Kids are becoming the teachers during the pandemic.

Parents can learn a lot from their children—if they know what they look for.

When 11-year-old Maggie Solomon was challenged to develop an idea for her Denver school’s annual Innovation Lab project, she knew she already had a million-dollar winner. After repeatedly washing her hands while counting down the recommended 20 seconds, she decided her gadget would be a combo soap dispenser and timer.

Wary of competition, Maggie won’t disclose details just yet. (Plus she hasn’t figured out, like, how it’ll work.) But inspired to solve other problems herself, she’s steadily cranking out products from her kitchen-table workshop, like dollhouse furniture from recycled packaging and craft supplies. “Stores don’t have everything all the time anyway,” she says. “I can just make what I need.”

It was a learning opportunity for Maggie—and for her mom as well. “Her instinct was to try to solve problems instead of worrying about problems,” Sarah Solomon says. “It was a lesson [for me] about resilience and adaptability.”