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3 products dreamed up by creative kid inventorsTUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015 10:42 AM

Kids are extremely inventive and parents should help foster that creativity. Inspiration for a new invention can strike a person at any time and at any age. Children are wonderful innovators, and while some of their ideas may seem kind of crazy at times, parents should still encourage kids to explore their imaginations. What a lot of people don't realize is that several popular products still used today were actually invented by kids.

1. Trampoline
A lot of families have trampolines or have friends who own them, but most people don't know who invented this fun device. It turns out that at age 16 in 1930, a boy named George Nissen came up with the idea for the trampoline, according to The New York Times. Nissen had seen trapeze artists drop into a net after their routines and thought it would be more fun to keep them bouncing up and down in the net. 

His first prototype was made out of canvas sheet stretched over a metal frame, which he called a "bouncing rig." He later improved upon the design in college with his gymnastics coach, and, after hearing the Spanish word for diving board (el trampolin), registered the trademark name Trampoline for his invention. His product eventually gained such popularity that in 2000 it was even added to the Olympic Games.

2. Popsicles
Another favorite among families, these frozen treats were invented in 1905 by an 11-year-old named Frank Epperson, Inventive Kids said. Epperson had made himself a cup of powdered soda, using a stirring stick to mix it, when he went outside. Forgetting his drink on the porch, he went back inside for the night, and the next morning he found his drink frozen but with a convenient handle attached. Originally named an Epsicle, Epperson gained a patent for his new treat and later sold the rights to a large company. Today, Popsicles can be found in all sorts of flavors and sizes for kids to enjoy.

3. Earmuffs
When it's freezing outside, it's nice to be able to bundle up and keep warm. Chester Greenwood, the inventor of earmuffs, would agree. In the 1870s, when Greenwood was 15 years old, he would go ice skating, but was often frustrated by how cold his ears would get, Great Business Schools said. Deciding to fix this problem, Greenwood took a two-loop wire he made and asked his grandma to sew fur onto the ends, creating the first pair of earmuffs. 

These inventions are all fairly well-known, but kids are still creating new devices every day. Luckily, these kids were smart enough to recognize a good idea, and they probably would have scored pretty high had they taken an IQ quiz. Their brilliance came through in their inventions, though, instead. Parents today should encourage their kids to pursue their own inventions. Who knows? Maybe their inventions will become as big as the Trampoline and Popsicle.


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