Invent a person

Now in some ways this could follow on from the invent a celebrity post, but it can also be used by itself.

This invention idea for kids is very easy, and doesn’t require you to go out and buy anything (isn’t that great). Now the purpose of this idea is to develop kids’ creativity and imaginative skills. These skills are critical for life, and any tool or device that can aid their development is worthwhile. It also builds sociability and confidence, as the kids (if they are in a group) will have to share their new invention with their peers. It also builds language and conceptual skills. And there’s a free prize at the end (so read on)!

So begin this by telling the kids a story. Stories always help set the context for creativity and get kids in the mood. You are all entering a brightly colored spaceship. It is filled with the most exciting and cool gadgets inside. You meet Captain Jangle, who tells you that you are going on a journey. The journey will take you not to another planet, but to earth in 1000 years’ time. Continue the story by asking all the kids to sit down and get strapped into their magical seats and get ready for takeoff. Explain how the takeoff works, and how the spaceship flies and soars in all directions, and all the magical things that go past the window. Now land back on earth, and ask everyone to get out of the spaceship and go exploring. Explain how this new earth is filled with all different types of people, with different abilities. Some are amazing singers, others fantastic dancers. Everyone in this earth is special and unique.

Now the interactive part – get the kids to invent a person! The task is for them to either get together in groups or individually come up with someone special and unique. They need to figure out how and why this person is so special, what his or her unique talents are. What he or she looks like, where he or she lives, etc. They need to invent as much detail as possible.

The next bit is a bit of ‘show and tell’. Get the kids to share with everyone their new inventions. Perhaps give some sort of incentive or prize to the best invention of a person. Make sure that they are as descriptive as possible.

After everyone has had a chance and you have awarded the prize, you share the real ‘prize’ for the day with the kids. The prize is that everyone in the room, every kid, is special and unique. Everyone has a skill or ability that distinguishes them. Everyone has a talent or a characteristic that other people ought to appreciate. Let the kids think about and internalize that, and you have just planted a seed of confidence and uniqueness in them.

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