Blogs & Comment

Children's contests

Ive found a fun way to earn some spare change while spending quality time with my 4- and 6-year-old kids. It all began last fall, after I learned of a LEGO contestwhere kids 6 to 9 are asked to submit a 100- to 150-word essay on an idea for an invention.
My 6-year-old is always talking about inventing things so I thought he might enjoy entering the contest. But I was also thinking it would be a good learning experience for him to write a small essay — he could practice his spelling, sentence structure, printing etc.
If I had asked him to write 100 to 150 words to practice his sentences and letters, it would have been like pulling teeth! But since it was about inventions and there was a prize to win, he set to the task with gusto.
Then, to our astonishment, several weeks after the contest had closed, we got a phone call informing us that his entry had been one of the five grand prize winners in Canada. The award was for $1,000!
We had also entered him into another contest at the same time. In this one, entrants had to build a vehicle out of LEGO blocks and present it at a childrens fair. He won a $35 airport set at that event.
So there you have it. If you search the Internet youll find plenty of childrens contests. In fact, there are directories on websites like this one on Kids Turn Central.
I see them as developmental opportunities for kids (to practice writing, making a presentation, exercising creativity etc.) and as a way to spend time with them in an activity that can contribute toward their development.
The icing on the cake is winning something, which can generate a bit of spare change and provide positive reinforcement for your child. But winning the contest is not the main thing and we have been careful to downplay that aspect with the kids.