Turn your story time sessions into engaging STEM-based experiences with genuine scientific investigations based on popular story time titles.


Storytime Science is a hands-on science and literacy program that makes a wonderful addition to story time for libraries and early learning centres.  The program combines book readings with hands-on STEM activities like engaging experiments and crafts that relate to the characters or themes in the book.

For example, Philip Bunting’s book Give me Some Space! is the basis for crafting a solar system, and for experimenting with a torch and sphere to understand the moon phases.  After reading Rebecca Young’s The Speedy Sloth, children create a climbing sloth, rate animals from the fastest to the slowest, and see what it might be like hanging upside down all day like a sloth, and more.


Kits include copies of the books, facilitator guides, and STEM and craft equipment catering for up to 15 participants.  Facilitators can repeat the program as often as they like with little preparation.  Flexible delivery is encouraged, so the activities can be adapted to the needs and interests of each audience.

The eight titles in our first series:

  • Different? Same! by Heather Tekavec
  • Do not lick this book* by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost
  • Give me some Space! by Philip Bunting
  • Humpty Dumpty
  • Ouch! Tales of Gravity by Kate Simpson
  • The Speedy Sloth by Rebecca Young and Heath McKenzie
  • Mr Archimedes’ Bath by Pamela Allen
  • One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab by April Pulley Sayre and Jeff Sayre

“Storytime Science was fun. Experiments were engaging for adults and children. The adults learnt facts as well as the children.”

Georges River Council staff

“Extremely engaging! Learnt a lot of scientific facts. Well presented and well resourced with appropriate equipment.”

“It was wonderful to see science in action, simplified to make children listen and engage.”

“It was interesting, it has thrown me a new light to start talking about science stuff to my child.”

“We liked the book, but very absorbed with the activities.”

Different? Same!

different same heather tekavec

Focus areas: Sorting and classifying
The children discuss similarities and differences, and decide the criteria for sorting foods, fabrics, and shells. Plus, there are rhymes and songs and a colouring activity.

Do not lick this book*

do not lick this book idan ben barak

Focus areas: Microbes, big numbers, magnification
Children examine objects and themselves through a magnifying lens, watch the microbes in yeast create bubbles, and try to imagine 3 million. Plus, there are rhymes and songs and a drawing activity.

Give me some Space!

give some space philip bunting

Focus area: Our nearest neighbours in space
The facilitator uses a torch and a large sphere to demonstrate the phases of the moon, and the children and their carers make solar system mobiles.

Humpty Dumpty

humpty dumpty

Focus areas: Collisions, egg-laying animals, how strong eggs are, can you tell a raw egg from a boiled egg?
Children compare objects falling off a wall, see the strength of a raw egg, match animals with their eggs, learn how to tell a boiled egg from a raw egg, and colour a hatching chick.

Storytime Science Training

Children’s Discovery offers a free 90-minute introductory online training for facilitators, sharing effective methods to integrate book reading and hands-on experimenting and craft activities – which can lead to further investigations and experimenting.

If detailed face-to-face training is preferred, this can be provided by Children’s Discovery for a fee. Training involves understanding how to set up and run each experiment and craft activity. Participants will gain knowledge and confidence to deliver all eight Storytime Science experiences.

Mr Archimedes' Bath

mr archimedes bath pamela allen

Focus area: Water displacement
Experimenting with water displacement, first with a rubber duck and then using various objects to represent the animals in the story. Children graph the results, and colour a rubber duck and wombat.

One is a Snail. Ten is a Crab

one is a snail ten is a crab april pulley sayre
Focus area: Counting
Children use a magnifying lens to count the number of feet on different animals preserved in resin, and then do some simple arithmetic using pebbles and the resin animals. They draw an imaginary animal, throwing a die to determine how many body parts it will have.

Ouch: Tales of Gravity

ouch tales of gravity simpson
Focus area: Gravity
Children explore gravity through jumping, and with popsticks, balls, and a feather. Plus, there are rhymes and a colouring activity.

The Speedy Sloth

the speedy sloth rebecca young

Focus area: Animal adaptations
Children compare the speeds of different animals to predict race outcomes. They look at the similarities and differences between koalas and sloths. They experiment with lying with their arms and legs in the air like a hanging sloth, and then go very slowly along the ground. Plus, they make a climbing sloth.


“We felt absolutely privileged to have Wendy and Adam join us over two weeks, across four Georges River Library branches, to deliver Storytime Science.  The content was fun and engaging; delivering big concepts through stories, experimental activities, and crafts to take home.  The Children’s Discovery Storytime Science sessions are an age-appropriate introduction to the scientific investigation skills used in early primary school STEM lessons, and children are encouraged to participate in whatever way works for them.  Wendy and Adam both created a welcoming environment, with space for learning, where everyone walked away with a stronger knowledge of STEM concepts, regardless of age.  We saw a marked increase in participation and enthusiasm from patrons during Storytime Science, with many carers asking to make the sessions a regular part of our Early Literacy programming.”

– Rebekah Jeffery, Team Leader Children and Youth Services, Georges River Council


  1. Order your Storytime Science kit. There are eight titles in the kit: Different? Same, Do not lick this book*, Give me some Space!, Humpty Dumpty, Ouch! Tales of Gravity, The Speedy Sloth, Mr Archimedes’ Bath and One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab. The kit contains a copy of each book, facilitator notes for each title, and STEM equipment and consumables for up to 15 participants.
  2. Refer to the Storytime Science facilitator notes on how to conduct the session. Flexible delivery is encouraged, so the activities can be adapted to the time and space available, and the needs and interests of your audience.
  3. Print out the relevant handouts.
  4. Schedule the Storytime Science session in your venue.
  5. Invite your community to attend.
  6. Hold your Storytime Science session and see science learning come alive based on the themes and characters in the books.


Hands-on science and literacy


Fun facilitated workshops for 3 years and up


STEM-based workshops for school-aged children

spark boxes

Loanable re-useable science kits