Reading Road Trip: Construction Zone

Welcome to stop two on the Reading Road Trip! If you’re just joining us, be sure to download the roadmap so you can follow along. Also, sign up here for a chance to win a prize pack at the end of the summer! The reading road trip continues this week with a drive through a construction zone! Unlike construction zones in real life, which can slow us down or bring us to a full stop and add a lot of frustration to a journey, this construction zone is all about bringing a little construction-themed fun to the summer! So we hope you take some time this week to spend a little “building” time with your kids, reading books with a construction theme—whether that be books about building with blocks or bricks, toys or giant cranes. Continue reading for story time ideas and a construction themed reading list. Read : Books that fit the theme of “construction zone,” however you want to interpret it! FEATURED BOOK: Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus is a book about b

A Build It Challenge Inspired by THE THINGITY-JIG by Kathleen Doherty

by Mindy Baker

Read: THE THINGITY-JIG by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Kristyna Litten is a sure hit with your little engineer-builders. A sweet little bear can’t sleep and wants to play, but his friends want to sleep. Under the silvery moon he finds a Thingity-Jig. To move it, he uses a Rolly-Rumpity, Lifty-Uppity, and a Pushy-Poppity. At daybreak, his friends wake up and want to play. Bear has to remind them when it is his turn…but then he falls asleep. The whimsical world play takes this book to the top of my list because it is so much fun to read.


  1. What is your favorite contraption that Bear built?
  2. Have you ever build something that helped you to do a difficult task? What was it?
  3. What makes a good friend?
  4. Do you like to share and take turns?
  5. Do you like it when other kids take turns with you?


Build your own "rollity-rumpity" or other contraption inspired by THE THINGITY-JIG using Lego bricks, blocks, or other building toys. For an extra challenge, use items that you find around the house. How could you use the following items? 

  • A rubber band
  • Plastic bottle tops
  • Scraps of wood
  • Bits of cardboard 
  • Wooden dowels or pencils
  • Nuts and bolts
  • String

Short on supplies? Try drawing your contraption instead! Give your contraption a fun, original name. What job can your contraption help you accomplish?

For more building fun, check out these links for some step-by-step directions to simple machines:

Simple Lever

Simple Catapult

We’d love to see a picture of something you build and hear what you name it! You can share in the comments or on social media using the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.

Other “Inventions” books:


This book shows the emotions inventors experience through the trial and error of a creation. In the end the little girl creates a scooter with doggy side car for her beloved pet.

BE A MAKER by Katey Howes and illustrated by Elizabet Vuković

This is a call to the reader to get creative in all aspects of life. The book shows children making towers, music, a telescope, blueprints, a cardboard spaceship…and much more. It is a celebration of the inventive human spirit.

GOING PLACES by Peter and Paul Reynolds

When the teacher hands out kits to make go-carts, Rafael and his friend Maya decide to create something their own way instead of following the directions like everyone else. The result is spectacular and wins the race!