The Chicago Toy and Game Fair, held every year in November, is looking for submissions for its Young Inventor Challenge.
Last year about 200 kids and teens submitted applications that were judged by a group of professionals in product design, innovation and marketing. This session's Young Inventor Challenge submissions are due by June 15th.
Need inspiration? Look no further than Lily Brown and Tait Hansen, who were only in 3rd grade when they came up with a card game called Betcha Can't.
"We were kind of messing around," Brown said. "We wanted to make a game because my dad makes games. We just gathered materials from around the house like straws and hot glue."
She and Hansen were both attending Willard Elementary School in Evanston at the time. They stopped working on it but revisited their idea while in 5th grade.
"We brought back some of the same ideas from our game in 3rd grade and changed a fair amount, and that’s how we ended up with our prototype Betcha Can't," said Hansen.
They won the Young Inventor Challenge in 2018, and Betcha Can't is now sold in Target stores.
"Goliath Games saw Betcha Can't and fell in love with it. So they licensed it. I still remember the president of Goliath that day saying, 'we found a winner.' It was really very, very exciting," said Mary Couzin, president and founder of Chicago Toy and Game Group.