Children are naturally curious and often like to create new inventions just for fun. Other times, science fairs and projects mandate that kids create or demonstrate simple projects in science, art or construction. Trying out simple projects at home can stimulate children's curiosity and help them come up with new ideas for their own inventions.
A simple invention for smaller children is making a homemade banjo. Give your child a cardboard shoebox, scissors and a few rubber bands of different widths and thicknesses, and he can easily construct his own musical instrument. Have him cut a circular hole in the centre of the top or bottom of the shoebox. Help him string five or six rubber bands around the box lengthwise. The rubber bands will serve to secure the lid to the box, and when strummed, each band will create a different tone.
Making a water xylophone is a simple and musical invention idea for kids. Give your child a set of five to 10 glasses that are of the exact same, size, shape and thickness. Have her fill each glass with different amounts of water and tap each glass with a spoon to determine the different sounds and pitches that result in each glass. Add or remove water accordingly to create an individual sound for each glass. With some practice, she can play popular songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" or create new songs of her own. For a decorative touch, use different tones of food colouring to each glass to distinguish different tones.
Have kids invent a volcano that really erupts as an exercise in chemical reactions. Take a medium-sized baking dish, and place an empty, plastic soda bottle in the centre. Fill the pan with sand around the bottle to keep it steady and in an upright position. Be sure not to get any sand inside of the soda bottle. Pour baking soda into the bottle until it covers about an inch of the bottom. Have children slowly pour vinegar into the bottle to watch the chemical reaction. A foamy, bubbly solution will rise to the top of the bottle creating the "eruption."