Ben the Inventor {Book Review}

Welcome to this month’s edition of Poppins’ Book Nook – a free monthly book club that invites you to join in by reading a book and doing a related activity that fits into the theme of that month and an opportunity to link up your blog posts. It’s open to anyone – in any age range. I hope you’ll join in.

This month’s theme was To The Laboratory.

Hands-on Science is a super area of interest for my boys, so this opportunity to read a book that helps them get active and learning is all great for me! I decided to use a different kind of hands-on than the usual beakers and explosions. Let’s do Inventing!

About the Book

Title: Ben the Inventor

Author: Robin Stevenson

Summary: Ben and Jack are best friends, who just happen to be excellent inventors. When they discover that Jack’s family is putting his house up for sale to move away, they decide it’s time to get inventing a way to stop the house from selling. Good thing they are great at making plans…..

What We Thought: 

This young reader chapter book was pretty amusing. From sad to silly – each moment was enjoyable. My boys thought it was funny and it gave us lots of opportunities to come up with ideas on our own of what they would do/plan/invent to try and stop a house from selling. I was a little disappointed that only Plan A involved an invention (that flopped) – even though the other ideas were fun, they didn’t really seem to suit the “inventor” theme.

There are a lot of great full-page black and white drawings scattered throughout the book which make it easier for the kids to visualize what’s going on in the story, which was helpful since at some points they felt a little confused by the characters introduced (having never had a moving experience with a realtor or people coming to check the house out.).

Hands-On Activity

Plan A in this book consisted of a Rube Goldberg machine. If you aren’t familiar with Rube Goldberg, he was a cartoonist (among other things) who had a weekly invention comic strip that solved simple problems through a complex and rather ridiculous chains of events. This has led to some extremely crazy and fun contraptions being created in real life – for fun, for contests, for marketing, and more.

We decided to give it a go – as we love these kinds of things. Our goal was to catch a little toy mouse. We started out by setting up the game of Mousetrap as an example of a mouse catching gadget machine. It gave us some good ideas on what to do. The plan was to start at the end and move backwards. We got out the mouse, found a container we could use to catch it and started building. Unfortunately….. everything fell apart while we were working and the kids got very discouraged. Instead of trying to make them start all over again, I asked them to design imaginary ones on paper. Their creativity was fun.

Rube Goldberg Machines

Invention and exploration is a lot of fun!



If you are participating in this month’s “to the laboratory” book club, or have a kidlet interested in science – be sure to check out the free lapbook from Poppins Book Nook Host Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Poppins Book Nook January 2015 Lapbook

Check out what my other co-hosts were reading and doing this month and link up your fun book!

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

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