DIY Sensory Tubes for Story Time

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Today we're celebrating a new book release from the creator of Goodnight Moon thanks to our sponsor HarperCollins!

This kid. He loves story time, but his version isn't quite as subdued as I'd like. When he asks for a bedtime story, I have visions of us snuggling up together, pointing out the characters and discussing the objects on the pages. In reality, he dances circles around the room and acts out the various scenes while I run a loud monologue over the various sound effects created by him and his three brothers.

Good Day, Good Night sensory tube DIY

Our oldest son is in first grade now, and he's reaching the age where he really needs to follow along with the words on the page to practice his reading skills. I needed to find a way to get the toddler to sit still!

DIY sensory tubes for story time made with 2 ingredients + a water bottle and trinkets

The 2-year-old has responded really well to various fidget toys, so I thought back to the water-and-oil sensory tubes my favorite teachers had when I was a kid. If I could translate books into a toy version and make it relevant to him, he just might engage with the story. Margaret Wise Brown, the author of the beloved children's book Goodnight Moon, recently had one of her previously-unreleased titles in her signature word pattern published by HarperCollins. Aptly titled Good Day, Good Night, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out my idea!

DIY sensory tubes for story time made with clear glue

The supplies for our sensory tubes were simple:

Simply remove the label from the bottle, empty it, and plop the trinkets inside. Fill halfway with Elmer's clear glue and halfway with water, then superglue the cap back on and let dry. Our items were all inspired by characters and objects found in the new book – get a peek at them in the adorable new book trailer! Anything 3/4-inch around or smaller fit into the bottles just fine, but I learned the hard way that some 1-inch bunny figurines wouldn't fit.

Sensory tubes for story time

Bunny or no bunny, my son was thoroughly entertained!

How to make sensory tubes for story time

We also did some activities around the book to further engage all our kids. I love that one book can springboard into a multitude of learning opportunities!

Good Day, Good Night sensory tube

You can continue down the rabbit hole with related titles, too. Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny were illustrated by Clement Hurd, who studied painting in Paris with Fernand Léger (this can tie into a lengthy study of cubism and Picasso's blue period, if you're so inclined, and Emily's Blue Period would be another great book to explore here).

Toddler sensory tube

Good Day, Good Night was illustrated by Loren Long whose familiar imagery you'll recognize from the bestselling Otis books. He also illustrated Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing picture book, which can serve as a springboard for studies on Albert Einstein, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jane Addams and more.

Goodnight Moon board book

While we were at it, we updated our library with the newly-released padded board book edition of Goodnight Moon.

One final pro tip? Elmer's Clear Glue is one of the main components in slime. Between that and the related books, this reading practice can quickly turn into a lesson on history, art, AND science.

Goodnight Moon and Good Day Good Night giveaway

What are some of your family's favorite books?


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