10 Times Kids Were Way, Way Better Designers Than Adults
Anybody who has kids will tell you that they just don’t have any filters. Children will say anything they want, because they don’t have a ton of preconceived notions about what’s right and wrong. Plus, they usually say it with a cute voice, so there’s that. But if you apply this same concept to inventions, you’ll see that they come up with some pretty cool stuff. After all, they don’t know anything about physics or engineering, so they don’t have any restrictions on what they can or can’t do. And the results are pretty inspiring.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some great designs by kids that have either made it into the real world as actual products, or will shortly, that will inspire you to get off your butt and make something cool. Either that, or show it to your own kids, and maybe they’ll do it for you.
Nine-year-old girl Wendy Ridley created this little gem, a scooter designed for the whole family. It connects four scooters together, but keeps the steering arms independently adjustable so people of all sizes can ride comfortably. And what’s even better is that this is an incredibly simple concept, which makes it easy to execute; the rear wheel of the first scooter is connected to the front wheel of the scooter behind it and so on. It’s fun for the whole family.
Ever struggle to get a potato chip out of a can of Pringles? Yeah, us too, and that’s why Georgia Dinsley came up with the Pringles Hook. It’s designed to come with the can from the start, and once you open up the package, you can pull up on the hook to live those tasty chips up like a funky potato elevator. But the best part? It was designed because this was a problem that Georgia had herself, and that’s always the ideal way to come up with a killer product.
Owen Nannarone is working on a new invention that will revolutionize your golf swing, and he’s so serious about it, that he’s put together a patent application for the product. It’s a golf tee that contains a tiny computer, and once you hit the ball, it will relay data back to a device with stats like speed and distance. The best part is that it fills a need; Owen golfs himself (he’s 10), and right now every swing analyzer out there is mammoth and clunky. This would solve that problem, plus it’s fun to do, too. And from what we understand, this isn’t his only invention, and he has a lot more in the hopper.
There are times when you want a little bit of light in the room, but not so much that you’ll blind the neighbor’s cat. What if there were a way to adjust the light coming out of any lamp, including ones without a dimmer? That’s the idea behind the Shady Lamp, which uses a round set of venetian blinds in place of a traditional lamp shade, so that you can open and close them just like a regular set of blinds. Not too shabby, right? It was invented by 11-year-old girl Layla Amir.
Want to know a problem my kids have? Getting toothpaste on the toothbrush. Both of my kids are under 6, and they lack a certain hand strength and dexterity to get the right amount of toothpaste onto the brush, and not too much. 12-year-old boy Henry Hughes created a toothbrush that uses a syringe based in the bottom that, when pressed, pushes the toothpaste through a small canal in the head and out onto the bristles. Now sure, you’d have to get a new toothbrush every time you ran out of toothpaste, but 1., you wouldn’t have any toothpaste waste, and 2., if you’ve ever seen a kid’s toothpaste after a month, you’d know that it was chewed to heck anyway, so replacing it isn’t a bad thing.
This one, designed by Isaac Dawson, age 11, is a little bit machine, a little bit weapon. The gist here is that you put a potato into the contained in the middle, and, using pressurized air, the machine shoots the potato through a fry slicer and into a deep fryer, so that soon thereafter you can have french fries. It’s a pretty fancy way to have a relatively quick snack, but I would fear that the oil would splash out when the potato was shot in. Either way, it’s still a cool idea!
Another problem that my kids have is cooling down their hot food. We tell them to blow on their meal before they put it in their mouth, but inevitably one of the two will put it straight in, burning their tongue in the process. This device, created by six-year-old girl Ameliya Liddle, is essentially a fan in a fork. Turn it on, and it’ll cool down your food, simple as that. If it were available today, I’d buy a few of them right away — anything to save my kids’ mouths, right?
Ever wanted to see what’s behind you? Well the Glasswards, designed by Alex Dickens, age 11, are pretty much that. They give you a way to look behind you by just peering into them like a pair of binoculars or a periscope. Now admittedly, there aren’t a ton of practical uses for this type of thing, but if you’re a kid, who cares? It’s still a ton of fun, right?
So if you want to jump rope, but you’re just interested in the jumping part like inventor Chloe Main, age 6, then the Flipping Rope is your best option. It hovers the rope in the air so that you can jump freely, but it also can do all of the regular things that a jump rope does. Plus, the propellers are battery powered, so you want to be sure to jump before the batteries run out.
This is, by far, my favorite invention on this list, and six-year-old Oliver made it. Ever do something awesome and want to celebrate? Maybe give someone a high-five but there’s nobody around to participate? Then you want the Handy Hi 5. Not only does it give you a high five when it’s needed, but it also says “High five!” as the connection is made. It doesn’t get much better than that, right? High five!