Foster the Love of Invention in Your Kids with the Young Inventor Challenge Contest!

Laura Richards
Oct 25, 2017 · 3 min read

By Laura Richards

Winners of last years Young Inventor Challenge: Olivia Wasilewski (L) and Brynna Siewers (R)

Attention young inventors! Do you have an idea for a toy or game that you think is just simply awesome, but you have no idea what to do next? Well, you have until November 7, 2017 to apply to the Young Inventor Challenge (YIC)!

This contest is open to kids in the US and across the globe (last year, 20 kids from Mexico were involved) and provides an opportunity for children ages 6 to 18 to showcase their own original toy and game inventions to industry professionals, members of the media, and the general public. Better yet, every applicant will be paired with a game inventor mentor who will provide feedback on their idea. What’s not to love?

The judging is split into two categories, ages 6–11 (junior) and ages 12–18 (senior). For kids who live in the Chicago, IL area they are in luck as the Young Inventor Challenge takes place at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL on Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 9am — 2pm. Sponsored by the best toy companies in the world including Pressman, Lego, Mattel, Target and more. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go in person to apply.

This is the 11th year of the YIC and new this year are online and video entries. Each entrant can submit a 2-minute video pitch about their invention along with their entry. This gives judges time to review the entry before the actual competition day, as well as allowing kids to compete who can’t come to Chicago. More information on the rules/requirements of the video, check out the YIC website linked here.

You can also submit a one-minute commercial and sell them your invention that way. This is different from the video pitch, and is an opportunity for kids to get silly and creative. It can be edited, have music, costumes, and even additional actors (like your best friend, sibling, grandmother or even a pet!) This commercial is about having fun and selling your amazing game or toy to the public.

Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

· Most Marketable Concept

· Most Creative Concept

· Best Educational Concept​

· Best Outdoor or Active Play Game/Toy

· Most Outstanding Presentation

· Best Pitch Video or Commercial

To hear how exciting this whole contest is, the two winners from last year, Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers just had their winning game hit the shelves of Target. It’s called Ship of Treasures.

Olivia and Brynna’s teacher assigned a 4th grade project last fall, to invent a game. The girls paired up and decided upon a pirate scavenger hunt game which eventually turned into their idea for the game Ship of Treasures. Although a fun project, there were challenges. The girls share, “Writing and thinking out the exact directions on how to play the game took the longest amount of time and the most amount of work.”

Once the girls were chosen as the winner of YIC, things got really exciting, they share, “We loved working with the adults at Pressman Games who made our game into a real game. They didn’t make us call them Mr. or Ms. like in school, they treated us like their equals. We looked forward to our weekly meeting with them and they helped us make Ship of Treasures the best game it could be. And we loved working with Mark Thoma at Target, he showed us the coolest stuff and we think he might have the best job ever. His office is filled with toys!” Olivia’s favorite part of the process was winning the contest but Brynna’s favorite was meeting and working with all of the adults. Both girls plan on inventing more and maybe choose this as a career!

So what advice do the girls have for other kids thinking of inventing a game? “Have fun, take risks, work hard and test the game out on family and friends!”

For more information, please visit: http://www.chitag.com/yic

Written by

Bylines at The New York Times, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Boston Globe Magazine and more. Portfolio: www.LauraRichards.co

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