Copyright

Leonardo Da Vinci's Inventions: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: David Wilson

David has taught college history and holds an MA in history.

One of the great inventors of history, Leonardo da Vinci, lived in the 1400s-1500s but developed inventions that would not be built for centuries. Learn about a few of his most famous inventions and creations.

A Renaissance Man

Did you know that all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles get their names from famous Italian artists? Leonardo is named after Leonardo da Vinci, the famous artist and inventor. Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, probably his most well-known work.

Da Vinci did more than just paint, however. He was a true polymath, a person who has studied and is experienced in a lot of different subjects. For da Vinci, these subjects included art, music, science, math, nature, and medicine. Da Vinci famously created designs for inventions that were far ahead of their time. While he lived in the 1400s, during the Renaissance period, some of his inventions are things that people have only started using within the past 100 years.

Leonardo da Vinci - this is probably a self-portrait.
Painting of da Vinci

Helicopters

Can you imagine Christopher Columbus crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a helicopter? It seems crazy, but the idea was in place before Columbus discovered the New World. Da Vinci was very obsessed with creating flying machines. Perhaps his most famous design pre-dated the helicopters we know of by some five hundred years. It looked quite different, since it was meant to be made out of wood and nails. It functioned the same way today's helicopters do, however, lifting off by pushing down air. In addition to helicopters, he also invented the designs for parachutes and hang gliders, but they too would not be used for hundreds of years.

Da Vinci Helicopter
Da Vinci helicopter

Tanks

Da Vinci submitted a book of drawings to the Duke of Milan for a job opening that was supposed to be for an ordinary artist. But these drawings show military machines that would not be used until the First World War, over four hundred years later. Da Vinci drew a tank that could be powered by two men, firing a weapon at the enemy while remaining protected by giant sheets of armor. In addition to tanks, he developed drawings for giant crossbows that could fire an arrow as long as a school bus.

Da Vinci Tank
Da Vinci tank

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support