Of all the toys in our clinic’s waiting room, the classic wooden blocks get the most play. Our creative kids build amazingly tall towers and castles, sturdy walls, vast roadways, garages and arches for cars to drive through. We have so many talented builders (and even more talented demolishers!). With that creative spirit in mind, we are shining a light on famous builders, creators and inventors for Black History Month.
In our waiting room this month, you’ll find a wall display of names you may never have heard of and the innovations and inventions they are known for. Here are a few that were new to me:
- Did you know that George Crum invented the potato chip in 1853?
- Most school kids have John Love to thank, since they carry one of his inventions in their pencil pouch: the portable pencil sharpener.
- Like to pedal around on bikes or trikes? Matthew Cherry’s 1888 velocipede patents greatly improved earlier inventions that evolved to the bikes and tricycles we use today.
- Come summer, pull out your super soakers and give thanks to engineer Lonnie Johnson.
Our monthly craft features one of the many inventions of Garrett Morgan. Not only is it a key piece of our car-centric transportation infrastructure, it also serves as an illuminating tool to help kiddos with self-regulation or to measure skill acquisition. What could it be, you ask? Well, the lighted traffic signal, of course! You often hear our clinicians talking about Social Thinking and the Zones of Regulation, with such questions as: Are you in the green zone? Are you in the red zone? If your kiddo brings home one of these paper crafts, you can use it as a conversation starter on the zones.
Interested in learning more about Black innovators? Check out this listing of 24 children’s books that honor Black inventors, pioneers and trailblazers. Also, the Multnomah County Library system is hosting classes, programming and events that celebrate the achievements of Black Americans in innovation, fashion and civil rights throughout the month of February.