Female inventors aren’t “playing” around when it comes to creating iconic items. We know Kevlar and the theory of Radioactivity were invented by women, but women have also “played” a vital role in the way we challenge our brains and have fun by creating some of the most iconic toys. Here are 11 incredible inventions that helped to redefine the way we play.
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- Ruth Handler—Serving as the president of Mattel, Inc. revolutionized the toy industry by inventing the iconic Barbie doll.”
- Elizabeth Magie – As a board game designer she didn’t quite “Pass Go” and collect “a literal $500” for “The Landlords Game” which we now know as Monopoly.
- Adeline D.T. Whitney – This brilliant poet and author created something almost every child played with and remembers, the alphabet building blocks.
- Ruth Faison Shaw – In 1931, this educator and artist found a fun way to get pint-size Picassos to paint. She is credited with creating finger paints.
- Andrea Barthello—Co-founder of Think Fun, created their first game “Rush Hour” to help make science, math and engineering into fun toys to start kids learning from a young age.
- Janese Swanson—Founder of Girl Tech and the Password Journal, she integrated tech into classic play patterns to create magic.
- Beatrice Alexander made elegant dolls available to everyone. A creative innovator, who started at her kitchen table, she introduced new materials to dollmaking and invented features like “sleep eyes.”
- Ayah Bdeir—took imaginative engineering to new heights with littleBits, tiny electronic building blocks that let young inventors craft electronic and robotic creations large and small.
- Eleanor Abbott – While in a hospital being treated for Polio, she helped pass the time and make everyone’s lives a bit “sweeter” with her board game, “Candy Land”.
- Charlotte Clark – We all know Walt created the mouse, but the first Mickey Mouse stuffed doll that inspired generations of successors was created by her in 1930.
- Betty Morris and Kathryn Bloomberg – While creating projects for their boys’ Cub Scout troop, these “crafty” ladies created a popular toy called Shrinky Dinks.