22 answers

Does Anyone Have a Second Grader with an "Invention" Project for School?

Hi all,

My daughter is studying "inventors" in school and has to put together an 'invention' of sorts. This is a second grade project, what do you think we should do? I've considered helping her to make a 'bird feeder' out of a milk jug, but she's not to crazy about the idea. Oh, and she has to hand it in by Mar. 17! Does anyone have any more clever/simple ideas? I'm not a very creative person:).

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Sorry, I haven't been able to keep up with these, you're ALL so supportive - I am so grateful! We stuck with the planter, bird-feeder idea (did I tell you?). Well, Mariah had dreamed that up before I had asked - I thought that would be considered too easy...Mike said, she's only in 2nd grade:)! Well, she already had a Planter (Wooden-w/nails & all) that she made at a Home Depot event for kids some time ago. She used some of her brothers Model-paint to decorate it. It includes a small planter and what she thought up was that it is functional in two different ways. It's either a Starter-Planter or it can be used as a bird-feeder if you put the drain plate in the top of the Planter. It fits very well in this particular planter & is removable so she can transfer it creating a shallow spot for bird seed. Sound good?

Featured Answers

What about inventing a board game or any game? Something she could show the othe students how to play:)

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had to do one of those. She did hers all by herself. It was a chores robot. Her robot would do all the house work for you including tutoring. She made it out of cardboard and tissue paper. Let her think of something she might like to invent. I asked my daughter what she thought she could make that would be useful to people. When I reminded her later she had to do her chores she came up with the idea.

1 mom found this helpful

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My daughter had to do one of those. She did hers all by herself. It was a chores robot. Her robot would do all the house work for you including tutoring. She made it out of cardboard and tissue paper. Let her think of something she might like to invent. I asked my daughter what she thought she could make that would be useful to people. When I reminded her later she had to do her chores she came up with the idea.

1 mom found this helpful

As a fourth grade teacher, I had the students write of and illustrate an invention of theirs. It could be an improvement on an existing invention or something new all of their own. We talked about Edison learning that unless an invention is marketable, there is no reason to invent it.
One of my students loved his mother like crazy! She was disabled in a wheelchair, so he wanted to invent a way for her to keep the shower clean so he would not have to scrub it anymore. The machine hung from the shower head, and had a button and spray nozzle. After showering, you hit the button and listen to the beeps ticking off how many seconds you have to get out of the shower before the cleaner would spray all over the shower. The kid, Derrick, asked me, "If you ever saw this on the shelf at the store, is it something you would buy?" I told him, "Of course I would! I need that product now!" Well, a few years ago, I was in the store, and there was the product! I had to buy it! It works great!

Does your daughter need to draw and explain it or make a model or have it actually work? Whatever you do, don't gripe about it to her! Her teacher will love whatever she comes up with!! I saw a lot of "sock sorters" made from toilet paper tubes in shoe boxes, etc. that did not excite the kids in the least. Allow her to dream up something outrageous. Help her define it and explain how it needs to "work". Then help her make a model of it or draw it. Have fun! Kids have great ideas they get excited about when they know their thoughts are valued. Glad to see you participating in your child's education! Looking forward to using her invention someday!

1 mom found this helpful

Try the Lemon Battery!

You will need:
2 lemons
3 copper wires
2 large paper clips
2 pennies
a digital clock
scissors
knife

Instructions:
First, attach one of the paperclips to a wire.
Then attach a penny to a second wire.
Attach another penny to one end of the third wire, and a paperclip to the other end.
Squeeze and roll two lemons to loosen the pulp inside.
Make two small cuts in the skins of both lemons an inch or so apart.
Put the paper clip that is attached to the wire and the penny into one of the cuts until you get to the juicy part of the lemon.
Stick the penny into a hole in the other lemon.
Put the other paper clip into the second hole of the lemon with the penny.
Then put the last penny into the last open hole.
Connect the free ends of the wires to the terminals of the digital clock.
Watch how the lemons make enough electricity to turn the clock on. If you've hooked everything up and the clock isn't running, try switching the wires.
Here's how this lemon battery works. There's a chemical reaction between the steel in the paper clip and the lemon juice. There's also a chemical reaction between the copper in the penny and the lemon juice. These two chemical reactions push electrons through the wires.
Because the two metals are different, the electrons get pushed harder in one direction than the other. If the metals were the same, the push would be equal and no electrons would flow. The electrons flow in one direction around in a circle and then come back to the lemon battery. While they flow through the clock, they make it work. This flow is called electric current.
This is hard to understand. So, if you need it explained to you again, be sure to talk to a parent or a teacher.

I got these instructions at http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/lemonbattery.html

1 mom found this helpful

Since you suggested a bird feeder for outside maybe she would enjoy making a squirrel playground. Use the birdfeeder/squirrel feeder to attract but incorporate obstacles for the squirels to overcome before he can get at the food.

1 mom found this helpful

My son made in scouts a bird feeder. You take a pine cone, rub peanut butter all over it and roll it in bird seed. Then you tie a really long string on it and you can hang it from a tree. The boys really enjoyed it and it was pretty easy.

1 mom found this helpful

The bird feeder jogged my memory (I have teenagers now!). I remember a girl in elementary school doing an "invention" and the bird feeder was on a post...to keep the squirrels from climbing up the post (it was metal)it was covered with vaseline/crisco/or something. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

What is your daughter interested in? I teach a science class at the YMCA and have tons of projects...does this need to be something she invents on her own, something she can do on her own....I am not sure what you need exactly.
A.

1 mom found this helpful

An invention would be something that makes life easier- I have permanent nerve damage in my hands- so I use pipe insulation over the handles of my hairbrush and cooking spoons to make them easier to hold. What invention could make life easier at you're house?
Good Luck!
M.

1 mom found this helpful

There are great projects at http://www.kidconcoctions.com/main/kidmain.asp

My son loves them and they are all very easy to do with items found at the grocery store.

Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

I would let your daughter do the brainstorming. You would be amazed with what kids can come up with on their own. We had an "invention convention" when I was about that age and my mom only helped me out with things I couldn't do by myself. I had so much pride in my project that even though I didn't matter that I didn't receive a top prize award.

To really encourage creativity you have to give her some space to do it on her own. I know the due date is pretty soon, so you might try taking her to some of the websites mentioned earlier to give her some ideas, but let her do the work. If you help her too much she won't have the same amount of pride in what she does.

1 mom found this helpful

You could do reversible pants. You could take a old pair of jeans and turn them inside out and spray paint them. I did this as a idea once in school a long time ago. Maybe it will work. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, yu can take a old christmas ball and tear up some paper towels,make flour and water mixure put on strip at time dipped in flour mix over the ball use a lot till complely covered. Let dry or use hair dryer, when dry paint with orange paint and yuv made a orangeto hang on xmas tree or what ever , my daughter did this. Bye M.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd try to do something she's interested in. If she like dolls, I'd help her make a doll, or a doll house. Or an accessory for one of her stuffed animals.
Or maybe something to eat. Let her invent her own pie or dinner. Macaroni applesauce cassarole, chicken cake... whatever she wanted.
Or invent something for a hobby. If she likes to play soccer, build a net on a slope, so after you score, the ball comes back down the slope to you, so you don't have to crawl into the net every time.
Make her own skirt. You could do a simply wrap-type skirt, in whatever pattern she wanted. The only drawback is that she might want to wear it :) But if it turned out ok, it would be awesome to wear her invention!
Those are my ideas =) Even if you don't like them, maybe they'll help you think of something else!

1 mom found this helpful

What about inventing a board game or any game? Something she could show the othe students how to play:)

1 mom found this helpful

What about a robot out of coffee cans and paper towel/toilet paper tubes and aluminum foil? We had to do that when my boys were in preschool. It was actually pretty easy and they had a blast making it!

1 mom found this helpful

i make hummingbirf feeders with a small plastic pepsi bottle near the cap i poke a hole large enough to get a 3 in mangled end of a straw through. i tie string around the other end to hang it from a tree the straw needs to be at an angle not straight down takes 5 minutes to make. try looking on line for recycling ideas.

1 mom found this helpful

Perhaps try a action-reaction invention. You could test what happens when a marble runs across different surfaces, builds speed going down a track.

Or you could test the reaction of adding water to different substances. Paper looks darker. Paper dissolves in water. Salt/sugar dissolves in water. Water and oil do not mix. You could put each item in an empty egg carton with water on it.

www.myspace.com/staceefrane
www.diamond.extremecreation.com

I remember when my son needed a fun inventor project. We took a small sheet of peg board and attached a series of pulleys and levers in a fashion that when a marble was dropped from the top into the starting point it would travel along dropping, moving all the gizmos. Keep it simple, have a reward at the bottom. Such as a small toy truck that receives the marble and rolls away. My son thought this was awesome to do with us, really enjoyed getting the board to work just right. It is not something really to sell, if that is what the school is looking for, but it does entertain and keeps the creative juices flowing. Make it simple enough that by using the peg board you can easily move the different levers and pulley from one spot to another to change the pattern. Good luck

My uncle invented the Possitive Putter so when my daughter did a project on Inventors She chose him and made a model of a putter. Is you daughter supposed to come up with one of her own inventions like the egg project when the student has to make a ride for an egg that won't break the egg? One of my daughters made a swing with wood for the swing set frame and one side of an egg carton as the swing.
Best wishes
V. S

L. B. Here is a project that might be fun and it is also environmently friendly. Save afew toilet paper roll's. Have your daughter decorate them and use them to put the cord's to your curling iron, hair dryer, radio's etc. in them. I'm not creative either, but I hope she will like this idea. Let me know.

We had to do the same thing when my lovely daughter Amber needed a project at school, everyone got together and make a box to play music, the school still has it on display. My daughter is a Mother of 3 sons Jonathan 12 Kathan 9 and Ethan 7 she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was murerded Jan 22 2004.

Make a box about 3 to 4 ft long and 1 1/2 wide, place guitar string aross the top, just like on a guitar, and give her a pick. and watch the music come out thur it, everyone will have fun doing this simple task.
L.

Does she like music? You can make a guitar with an shoebox with a hole cut in the lid and rubber bands over the box for strings. You could also make moraccos from toilet paper rolls with dried beans or rice inside and wax paper over the ends. Also two metal pie tins glued together to form a container with holes punched around the edges and little bells tied to the holes makes a good tambourine. She could make several different 'instruments' and let the kids in the class try 'playing' them together as a band. I'm sure if you google it you could find others as well. I remember doing things like this in school and girl scouts and always had a lot of fun. good luck, i hope she finds something she enjoys!

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