Kids are natural inventorswall coaster kid invention.  Famous kid inventions include the trampoline & Popsicles.  Here’s a list from Women’s Day of some other things kids invented.

When we were at Toy Fair last year, we met Jake who invented the Wall Coaster when he was 12.  He spent time in his basement – with his dad’s help – messing around and came up with something like a marble track – but it goes up on the wall!   The young inventor’s idea was simple: how can you make a marble roll down a wall? After weeks of experimenting with different materials and concepts, the Wall Coaster was born.

The Wall Coaster uses plastic track that adheres to the wall with reusable non-stick adhesive.  The track can be set up and moved into any configuration you want.  It’s a great activity to learn about and test scientific concepts such as:

  • Centrifugal force
  • Gravity
  • Friction

There are two kits (Super Starter Set and Extreme Stunt Set) and trick add-ons (Super Loop and Crazy Stairs.)  The sets come with track, non-stick adhesive, marbles (including glow-in-the dark marbles!)  Here’s a video showing how it works.

How can you help your child become an inventor?

Inventors try to solve a problem, fill a need or make something better.  The Young Inventor Challenge, an annual competition of the Chicago Toy Fair, has an amazing Inventor’s Guide that has activities that lead your child through the invention process.  The keys to success:

  • Imagination
  • Brainstorming….which leads to
  • The BIG idea
  • Prototyping & building
  • Testing &
  • Revising, if you need to.


It all starts with imagination.  I really love the questions from the section on “Imagination:”

What do you imagine? Have you ever spent time dreaming about a really cool idea you had? If you could pick only one game or toy to play with, which would it be? What is it about that game or toy that appeals to you so much? Do you make up new rules to the games you already own? Do you make up games to play with cool bits and pieces of stuff you have laying around? Do you play with your toys in new and entirely different ways? Could you make a better game or toy? A large part of invention is seeing old things in new ways. What do you imagine?

This year’s Young Inventor Challenge will be held November 23-24 at the Navy Pier in Chicago.  The deadline to register is November 4th.

Have you or your children ever invented anything?  Please let me know!