Storytime Themes

Inventions Storytime | Build a Better World

The Plan



  • “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”
  • “The Wheels on the Bus”
  • “Five in the Bed”
    • I used the motions from this Jbrary video for this song, but I cut the number to five because I didn’t know how long the kids would stay with me.


I skipped a craft this week in favor of an “inventing” activity.  All summer, I saved up empty cardboard boxes, and I asked patrons to donate their boxes, so that I would have a huge stash.  Then I had a volunteer tape the boxes closed, and we had instant cardboard blocks.  I dumped these out for the kids and challenged them to build anything they wanted out of the blocks.  They LOVED them!!  These boxes were quite possibly the biggest hit of the summer.

How It Went

This storytime was a little rough.  I had some very noisy toddlers in attendance who kept distracting my more attentive crowd.  Continuously struggling to talk over those children and their parents made me feel a bit frustrated and weary.  I think that the kids would have enjoyed the books more if they had been better able to focus.

The Most Magnificent Thing is a really great book, and the kids seemed to appreciate and understand it.  For this storytime, I was determined to find a good nonfiction picture book about a famous inventor.  The problem with most picture book biographies is that they tend to be long and wordy.  Long and wordy doesn’t usually work for my crowd, so I had to search high and low to find a shorter book.  Ben Franklin’s Big Splash is pretty short, but I still started losing the kids toward the end.  I think that had more to do with the distracting children than the book’s length.  I was able to reel them back in a little bit with If I Built a House.  And then we finished with What To Do With a Box which led right into our activity.  And honestly, the cardboard blocks made up for any deficiencies in the stories.  The kids built houses, castles, towers, airplanes, and many other structures.  I think some of the kids would have been content to stick around stacking cereal boxes for hours on end.


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