julius jr. inventing time! robots

Start your kids off as inventors with their own robot creations

Gather your kids and join us in the Invention Dimension! Julius Jr.'s Inventing Time activities give you simple ways to play with your kids that encourage their natural creativity!

Objects Needed to Create Your Invention

  • Any recycled materials such as small boxes, toilet paper or paper towel tubes, cardboard scraps and foil snack bags (rinse and turn inside out to use the shiny foil side!)
  • Straws
  • String
  • Twist ties
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glue
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Markers or construction paper to decorate, if desired
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    Step Inside the Box with Julius Jr.!

    Ask your kids:
  • Have you ever seen a robot in action? What kinds of things do robots do?
  • What special things do you want your robot to be able to do? What might they need to do that?
  • What special things do you want your robot to be able to do? What might they need to do that?
  • Does your bot need a face? If the answer is yes, what could you put on your bot's face?
  • How could you attach things to the body of your robot?
  • Who would be really excited to use your robot?
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    Now to the Invention Dimension!

    Let your children choose building materials and come up with ideas for how to use them. Introduce the idea of a “prototype” or first draft of their robot. Let your children know that engineers and builders in real life get to test out ideas and then change their mind as they build. Allow your children to drive the building process and ask them about their thoughts--what should go where and how they are planning to attach various pieces and why. Try to help your children realize their own vision to foster problem-solving skills.

    What Your Little Ones Are Learning

    Each time you let your children offer an idea and support their process, you are sending strong messages that you value their thoughts and creativity and that testing ideas is important. This will build your children's confidence to try new things and experiment. When you honor your children's imagination, you are fostering their artistic process as you let them lead the design. Each time you ask questions about their decisions, you are supporting your children's development of critical thinking skills. Acknowledge and praise your children’s effort, persistence, and/or willingness to try alternatives rather than focusing on the end product of their work.

    Why "Inventing Time" Matters

    Creative thinking begins early in every child's life. It enables original thought and the ability to see solutions where others don't. It provides the fundamental building blocks for success in school and beyond. Creative play has been proven across multiple research studies to be the best path to developing a lifelong capacity for creativity.
    Julius Jr. and the Center for Childhood Creativity are working together to create inventing Time activities to help you support kids' natural creativity.

    Every kid can be an inventor like Julius Jr.
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