazeWorld. Children are challenged to design an invention and create a prototype. They get to participate a hydro challenges and earn points to use to “purchase” face kart parts and work in groups to design a freestyle race kart that can withstand water and navigate the ultimate wet terrain obstacle course.
My kids loved these opportunities to be inventive and creative. I loved seeing the things they dreamed up and built. Not only were they learning, imagining, and building, they were even getting some exercise!
One thing that I didn’t even realize would be so great about Camp Invention was the opportunity for the kids to work in groups. I think my kids learned a lot about group dynamics, how work together with all sorts of different personalities, and how to brainstorm and create together. The kids also had the opportunity on the last day of camp to present their projects and learning during the Showcase and it was great for them to get that chance to build their public speaking skills.
Camp Innovation even provides tips for parents to keep their kids engaged after Camp Invention through “Innovation Echo”- a take home project. The winning idea will be awarded a spot in the 2016 Innovation Echo showcase next May in Washington, D.C.!
I highly recommend Camp Invention to parents. I also recommend fostering a love of learning and an appreciation for creativity and inventive spirit all year long. This focus establishes self-esteem, persistence, communication and goal-setting skills that will help your child throughout life. Take trips to your local museums, ask your child questions to make them think about how things work and welcome their questions. Help them take things apart and put things together to figure out how they work.
Have your children attended Camp Invention? If so, feel free to share your experiences. How else do you encourage your child to be inventive? What are your tips to inspire innovation and creativity?