With a tag line that reads "you're never too old to play with toys, and never too young to invent them", it's easy to see why the Young Inventors Challenge (or YIC) is catching on. Getting kids excited about the creative process and actually making things that others might enjoy playing with is a fantastic idea. And it's one that's sure to become a great outlet for the toy designing minds of tomorrow!
PlaySmart Inc, makers of non electronic toys that teach kids to use their imaginations, are the primary sponsors of the event. Smart, captivating, and enduring are three words that the company uses to describe not only it's own products, but the three traits that the participants in YIC have in spades.
"We are very proud of this event and always pleased with how much recognition the participants receive," said Mary Couzin, Founder and President of Chicago Toy and Game Group. "These kids challenge themselves and their minds to create some truly remarkable toys and games. And quite possibly, some of these concepts may very well end up on your Target or Toys 'R' Us shelves soon, you never know!"
And there's a nice local story here too. Both the 2010 and 2011 YIC events were won by Chicago native Nick Metzler:
Kids ages 6-18 are welcome to present their original toy or game invention at ChiTAG, where it will be judged by popular vote in front of over 25,000 fair attendees. Over 150 kids entered the challenge in 2011. Chicago suburbanite, Nick Metzler, won both the 2010 and 2011 YIC Award in the Senior Category and is planning on attending ChiTAG with his family this November. Metzler is currently enrolled at the University of Southern California."When Nick first approached us about particpating in ChiTAG and the Young Inventors Challenge, we were estatic!" said Maria Metzler, Nick's mother. "Both of the events provide ample opportunities for families to engage in "positive shared interactions" all while having fun by playing games and testing toys - that appeal to all ages."
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Inspired? If you'd like to register yourself, or a talented someone you know, click on YoungInventorChallenge.com - the challenge will be held at the Fair on November 17th. If you'd like some info on the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, click here. -Good luck!