Wondering what to do with all that bubble-style packing material that's been accumulating in your warehouse? Don't just run over it with your office chair—give it to your kids and let their imaginations run wild!
Some creative youngsters in grades five through eight have done just that in the third annual Sealed Air Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors. Sealed Air, inventor of the Bubble Wrap brand cushioning material, and the National Museum of Education invited students to submit original inventions along with a description of what they do, how they work, and how their ideas came about. The contest closed in November, and three finalists will be announced in early January. The grand prize winner will be revealed in New York City on Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, Jan. 26.
Last year's winner was Hannah Haas (above), 13, of Charlotte, N.C., who used the wrap as wallpaper to stimulate and engage children with autism. For a look at last year's top entries, go to www.BubbleWrapCompetition.com. And while you're there, check out BubbleWrapFun.com, too. "Pop Pix" and "1001 uses" will inspire your own creative endeavors.
And here's another use for the bubbly stuff: Halloween costumes. A photo in the Boston Globe the morning after the holiday showed Randal Kenney of Gloucester, Mass., dressed as a jellyfish. Kenney covered an umbrella in pink-colored bubble material and attached long, clear strands to make the tentacles.