Wednesday, July 30, 2014

stuffed animal sleepover @ the library 7-28-14

This is always one of my most favorite programs of the year and I try to schedule it once every summer. We usually get a pretty good turn out and I try to make little improvements and changes each year. This time, I moved the program from 7 pm to 6:30, and it really gave me some much needed extra prep time after the program to take photos with the toys. I loved being able to relax and take my time, instead of rushing around like a crazy person since my library closes at 8 pm. 

First, we read some fun bedtime stories:

One Ted Falls Out of Bed- Donaldson
Kiss Kiss Good Night- Nesbitt
Yeti, Turn Out the Light- Long (the kids thought this one was hilarious!)
Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep- Saltzberg (everyone loved Chengdu; the illustrations are sooo cute!)

We read The Stuffed Animals Get Ready for Bed with fun clipart props that I printed and laminated, just like last year.

Then, it was time for crafts! First up was sleep masks for the stuffed animals. I found this adorable idea here a week or so before our program, and I was totally inspired by LibrErin's amazing photos! I had mostly assembled the masks myself in advance so the kids could just decorate. Since these were going to be their “nametags” for the event, it was super important that everyone write their name on one side of the mask and the name of their stuffed friend on the other side.

My stuffed friend with his fancy new sleep mask!

I made these in four sizes (S, M, L & XL) to accommodate a variety of toys.

Our next craft was "Pajama Buddies" that I printed from this site: Free Kids Crafts.

They have so many options, including color or black and white printables. I printed a variety of animals (as well as pjs on a variety of colored card stock) so all they had to do was decorate, cut and paste. Very cute and so easy!

As everyone was finishing their crafts, we started bringing the stuffed animals to the story rug, where we wrapped each one in a colored scarf and sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” all together. Then, we kissed the animals good night & left the room. 

That's when I start working my magic, photographing the animals in fun poses & groups so the kids can see what they were up to after the library lights went out!

It is good to have some extra stuffed animals on hand for kids who forgot or changed their minds about leaving their favorite friend for the night. I always tell kids and parents that its okay to change your mind & a couple younger participants usually do. I would hate to think that someone would be unhappy later that night & missing their special toy so its perfectly understandable.

Then next day, the kids came back to pick up their stuffed animals and found some cute surprises waiting for them, like cookie coupons, magnifying glasses, fish tattoos & a fun photo "keepsake"!

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