Story Machines

Annie Riechmann from Alphabet Glue and Bird and Little Bird is with us today to share a lovely activity that will bring a new level of excitement to story writing in your home.

There are times when kids write stories just for the sake of writing and wanting to share their ideas and imagination. Then, there are times when they write them because they have a clever idea for displaying their writing, which creates a bit of extra motivation to get busy with paper and pencil. Such is the case with these foldable paper story machines. Once my daughter caught hold of the idea to make and decorate a “machine” that produced her writing for friends and family to read, she was hooked. The result is a fun and whimsical bit of three-dimensional artwork that contains a bonus surprise for the person who picks it up and discovers that they can pull a story out of the side!

Interested in making a few story machines or your own? You can download complete instructions and templates here. I’ve also included a robot book list for some extra fun! This story machine activity can be found in Vol. 9 of my magazine Alphabet Glue and is just one example of the type of project you will find in every issue.




Annie Riechmann is an educator, blogger and mama to two small people who lives in the Burlington, Vermont area. Annie is also the creator and publisher of Alphabet Glue, a literacy themed e-magazine for families, and is an associate editor for Rhythm of the Home. She is an unapologetic lover of striped knee socks, avocados, and field guides, and wishes that she was better at flying kites. You can check in with Annie at her blog, Bird and Little Bird, where she writes about everything from books and babies, to laundering snow pants.



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  1. My heart beats a little faster if I look at the great ideas in Alphabet Glue. Thanks for sharing the story machine activity with us. Would love to win volume 9 or 10.

  2. What a cute idea! I find stories that my kids have written all over our house, this is a neat idea to “display” them. Would love to win an issue of Alphabet Glue, they are all excellent!
    ~ joey ~

  3. Fantastic! Not only are these great activities for my students, but great things to remember for my child (he’s still yet an infant)!

  4. I am a Montessori teacher at a new charter school whose goal is to bring the Montessori philosophy to children of all ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds.  We are currently trying to bridge the gap between the conventional classroom and the Montessori environment and your suggestions and activities seem to do that brilliantly.  Great blog.

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