Young Inventor Challenge

Saturday, November 21, 2020

During stay-at-home days of COVID-19, inventing toys and games is an excellent and fun STEM activity for your kids. We have free resources, such as our Design Guide which walks your child through the design process from start to finish! There are also inspirational videos and articles on our Student Resources page. We hope your child will enter their invention in our Young Inventor Challenge in November. One of our recent winners has a game that just launched in Target

Deadline to register is October 31, 2020

Early-Bird Registration Discount if registration is complete by October 15, 2020

Deadline to submit all entry materials is November 7, 2020

Our mission is to inspire the next generation to use creativity, critical thinking, and STEAM skills in the invention and innovation process and to connect professionals within the toy industry to mentor these young innovators in their design process.

The 14th Annual Young Inventor Challenge, provides an opportunity for children ages 6 to18 to develop and pitch their original inventions to major toy companies, industry professionals, members of the media and general public. This unique and educational experience ignites imagination, creativity and presentation skills like no other, providing a means of taking these inventions to greater heights, with professional critiques from our industry experts.

We are the only young inventor program that has sponsorship and mentoring participation from top toy and game manufacturers around the world. Many of the winning inventions have been licensed by these global companies and can be found on store shelves today!


Registration Information

Registration DEADLINE is midnight, OCTOBER 31, 2020. No registrations will be accepted after this date.


Deadline for complete submissions is 9:00 am, November 7, 2020.  All materials are to be uploaded to the entry portal - no materials will be accepted after this date. 

There is a $25 suggested donation fee to help cover administrative costs when you participate in the Young Inventor Challenge. If you register before October 15, the registration fee is discounted to $15. Participants and their immediate families are invited as our guests to the Fair with complimentary admission to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair for the whole weekend (worth $92 for a family of four)!

Use our FREE Design Guide as a reference to help imagine, design, test, and create your own toy or game invention. It is a great tool to assist in the design process.

Want to share this information with your teacher or friends? View a detailed presentation here, or print our one-page flier here

Other questions? Contact the Director of the Young Inventor Challenge here.



Best Game

Sponsored by Spin Master

$250 Scholarship Money, Tower of Games (provided by our sponsors), 3D Printed Action Figure


Quinn Curran, 4th Grade, from Palos Heights, Illinois for Blindfolded Builder



Diego Humberto Martínez and Dario Yañez, 9th Grade, from Monterrey, Mexico for Tic Tac Cubed


Best Playful Learning Concept

Sponsored by the Chicago Toy and Game Foundation

$250 Scholarship Money, Tower of Games (provided by our sponsors), 3D Printed Action Figure


Mason Marable, 4th Grade, from Palos Park, Illinois and Cash Phillips, 4th Grade from Orland Park Illinois for NFL Battles



Aashi Sinha, 8th grade, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Rescue Buddies


Most Creative Concept:

Sponsored by PlayMonster

$500 Scholarship Money, Tower of Games (provided by our sponsors), 3D Printed Action Figure



Violet Kooyenga and Piper Sterling, 4th grade from Palos Park, Illinois for Beat the Bullies


Most Marketable Concept:

Sponsored by Pressman/Goliath

$250 Scholarship Money, Tower of Games (provided by our sponsors), 3D Printed Action Figure


Addison Wiersma, 4th grade from Palos Heights, Illinois for Totally Chick



Zoe Bain and Isabella Murch, 6th grade, from Fishers, Indian for House of Cards


Best Presentation:

Sponsored by Yulu and the Toy Association

2 night stay in NY, Presenter at the TOTY Awards and a tour of Toy Fair, $250 spending money and 3D Printed Action Figure


Iliyan Shariff, 4th grade, from Chicago, Illinois for Cube World, the Board Game



Eliana Lawrence, 9th grade, from Denver, Colorado for Firehawk

Kyle Levy and Robert Becker, 12th grade, from Glencoe, Illinois for Barrier Battles

2020 Schedule

  • 8:30-9:30 am Check in and Set up 

  • 9:30 am Event Introduction

  • 10:15 am Presentation Circles

  • 11:30 am Projects open for public viewing and presentation when the Presentation Circles are done.

  • 2:30 pm Awards Ceremony on the stage

What should I bring with me?

  • An adult!

  • Prototype of your toy or game 

  • Log Book

  • Display Board 

  • An inquisitive, supportive, positive attitude! 


2018 YIC Keynote

Grey Bright kicks off the day with an inspirational talk!


2018 YIC Highlights

Footage of the day's highlights

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 3.33.47 PM.png

YIC Pitch Reel

See some highlights of past pitch videos

2020 Prizes 

Will be announced August, 2020

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