Cookie Delivery Rube Goldberg Machine

For this month’s  Virtual Book Club for Kids, we’re featuring three books by Laura Numeroff. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is the book that started her popular series, so that’s what we’re focusing on today. The stories are all about cause and effect and sequencing so we were inspired to build a Cookie Delivery Rube Goldberg Machine! At the end of the post, you can find more ideas inspired by Laura Numeroff’s books. Affiliate links are included in this post. Thanks for supporting Inspiration Laboratories.

Cookie Delivery Rube Goldberg Machine inspired by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, he’ll ask you for a glass of milk. If you give him the milk, he’ll ask for a straw. One thing leads to another and another and another. This book is a great lesson in cause and effect. Plus the story is just cute. You and your kids will love reading it again and again. As you read it for a second (or more) time, talk about the sequence of events and what will happen next.

Cookie Delivery Rube Goldberg Machine

Rube Goldberg was famous for drawing cartoons of crazy machines that performed simple tasks. For example, a machine that blew out birthday candles would be completely unnecessary. Add in several parts of the machine complete with many energy transfers and you’d have a Rube Goldberg machine.

When reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, I imagined a Rube Goldberg machine. Am I the only one? If this happens, then this happens, then this, so on and so on. It sounds like a complicated machine to me.

Aiden and I started our design research by watching videos of Rube Goldberg machines on YouTube.

Aiden drew a picture of what he wanted to include in his cookie delivery machine – a funnel, dominoes, trains, and ramps. He gathered supplies from around the house and started building parts of the machine.

I helped Aiden figure out how to combine his machine parts and offered suggestions here and there. Sometimes he liked my suggestions and sometimes he didn’t. One of the earliest parts of the machine was a train knocking over dominoes. This reminded me of our chain reaction science exploration we did when Aiden was 2.

train knocking over dominoes

It took us a few days to build our machine from start to finish – mostly because we worked during baby Lily’s nap time. She kept knocking things over.

We started the machine with a rock falling through a funnel into a measuring cup onto dominoes. The funnel was held up by a Magformers tower.

machine start

If Aiden had his way, the machine would have more parts and keep going on and on for a while longer. My patience was being tested by a 5 year old who wanted to play with the parts of the machine and not wait for everything to be set up before setting something off. It took a while to get all of the parts working at the same time but it finally worked.

It all started with a drop of a rock.


Watch the video of the cookie delivery machine in action.

In the end the cookie is revealed and it’s time to eat. If you give your son a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk…

More Ideas from the Virtual Book Club for Kids


See more activities inspired by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Free Printable If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Activities from Lalymom
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Counting Cards from Playdough to Plato
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Counting Activities from Still Playing School
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Number Game from Toddler Approved
Cookie Sensory Bottle from The Pleasantest Thing
DIY Pretend Play Cookies from Mama Miss

These activities go along with If You Give a Moose a Muffin

If You Give a Moose Hot Chocolate Banana Muffins from Growing Book by Book
Making Gluten Free Muffins – If You Give A Moose a Muffin from 3 Dinosaurs
If You Give a Moose a Muffin Then… Maths Games for Kids from Rainy Day Mum

Try one of these ideas after reading If You Give a Pig a Pancake

Experimenting with Pancake Recipes from Science Sparks

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