Children's contests: design a toothbrush, create a flag, write a story or essay

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are you feeling refreshed and full of energy after the winter break from school? Then it's the perfect time to enter a contest. Here are some fun ones that will help get 2010 off to a creative start.

i Invent a toothbrush: February is National Children's Dental Health Month, and to honor the occasion, toothbrush maker Dr. Fresh is asking kids to come up with their own ideas for the ultimate kid-friendly toothbrush. Your design should make brushing both easy and fun, so kids will brush longer. The contest is open to kids in second through fifth grades. You need to submit an original drawing of your idea and a brief written description. Deadline: Jan. 24. For details, go to

i Write and illustrate a story: Public television stations nationwide will be participating in the PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest. Beginning Jan. 27, kids can write and illustrate original stories and submit them to their local PBS stations, which will then choose local winners and award prizes. Local winners will be judged in a national contest. Open to kindergartners through third-graders. Details will be posted at

o Create a flag: National Geographic will be sending out a research ship for its Ocean Now expedition later this year, and you can design the flag to fly on the ship. Your design, on an 8 1/2 -by-11 sheet of paper, should represent exploration and protection of the ocean. Entries must include a short essay explaining your design. Open to kids ages 8 to 14. Deadline: Feb. 20. For details, go to

o Make some art: Kids are invited to create an original piece of art that shows the role they play in their communities. Submit a drawing and a brief written description. The contest is open to kids in second through fifth grades. Winning artwork will be displayed online and possibly in a national touring exhibit. Deadline: Feb. 10. For more information, go to

o Write a fitness essay: The Washington Post and the Children's Inn at National Institutes of Health are asking seventh-graders to write an essay about the reasons to stay healthy and fit. Submissions should be typed and no more than 500 words. Grand prize winner will get $500 and a school visit from Redskins linebacker London Fletcher. Three other winners get $300 and two tickets to a D.C. professional sports event. Deadline: Jan. 29. For more information, go to

-- Margaret Webb Pressler

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