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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Stuffy Sleepover

Staff in Jammies
Our library recently hosted a stuffy sleepover. If you missed this incredibly adorable event, don't worry, we plan on having another at some point in the future. For those of you who do not live near Portland you should absolutely beg your local library to host one, because the little ones here loved it. Basically the kiddos came to the library with a stuffed friend for a special evening story time. We encouraged all the kids to wear jammies and the staff had theirs on too. I don't know about you, but I am always up for going anywhere in my pj's and a couple of parents told me that their children could not wait to wear theirs to story time.

Upon arrival the kids had their pictures taken and filled out an information sheet about their stuffy. This included their stuffy's name, favorite snack, favorite color, and it also had a place for them to draw a picture of their stuffy. The photo and information sheet would become part of the book that each participant would receive when they picked up their stuffy the next day.

During the story time portion of the program the kids listened to bedtime stories, sang songs, and made a super cute sleepy teddy craft.

After story time the kids tucked in their stuffies for the evening. First they wrote the stuffy's name on a sleep mask made of craft foam and yarn and put them in the story time room.

Once all the kids had left the staff took tons of pictures of the stuffies reading books, playing with trains, coloring, taking over the director's office, etc. The next morning the kids picked up their stuffed friends and received a book (complete with photos and simple text) all about their stuffy's overnight adventures in the library.

Planning this program made me think about all of my favorite stories, rhymes, and songs that are about bedtime and sleeping. Even if you cannot attend a stuffy sleepover any time in the near future, you can still share a wonderful sleepy story time with your little one in the comfort of your own home.

Of course, since it was the Stuffy Sleepover I had to read Bedtime for Yeti by Vin Vogel. Yeti spends every moment with his stuffed doppelganger, Chunk, but one evening Chunk disappears right before bedtime.  Not only is Yeti (and Chunk) super cute the book has some fantastic onomatopoeia (sound words like rawr, boom, crash) to get kids involved in the story.

A couple of classic picture books about sleeping and bedtime that may not be as well known as say Goodnight Moon are The Napping House by Audrey Wood and Moritmer by Robert Munsch. Both of these are silly and feature some fun repetition.

I don't know about you, but I gravitate towards picture books with some humor. Not only do kids love books that make them laugh, but they are just so much more enjoyable to read.
Jory John's book Goodnight, Already! is sure to make parents and kids giggle. Poor bear just wants to go to bed but his bothersome neighbor, Duck, won't let him. Will Bear ever get Duck to go away and let him sleep? If you like Goodnight, Already! check out this hilarious duo in their latest adventure, I Love You Already!

Kids are sure to think that Don't Blink by Amy Krause Rosenthal is a hoot (haha, pun intended!). This whimsical and interactive picture book promises the reader that they can skip bedtime and stay awake if they can just avoid blinking. Every time you blink you have to turn the page and bedtime awaits the reader at the end of the book. After all sorts of tricks like staring and holding your eyes open, the reader discovers that the best way to avoid blinking is to close your eyes and go to sleep.
Before I end this post I just want to share one bedtime song. Goodnight by Laurie Berkner is a sweet and charming lullaby that is simple to remember and sing. You can easily add extra verses with different animals (as long as you know what sound they make since one child at the program suggested giraffe and I had no clue what that noise would be). Also, when I sing it to my two year old I always sing "I'm a little Zacky" instead of "I'm a little kid" for the final verse.

We all have our favorite bedtime stories and songs so feel free to share a few of your in the comments.