Canned Goods: Stuffed Bunny Read-Alouds – The Toy and the Test Drive

by STEM Read Staff

In the third installment of the Stuffed Bunny Science Series, The Toy and the Test Drive, Bear hits the road in search of adventure with his new friend, Sonny the Solar Car. But will they have enough energy to climb the highest hill in the neighborhood and return to Jack’s house before the big race against Jack’s sister’s Sadie Scientist doll?

This fast-paced storybook by author and STEM Read Director Gillian King-Cargile explores concepts of solar power and potential and kinetic energy aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. The book will help young readers understand the importance of believing in yourself and trusting science.

After you listen to the book, check out related resources and games about solar energy here:

If you want to keep the race going at home, try creating your own hill like Scary Summit and see how far your toy cars can go:

  • Pick a toy car or several toy cars that you want to race down a ramp.
  • Think about how you would try to get your toy cars to shoot down the ramp as fast and as far as possible. 
  • Find materials around the house and use them to build a ramp like the steep hill described in the book. What types of materials might work best? What will be strong enough to hold your toy car? How steep should the ramp be to make the car go really far without making it crash at the bottom?
  • Once you have a good plan, try building your ramp. Did it work? If not, what went wrong? How can you improve it to get down the ramp safely and quickly like Bear and Sonny did?
  • If your ramp works, try racing lots of different cars down the ramp. Use removeable tape or a small item like a penny to mark how far the cars travel. You can even measure the distance of each car and use your data to make a bar graph!

From all of us at STEM Read, happy racing, readers!