Monday, December 10, 2012
The Return of the Stuffed Animal Sleepover Story Time
The basic format for our most recent Stuffed Animal Sleepover and Story Time was very similar to our spring program. Caregivers brought their children to the library on a Wednesday evening with their stuffed animal friends in tow. As each child brought his or her stuffed friend to the reference desk, I asked for a few details: the stuffed animal's name; the child's name, for the back of each animal's nametage; and any special instructions for taking care of the animal. I learned which stuffed friends needed help brushing their teeth, which enjoyed dancing before bedtime, and which needed a hug before being tucked in. Adorable. (And pro-early literacy! Those kids were all about talking about bedtime rituals!)
On Thursday morning, I woke up the animals and got set up for our story time. The formal program included four main components:
1. Viewing the slideshow of the animals' sleepover antics. Kids and caregivers both love this portion of the program--I had a couple of moms snapping pictures of the projected slideshow before I mentioned I would share the link with them. I used the Haiku Deck app to make this simple slideshow.
3. Enjoying a small breakfast-y snack. I had juice boxes and mini doughnuts set out on a table for everyone. Tests indicate that powdered sugar trumps chocolate, FYI.
4. Getting crafty to create sleepover souvenirs. I printed out a picture of each of the stuffed animals friends doing something at the library. Children were able to cut out that picture and then attach it to a cardboard picture frame that they had decorated. Caregivers particularly love these keepsakes. Each child could also draw and/or write on a small poster to show what their stuffed animal's favorite part of the sleepover was. Funny moment: When I asked one child what her dog Clifford said was his favorite part of the night, she replied, deadpan: "You do know they can't talk, right?"
Children were able to finish their crafts at their own pace before heading home with their stuffed animals. I did share the slideshow with all the caregivers who shared their e-mail addresses, and I got a lot of positive feedback after I sent that message. Already I've heard from families asking when we'll offer the program again--some really enjoyed it, and some weren't able to attend this time. I think it's safe to say we'll be giving this program a permanent spot in our special programs rotation.
Questions? Recommendations? Stories about your own stuffed animal sleepoevers? Share in the comments!