by The Bloom Report | 23 Nov 2021

Press Release


The 2021 Young Inventor Challenge (YIC) winning inventions are sponsored by Goliath, Mattel, New Key Pet, LLC, Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld,  Spin Master, and HABA.


CHICAGO, IL (November 22, 2021)  -  People of Play (POP) are honored to announce the winners of the 2021 Young Inventor Challenge. POP received hundreds of entries from kids around the country.  The level of talent and ingenuity exceeded expectations by far.  Winners were officially announced on November 20th during the virtual Awards Ceremony.


Every year the YIC invites kids ages six to eighteen years old from around the world, to dig into their entrepreneurial spirit to develop a unique toy or game. Honing creativity, critical thinking, and STEAM skills throughout the invention and innovation process. The YIC provides an outlet and mentors for these young inventors to create, present and connect with toy industry professionals to receive professional critiques and guidance.


“It’s an honor to be part of these kids' journeys. They are all bubbling with creativity, excitement, and raw talent. The opportunity to help guide and mentor them is extremely rewarding.” said Jazmine Darden, Co-Director of the Young Inventor Challenge. 


“These kids are the future of the toy and game industry,” said Karen Luciana, Co-Director of the Young Inventor Challenge.  “Everyone has to start somewhere - why not start young!”


The 2021 Winners (by category) are:


Most Marketable Sponsored by Goliath

  • Junior Winner: Get in my Belly by Betty Bredemus
  • Senior Winner: SMASH by Vaylana and Donald Lemon

Best Game by Mattel

  • Junior Winner: Chicken Dinner by Aria McGruder
  • Senior Winner: FItness BINGO by Olivia Cairl

Most Innovative Pet Toy Sponsored by New Key Pet LLC

  • Junior Winner: Puppy Pinata by Lucy Pater and Kaylie Smit
  • Senior Winner: Ping Paw Pounce by Solomon Potsander

Most Creative Sponsored by Crazy Aaron's Puttyworld

  • Junior Winner: Kawaii Corners by Juliana Zagata
  • Senior Winner: Sate-Light by Aden and Anika Nunes


Most Innovative Toy or Game by Spin Master

  • Junior Winner: Musical Squares by Katie Howlett
  • Senior Winner: Lotus League by Ellie Lawrence

Most Sustainable Toy or Game sponsored by HABA

  • Junior Winner: Bathroom Buddies by Jacob and Isaac Freeman
  • Senior Winner: Operation Pollination by Analise Potsander
  • Senior Winner: Fishing for Trash by Selah Potsander


Each winner also received a $250 prize package of toys and games. 


The Young Inventor Challenge was part of People of Play Week (November 15-20) which included the Toy & Game International Innovation Summit, POP Duo Keynotes Legends & Leaders, Networking in the POP Pub Rooms, TAGIE Awards, and the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.


Experience the thrill of 2021’s winning inventions here. For more information, and Young Inventor Challenge resources, please visit


About People of Play 

People of Play (POP) celebrates and empowers toy and game innovation worldwide by providing educational opportunities, recognition and community for industry professionals, amateur inventors and people of all ages who love to play. People of Play oversees a number of events including the Chicago Toy & Game (CHITAG) Fair, the Toy & Game International Excellence (TAGIE) Awards, the Young Inventor Challenge, the New Inventor Conference, the Professional Inventors Conference, Play in Education Conference, the Bloom Report and the People of Play Foundation.

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