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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kids! of the Month for January, 2002: 
Amazing Young Toy Inventors, USA!

Jacob Dunnack and Richie Stachowski,
Amazing Young Toy Inventors 

Quotes of the Month:

"I’ve always been interested in what makes things work. I used to take things apart and put them back together...If you think you have a good idea, just go for it!"

Richie Stachowski, age 15
Amazing Young Toy Inventor

"There's nothing he [Jacob] can't do. He may have to work a little harder at it than other children his age, but he's persistent and will get it done.''

Joshua Dunnack, father of Jacob Dunnack, age 8
Amazing Young Toy Inventor

Happy New Year!  As we ring in the new year, Amazing Kids! is excited to highlight the inventive talents of two young amazing toy inventors in our January 2002 Amazing Kids! of the Month feature.  These creative, bright young inventors have each designed a toy that is being sold in stores! 

Read their inspiring stories below and see if you might want to try your hand at inventing a new toy too.  Then, be sure to follow the links to learn more about inventing, and who knows?  Maybe you'll invent a toy that will someday be sold in stores too! 

When you're done reading their story, be sure to check out some of our past Amazing Kids! of the Month Inventors:  kids3-00.htm#inventors

Table of Contents 

Jacob Dunnack, Age 8, Inventor of the Batball

Richie Stachowski, age 15, Inventor of Water Talkies

Jacob's Dunnack and his JD Batball invention

Have you ever had a problem with something and wished there was a good solution to fix it?  Two years ago, Jacob Dunnack (then age 6), had a problem:  he forgot to bring his baseball when he brought his bat to his grandma's house to play baseball.  Needless to say, he was disappointed, because he couldn't play baseball without the ball!  But Jacob didn't let that stop him.  He not only wished there was a good solution, he actually invented one: the JD Batball!

 Jacob's amazing JD Batball invention

The JD Batball is a plastic baseball bat with a removable cap so one can store the balls inside so the balls won't get lost.  This handy invention helps kids can carry their bat and balls with one hand, while never worrying about forgetting or losing their baseballs again! 

Jacob says "I called it a Batball because I can store my baseballs inside the bat and I like it. It's really cool.'' Jacob first introduced his invention at his school's "Invention Convention."

What makes Jacob's story even more special is that he was born with a congenital heart defect (two major arteries were crisscrossed).  He suffered a stroke during an operation when he was just a baby, and the doctors thought would leave him blind and paralyzed.  But Jacob proved them wrong!  Though he has limited vision and limited use of his right arm, that hasn't stopped Jacob from living a normal life...and being one of the few kids who has actually gotten his invention on toy store shelves! You can now buy his amazing toy at Toys "R" Us!

Now that's amazing! Way to go, Jacob! 


Jacob will also be in Lynn Valentines' next book. It is called "The Power of Prayer". This is a Hallmark book. Lynn is the author of "Angels Everywhere" and "Miracles".

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Richie Stachowski's amazing Water Talkies invention

In 1996, when Richie Stachowski was 11 years old, he went to Hawaii for a vacation. While Richie was snorkeling with his father, he was so excited at seeing all the beautiful fish that he wanted to be able to shout out to his dad to tell him, but couldn't because he was underwater. 

But that didn't stop Richie. He had a problem, now he needed to find a solution. That evening, he began sketching designs in their hotel room. Then, after returning home, researched underwater acoustics on the Internet. Then he began building prototypes of an underwater megaphone, using the $267 from his savings account.  And voila!  Richie invented Water Talkies, a toy that lets kids talk underwater! 

Richie formed his own company, Short Stack, LLC (named for Richie's favorite breakfast, pancakes) and soon began selling his Water Talkies at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target and Toys "R" Us.  But that was just the beginning for Richie:  in addition to his Water Talkies, he has invented several other water toys, including the Bumper Jumper Water Pumper™ (a float with a water-blasting paddle) and the Scuba Scope™ (a pool periscope)!  The Scuba Scope™ allows snorkelers to see underwater and above water at the same time and the Bumper Jumper Water Pumper™ is a sit-down float whose paddle doubles as a water gun.   And there are more amazing toy inventions to come!  Go, Richie!



Be sure to read about past Amazing Kids! of the Month Inventors! kids3-00.htm#inventors

How to Invent a Toy (for Kids), Wild Planet website:

Seriously Fun Invention Tools for Kids, PatentCafe Kids Cafe:

K.I.T. (Kids Invent Toys) website:

Websites featuring the toy inventions of kids who have participated in past K.I.T. camps, 
Kids Invent Toys:

More kid toy inventors!  Here is a list of the winners of the Wild Planet Kid Inventor Challenge 2001:

Girl Inventors:

Toy Designing  & Game Inventors Links:

History of the Invention of Famous Toys:

The National Toy Hall of Fame, AC Gilbert's Discovery Village:

The Inventive Thinking Curriculum Project,  US Patent and Trademark Office:

Teachers and Parents Resources, PatentCafe:

Links to Articles on Inventing:


Craftsman MSTA Young Inventors Awards Program

The Kid Inventor Challenge, Wild Planet

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: .


  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!


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