Imaginative children will enjoy websites where they can learn about inventions, play games about inventions and even create their own inventions. With hundreds of thousands of websites on the Internet, kids will find hundreds of websites about inventions. However, some of the best invention sites for kids are listed in the Exploratorium's "10 Cool Sites for Educational Excellence."
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Invention at Play explores the relationship between play and invention. This interactive website has four games that kids can play for free. In "Cloud Power," kids can use their imagination by stretching an image of a cloud into a shape that they like and watch as it drifts across the sky in an animation. Kids use their problem-solving skills in "Puzzle Block," as they rotate pieces to complete a puzzle. In "Tinker Ball," kids experiment with different ways to get a ball into a basket by creating a path using different objects. Children create a story using a random set of words from where a previous story left off in "Word Play." The site has an "Inventors Sketchbook," where kids can draw their invention using the mouse, give it a title and description, then send it to friends by e-mail.
Devices of Wonder
Children can learn about different kinds of inventions in the interactive website, Devices of Wonder. Kids click on different items shown on the page's border and the item appears in the centre screen. Depending on the icon chosen, kids will either be able to watch a video or click buttons to see how the device works. At the bottom of the screen, kids will find an "About me" icon that they can click to learn historical information and facts about the device. The "About me" pages are printable.
Kids Design Network
Kids Design Network is an online program by DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville, Ill., that encourages kids to create their own inventions. The inventions are drawn on the computer and are shown to a real engineer. The entire process involves choosing a design challenge, designing a device pertaining to the challenge, creating an account on the website, drawing the design in the online drawing board, then finding a way to build the actual device. Along the way, children can ask engineers for help through the chat board.
In the website, Inventive Kids, children can watch science experiment videos and read about new inventions and inventors in "The Inventive Kids Blog." Kids can take an online poll and vote for their favourite invention and see the results. The site also features nine invention games, including "Historic Inventions Jigsaw Puzzles," the memory card game, "Toy Inventions" and "Name that Invention," where kids guess the invention from a list of clues. Every year, Inventive Kids has an invention contest with a different theme each year.
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