2013 Stuffed Animal Sleepover

Friday January 11 – Saturday January 12 my library held our second ever Stuffed Animal Sleepover, and it was so much fun!

We started off on Friday with the stuffed animals signing in with our teen volunteers (we required registration for this program to ensure we had enough materials to make a good take-away the next day.  It was limited to 25 participants).  We made sure we had all names spelled correctly (this would help later when putting together the memento from the day), name-tagged the stuffed animals, and had the children fill out a questionnaire so we could learn more about their stuffed friends.Stuffed Animal Sleepover 2013 Survey

Then it was time to begin storytime!  We didn’t put an age range on this program when we publicized it, since we figured the children’s ages didn’t matter much since we were focusing on the stuffed animal.  This meant we had children from 1 – 10 enrolled.  I was a bit worried about making storytime work for such a wide age range, but then a colleague said “Well, the storytime is for the stuffed animals, really” which made it much easier to focus while preparing.

Stuffed Animal Sleepover Storytime

Song: Sing With Me (Nighttime Version)
(to tune of: “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”)
Come along and sing with me
Sing with me, sing with me.
Come along and sing with me,
So early in the evening.

Other verses:
Come along and clap with me…
Come along and stretch with me…
Come along and yawn with me…

Last verse:
Come along and listen with me
listen with me, listen with me.
Come along and listen with me
As we hear our next story.

Knuffle Bunny by Willems
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

Movement: “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around”
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn around
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear show your shoe
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear that will do
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear go upstairs
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear say your prayers
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn out the light
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear say goodnight

Five in the Bed
There were five in the bed and the little one said,
“It’s crowded!  Roll over!”
So they all rolled over and one fell out,
There were four in the bed…

Continue counting down until…

There was one in the bed and the little one said,
“I’m lonely!”
So they all crawled back in
And went to sleep.

Bounce: Ride a Little Pony* (the children bounced their stuffed animals as if they they were toddlers)

Bounce: Dickery,Dickery Dare*

Tuck Me In by Hacohen
Tuck Me In! by Dean Hacohen

This book segued perfectly into the take-home craft I handed out, the Tuck-Me-In Teddy:
TuckMeInTeddyCraft2 TuckMeInTeddyCraft1

Then it was time to say goodbye to the stuffed animals, and for our work to begin!

My list of photos to take was really long — next year I have to remember to pare it down a bit!
Photos to Take Sleepover 2013

Here is a sampling of photos to give you an idea of what we did:
P1110377 P1110530 P1110526 P1110509 P1110497 P1110494 P1110484 P1110467 P1110466
P1110457 P1110446 P1110443 P1110440 P1110433 P1110431 P1110428 P1110426 P1110417 P1110408

After the photos were taken, I went home and worked on prepping the mementos the kids would get the next day.  When we did this back in August of 2012, we actually made photo books for each of the participants with the photos of the stuffed animals.  We went to a 24-hour pharmacy, printed out about 12 photos for each child (we had 23 participants total), then stuffed dollar photo albums with pictures and other assorted things.

This time around, I decided I wanted to attempt to streamline the process.  I would make photo collages using PowerPoint, then print those out on 8 1/2×11 sheets of photo paper. I bought document frames at the dollar store to put the photo collages in to make things a bit more special.  Then on the back, I taped an envelope to hold the extra accoutrements (like the questionnaire we had the kids fill out, the snowflake craft the animals made, and the award the animals won).  They turned out pretty nicely, but I have to say, I’m not sure that this streamlined things at all!


The next morning, the kids came to pick up their stuffed animals.  This is the BEST part of doing a stuffed animal sleepover — seeing the kids reunited with their friends, and the delighted squeals and laughter as they look at what their animals did the night before.


Since I couldn’t fit all the photos in the frame, we also had a slide show of all the photos that were taken.
So fun to hear all the squeals of laughter, and a nice way to have all the participants share in the experience together.  We didn’t do this part the last time we did our sleepover, but I think I would include it from now on.  Also we added a web address on the children’s frames so they could go online and find the photos from the sleepover on the library site as well.  This was especially great for those who couldn’t stay the next day for the slide show.

All in all the sleepover was a great success – fun was had by both humans and stuffed animals alike!

I still would like to find a different way to create a memento for the kids to take home.  Something a little less labor intensive.

Have you done a stuffed animal sleepover?  How was yours?

Feeling Toasty!

On Friday, the library is presenting our second ever stuffed animal sleepover!  Right now I’m busy planning all the fun the animals, volunteers and I will have together.

Our first stuffed animal sleepover was during the summer, and I’m trying to take advantage of the difference in seasons to find some new activities for the animals.  One of the most beautiful aspects of our children’s room is the fireplace.   Designed for the library opening in 1927 by Pasadena sculptor Maud Daggett, it’s beautiful, with a mantel based on a famous children’s book.  Can you guess which?

Fireplace in Children's Room
Here are some hints – the sculpture features pirate ships, crocodiles and a young man “crowing”.

It’s Peter Pan!

Everyone always asks if we ever light the fireplace, which we don’t anymore.  But I thought it might make a fun gathering place for the stuffed animals on a cold winter’s night, and for that it definitely needed some light.  So, I created a fire:


Made from a box covered with construction paper, it’s a little ridiculous, but I think it brings a spark of something to the fireplace:

Fire in Fireplace

Hopefully the stuffed animals will enjoy it on Friday night!  And stay tuned for a post about all the sleepover shenanigans.