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You can read our full disclaimer here.

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To prepare your kids for the Young Inventor Challenge and the Young Inventors Series we will be posting over the next few weeks, we recommend exploring the various inventions around them and introducing them to the inventors that dreamed them up!

The more they know about inventions, the more likely they will be to begin thinking outside the box and get into that inventors mindset.

And what better way to do that than to read! Add these into your story times in the classroom or to your bed time story line up and watch their imaginations take flight!

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Pick up the one about The Wright Brothers

“As young boys, Orville and Wilbur Wright loved all things mechanical. As young men, they gained invaluable skills essential for their success by working with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and any sort of machinery they could get their hands on. As adults, the brothers worked together to invent, build, and fly the world’s first successful airplane. This is the fascinating story of the two inventors and aviation pioneers who never lost sight of their dream: to fly, and to soar higher!”

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Or  learn a little about Milton Bradley, which would be perfect if your kids want to invent a game!

“Born in Maine in 1836, Milton Bradley moved with his family to the working-class city of Lowell, Massachusetts, at age 11. His early life consisted of several highs and lows, from graduating high school and attending Harvard to getting laid off and losing his first wife. These experiences gave Bradley the idea for his first board game: The Checkered Game of Life. He produced and sold Life across the country and it quickly became a national sensation. Working with his company, the Milton Bradley Company, he continued to produce board games, crayons, and kid-friendly school supplies for the rest of his life. He is often credited as the father of board games, and the Milton Bradley Company has created Battleship, Jenga, Yahtzee, Trouble, and many more classic games.”

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Hedy Lamarr and a Secret Communication System

This is a great one for older readers or fans of graphic novels. It tells the true story Hedwig Keisler and how she escaped the Nazis and her husband, before making her way to America and making it big in Hollywood as the actress Hedy Lamarr. With musician George Anthiel, she patents an idea that, while not used at the time, became common in today’s wireless world, from cell phones to guided missiles.

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Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs

This one is great because it delves into the invention of a common object.
“When your ears are cold, you can wear earmuffs, but that wasn’t true for Chester Greenwood back in 1873. Earmuffs didn’t exist yet! But during yet another long and cold Maine winter, Chester decided to do something about his freezing ears, and he designed the first pair of ear protectors (a.k.a. earmuffs) out of wire, beaver fur, and cloth. He received a patent for his design by the time he was nineteen, and within a decade the Chester Greenwood & Company factory was producing and shipping “Champion Ear Protectors” worldwide!

But that was just the beginning of Chester’s career as a successful businessman and prolific inventor.”

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Papa’s Mechanical Fish

“Clink! Clankety-bang! Thump-whirr! That’s the sound of Papa at work. Although he is an inventor, he has never made anything that works perfectly, and that’s because he hasn’t yet found a truly fantastic idea. But when he takes his family fishing on Lake Michigan, his daughter Virena asks, “Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a fish?”―and Papa is off to his workshop. With a lot of persistence and a little bit of help, Papa―who is based on the real-life inventor Lodner Phillips―creates a submarine that can take his family for a trip to the bottom of Lake Michigan.”

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What Do You Do With An Idea?

“This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.”

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

“When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land”

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Do you have a favorite books about inventors or inventions? Let us know in the comments below!

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