Inventions Month in Genius Tangram: Learn About Margaret E. Knight and Paper Bags With This At-Home Activity

May 27, 2021 / DIY & Printable

Genius content refreshes every month! This month is all about inventions. From the internet to your favorite pair of shoes, every invention grew from an idea in someone’s head. At Osmo, we think it’s fun to learn about how! Follow along for a month of special game updates, real-life genius stories, and real-world activities.

Share this week’s interactive, printable Inventions Month content with your child by clicking the button below, and scroll down for a preview!

Game Update

Check out Osmo Tangram for limited-time Inventions-inspired puzzles for kids to solve and character outfits to unveil. Only available this month!

Genius Spotlight: Margaret E. Knight

Even items that seem simple are the product of someone’s imagination and dedication. Think of brown paper bags. They let you carry entire lunches or loads of groceries with one hand! Now imagine if these bags didn’t exist. Imagine that instead, you had to carry things in big envelopes. They wouldn’t hold half as much as the brown paper bag or be as easy to carry, would they?

Well that’s exactly how people used to transport things! Until Margaret Knight came along. In 1870, while working at a factory that manufactured these flimsy envelope “bags,” Margaret came up with an idea for a better product. She built her own machine to fold and glue strong bags with flat, rectangular-shaped bottoms. It produced 1000 bags during testing, so she decided to get a more durable iron version of it created.

But she ran into trouble. A man who worked at the factory making Margaret’s iron machine stole her idea and filed the patent first. When Margaret found out, she decided to take all of her notes and sketches to court to prove the idea was originally hers. And she won! You can think of not only her creativity but her perseverance, too, every time you carry a brown paper bag from now on.

Real-World Activity: Make Your Own Paper Bag

Have your child this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable has a template and instructions with photos!

Make your own paper bag! With your parent’s help, cut and fold a piece of paper into the shape outlined on the template. Secure it with glue or tape. See how much it can hold!

Can you add anything to make it sturdier or easier to carry?