Now I have two daughters of my own, I am very aware of my need to support and facilitate their passions, especially as they seem to have limitless penchant for creativity and mind expansion. I love that they see no boundaries to what they wish to create. I often have to remind well meaning family members to resist from saying things like' well that won't work'.
My 7 year old and I were having a discussion about my mother-in-laws puppies, who also share a house with 6 cats that can't go outside unless using their cattery. She was thinking of a way to help her grandmother to have more time to herself and not have to keep getting up to let the puppies out in the garden. My daughter decided to draw and plan an idea of a 'dog flap' that opens when the puppies stand on a rectangular plate. She went into great detail of how the flap would open, even suggesting heat from the puppies paws would activate opening the flap. Obviously, I am very proud and humbled by my daughters thought process and intelligence, but it does highlight that if a child is left to spend as much time as they like on something that motivates them, they will surprise themselves ( and other people) of their capabilities. My daughter spent hours on an elaborate drawing depicting different options for this invention. Now my husband wants to work with her to try and create this 'dog flap'.
So to all your budding engineers out there, here are a few ideas that I found from this blog. There are some really cool ideas to share with your children, that will inspire them to think about science and engineering.