Rachel Kope, left, and Melanie Lesh demonstrate Family Zorks, action figures they made from clay.
Photo by Karen Diefendorf/Woodinville Weekly.
by Karen Diefendorf
While most kids see toys as something they buy or receive as gifts, there are 15 students at Bear Creek Elementary who have discovered that a good deal of imagination, planning, and hard work goes into a toy before it ever hits the toy store shelf or is advertised on TV.
Jill Bowman, reading and enrichment specialist at Bear Creek Elementary, organized an after-school group to learn about marketing.
In mid-October, the students began to design and then actually make a toy, which they also learned how to package and advertise.
This was all in preparation for the Bear Creek Toy Fair which will showcase the students' work Dec. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the school gym.
Ryan Stringer and Katy Lesh, both 4th graders, created Bean Bugs, little creatures filled with beans and sewn together by the two girls. Sally the Worm and Pete the Potato Bug are two of their favorite creations. Each bug comes with a history of its life, and some have accessories. To advertise the Bean Bugs, the two entrepeneurs sent announcement letters addressed "Dear Reporters" to both the Seattle Times and the Woodinville Weekly.
Nick Thomas created Power People, complete with bad guy Rude Dude; and Adrian Van Klink, who likes to "build things and create ideas," came up with a graveyard maze.
Third grader Josh Niklason was proud of his "Penguins in Space" board game in which players leave Earth and try to return. Another creative board game, "Clean Your Room," was devised by Bri Agatep.
Brian Mathews created Super Boy, who is almost the same size as its creator, and Jessica Hart worked hard to create Snatch and Grab.
Krista Colburn had fun with her Bean Bag Game and Tory Sanders and Alex Morgan returned to the graveyard theme with their imaginative "Monster in the Graveyard" game.