Build Up to Bedtime

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Read & Play , Read It Myself
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It’s one hour ’til bedtime and the storm outside is loud! How will Garrett and Gracie go to sleep? These contraption-making twins have a solution—to create a contraption to turn on a music machine that will drown out the storm. They only have one hour and need your help! The contraption starts when the cuckoo clock goes off at 8 o’clock. The cuckoo bird taps a toy plane on a zip-line. When the plane goes down the zip-line, what should it hit to knock the ball that will hit the tinker toy? Trying different choices and tinkering with ideas will help Garrett and Gracie get some sleep.

Learning Concepts

Making , Cause and Effect

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Full Text

“Neeeeeruuum. Mayor Gracie, there’s trouble at the city gate.”
“What trouble is that?”
“There’s a dragon!”
“Oh no! Don’t eat our town!”
“Garrett! Gracie! I hear the cuckoo clock. That means you have one hour ’til bedtime.”
“Okay, Dad!”
“Gracie, the storm is really loud.”
“I know! I’m not gonna be able to sleep with all that thunder.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
“Hey, I have an idea. Let’s build a contraption. When the cuckoo bird comes out, the contraption will go all the way ’round the room and turn the music on. Then we won’t hear the storm and we can fall asleep.”
Let’s get building.

Starting Operation Cuckoo Contraption!
When it’s time, the little bird inside the clock will poke out and say “cuckoo, cuckoo” and send the plane, whoosh, down the zip-line.
“Hmmm . . . we need something here that the plane can knock over and—plop—fall onto the ball.”
Should we try the dragon, these blocks, or this banana?

The ball will land here.
And then we’ll need something to reach this table.
“This seesaw could help. We could make it so the rubber band ball will plonk onto the seesaw and send the yo-yo up.”
“Genius! But what can the yo-yo land on that will make it roll to the table?”
Should we use this bowl, rubber duck, or xylophone?

“The storm is getting louder. We need to turn the music on—and fast. That means we’re going to need the marble that’s right here to roll from here into the dominoes.”
What piece do you think might work?
This blue curvy piece, this red straight piece, or this yellow loopy piece?

“Okay, our contraption is in place!”
“All right, it’s time for bed.”
“Watch this, Dad!”
“Operation Cuckoo Contraption begins! The cuckoo bird makes the plane flyyy.”
“Yes! The dragon/blocks knock(s) the ball.”
“It’s falling and . . . it turns the tinker toy, which . . .”
“. . . taps the rubber band ball.”
“The yo-yo goes up and down the xylophone . . .”
“. . . to the other table!”
“The marble is going around and around and, oh, straight into the dominoes . . .”
“Bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk bonk.”
“And . . . the music is on!”
“I can’t even hear one little thunder clap.”
“Our contraption worked! Did you see that, Dad?”
“I did see it, and I heard it too. That’s some impressive bedtime engineering.”
“Thanks, Dad.”
And thank you for your help.
“Goodnight, my brilliant builders.”
If you want to change the song, push the button on the music machine.

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  • Written and illustrated by: Patrick Dorey
  • Script edited by: Sarah Haines
  • Voice direction and casting by: Ed Lewis
  • Audio services by: Bang
  • Copy edited by: The Linguistic Edge


  • Gracie: Natalie Janowski
  • Garrett: Eli Tokash

Developed and Animated By