Little Inventors

We have ten terrific challenges all rolled into one! The Novel Inventions Challenge is your chance to get stuck into your favourite novel and invent to be just like the main character or add something to the fictional universe. We have something to suit you little inventors that are loving picture books and we haven't forgotten you older readers who are getting stuck into novels.

If inventing a vehicle to navigate hidden lands and lost lakes is what you're looking for, turn to The Polar Bear Explorers Club by Alex Bell for hints and tips. If you're leaning towards devising a star catching device, look no further than Look Up! by Nathan Bryon for inspiration! We've got classics like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and George’s Marvellous Medicine as springboards for challenges, sprinkled in with some Philip Pullman and Sally Gardner.

The ten challenges each ask for something completely different, so get reading, get choosing, and get your thinking cap on!

Pick a challenge...

Invent your own marvellous medicine

What could it be made from? What does it do? Draw a special container or bottle for your medicine.

(inspired by George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl)


Invent a place or building where bats and people can live happily together

Think about how bats sleep, eat, and move around.

(inspired by Amara and the Bats by Emma Reynolds)


What could you invent using cogs and spinning parts like a clock has?

Think about turning wheels, wind-up machines and spinning tops. Get those ideas rolling!

(inspired by Clockwork or All Wound Up by Phillip Pullman)


Invent your own magical creature

What would it look like? How would it move? What noises does it make? Where does it live?

(inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling)

Fantastic Beasts

Draw your very own secret platform entrance

Where will it be hidden and how will it be concealed? Is there a special way to get through it? Where would it take you?

(inspired by Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling)

Harry Potter

Invent your own star-catching device

What would it look like? Would it be ready to catch falling or shooting stars? Would it jet off into space?

(inspired by Look Up! by Nathan Bryon)

Look Up!

Invent your own moving city

What would it look like? Who would live there? Is it on wheels or perhaps it flies? Is it powered by wind?

(inspired by Mortal Engines by Philip Reeves)

Mortal Engines

Invent a machine to take you anywhere in the world

Where would you go and what would you do there? Who would you go with?

(inspired by The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie)

Nowhere Emporium

Invent something to help you find your way through hidden lands and lost lakes

Would it keep you safe? Show you the way? Would it transport you to the coolest places?

(inspired by The Polar Bear Explorers Club by Alex Bell)


What could you invent using everyday rubbish?

Think about things you throw away: holey socks, old toys, empty bottles, broken bike wheels, lost pen lids...

(inspired by The Tindims by Sally Gardner)


How to enter!

You can submit more than one invention idea.

Submit invention ideas through our upload page.

  1. Draw your inventionon the Little Inventors worksheet
  2. Scan or photograph the *whole* sheetas straight on as possible
  3. Upload it in JPEG, PNG or GIF format (choose a file)

Each invention idea will comprise of an image of a clear drawing, the name, age and location of the inventor, the name of the invention and a description, and a contact email address.

Examples of scanned images

Not so good