With this post, a storytime, a camera, and a color printer you can have a grand time caring for stuffed animals overnight!
Back in 2011 the brilliant guest contributor and librarian extraordinaire, Kris Lill, posted about Allen County Public Library’s Stuffed Animal Sleepover program and now, all of these years later I am here to remind you about this wonderful, easy, awesome program that brings in the numbers and fuzzy friends!
The first Stuffed Animal Sleepover at Rochester Public Library (MN) was presented in June 2015 to 23 people and 7 stuffed animals. We followed that with a program in October 2015 for 150 people and 73 stuffed animals and THEN (are you ready for this) in January 2016 for 295 people and 115 stuffed animals! And the thing is, it is one of the easiest things you can do if you don’t mind working after hours on a Friday night.
- A fabulous bedtime storytime
- A camera
- A color printer
- A stapler
- A template for your Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book (Ours is available by request, just ask in the comments and I will email it to you. It is a Publisher file.)
- A list of photo ops for the animals
- Rubber bands, binder clips, and other tools to use while posing the animals.
- Other optional activity items as desired
Prep work: Advertise your program at storytimes and other events for preschoolers and elementary school kids (I would be happy to share our Publisher poster template as well). We also created a Facebook ad for our January program, which we think was part of the reason for the through-the-roof attendance. Gather your storytime books, props, and music. Have your Sleepover Memory Book template ready to go and prepare a list of photo ops.
Optional prep work includes: Make simple braided friendship bracelets from yarn, art projects, or sleepover buttons for all of the animals. These activities also make great photo ops as you can take pictures of the animals making bracelets, art, and/or buttons.
Room Setup: Set up for a storytime with one small addition: have a blanket or two spread out at the front for the kids to use to put their animals to bed. For our next event, we are going to use an adjacent meeting room as a bedroom for the animals.
Program format: We schedule our Stuffed Animal Sleepover for 4:30pm on a Friday (one hour before closing). The storytime lasts about 25 minutes and then we invite the children to tuck their stuffed animals into bed and remind them to pick their friends up the next day.
After all the animals are tucked in and tears are dried, we start setting up the animals for photos in several “behind-the-scenes” shots. For this last event we took photos of the animals “sleeping”, playing the piano in the auditorium, putting on a puppet show with our puppet theater, experimenting with art supplies in the back room, and jumping on the bed. Once the library was closed we took some of the animals out into the Youth Services Division to play in our Minnesota Children’s Museum Smart Play Spot for a few more photo ops.
After we had all of our photos, including a few extras to post on Facebook, we uploaded them to the computer and filled in the memory book with the best of the best. While 125 books were printing, we cataloged the animals and put them on carts for pick up. It required several carts for 115 animals! After stapling the books together, we left them on the Youth Services Information Desk for distribution with the animals. We usually finish with everything around 7pm. Pick up time made for a busy Saturday morning with happy smiles and hugs all around!
A Stuffed Animal Sleepover is one of my favorite programs. I make matching nametags for kids and their animals. I bring sleeping bags for the animals to be tucked into. The kids decorate a picture frame and I give them each a couple pictures of what their animals did overnight when they come the next day to pick up their animals. With a straight face, I tell the kids I was there all night and MOST of the animals were well behaved. I do this for 4-7 year olds. They are not sure if they should believe me or not.
It’s always a lot of fun. Over the years I only had one child who came to the program but could not leave her stuffed animal. And one child brought her animal’s favorite blanket so he would be comfortable.
I have done a couple of successful stuffed animal sleepovers, but would love copies of your advertising and memory book. I’ve never had a group as large as yours! Thanks in advance!
Hey, thanks for the shout-out! And kudos on your amazing turnout! I still love presenting this program — in fact, I have one planned in a couple of weeks. Sooooo looking forward to it! 🙂
I’ve done this program at a few libraries I’ve worked at, though instead of memory books, we make a google slideshow. When the kids pick up their animals, we show the slideshow and email the link to anyone who wants it.
I love your memory book idea for the stuffed animal sleepover! Would you please share the template, as well as your poster? Thanks!
I would love your templates and thanks for sharing!
This looks fun! I would love a copy of a memory book please 🙂
I would love a copy of your sleepover memory book. Thanks much!!
Great Idea and something I would love to try! Please would you share the file?
Please send me templates and planning, etc. etc. THANK YOU!
This is so helpful! I would love a copy of the template, please. Thank you!
I would love a copy of the template, please! Thanks 🙂
I would love a template of the memory book!
I’m doing this program next month and would love to have your template, if you’re still willing to share! Thanks so much!
I’m doing this program in February for the second time. I would love your template as well if still available!
I would love your stuffed animal sleepover template and any other ideas you have to offer! Thanks!
I would also love to have your stuffed animal sleepover template, too. Thanks! Planning my first sleepover and very excited. I 50 kids registered. Should be controlled chaotic fun! 😉
So adorable. I would love a copy of your stuffed animal sleep over template poster and the memory book. We are planning this with our early literacy program through the AAP and the library. Thank you!
Our first sleepover is coming in May – I would LOVE a copy of your templates please! Thank you – Kelly
You so kindly sent me the templates and now I can’t find them in my email! Would you be able to send again? Thank you.
Would you please send me the poster & memory book templates? Thank you 🙂
I would love a copy of the template! This is awesome!
I would love to have the Memory Book template from your Stuffed Animal Library Sleepover, if you still have it.
Parchment Community Library
I am doing my first stuffed animal sleep over next month. I would love to have your poster template! Thank you!!
We are trying this for the first time next month as well. If you can send me your templates I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!
After planning my sleepover, I have decided I need the memory boo template as well,
I would love a copy of your template if it is still available.
Hello! I will be doing this program in March. Could I please have the template if it is still available?
I would love a copy of the template, please.
I would love a copy of the template, please
I’m hosting my first Stuffed Animal Sleep Over, and I’d love a copy of your template for the event if possible.
Andrea Webster (@aloudlibrarian)
I’m doing 2 of these this summer! I would love your template – and publicity too!
Thanks much! Andrea
I’m hosting our first Stuffed Animal Sleepover and would love your template! Thanks
Would love the template as well! Thank you!
thanks for sharing so many details in your post. I am inspired to give it at try at my local library. Would you mind sharing your memory book template?
Thank you so much for this wonderful post! I’m planning a “Pajama Jam” this November and would love to use the memory book. May I please have a copy of your template? Thanks!
We would love to borrow your template for your “Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book.” Thank you for reviewing such cute highlights of this fun program!
I would love to view your template for your memory book! What a wonderful program! I am planning one for February and I am so excited!
Great post! I would love to get a copy of your memory book template if it’s still available. Thanks for the info!
I love the idea of a memory book! In the past, we’ve just handed kids pictures with their individual stuffed animal in them, but I like the idea of everyone being able to see all the pictures, even if their animal is not in a given picture. Can you send me a copy of your template?
This will be our first sleepover in our new library and we have some very fun places for the animals to
explore. Would you please share your memory book template and I would like to see what your poster
looked like. Thanks so much. This should be just too much fun.
Hello! I am going to be doing this program soon and would love to see your memory book template!
I would love a copy of your template please!
Thank you for sharing this! I’m doing my first Stuffed Animal Sleepover in a few weeks. Can you please email me the template? Thank you very much!
Thanks for the great ideas! We’re planning this for the Bourbonnais Library. I’d love to get the template for the memory book, if still possible!
It’s so helpful to read about your experience with this program! It’s helping me think through my own, upcoming in fall of 2019 (we plan VERY far in advance in my system). Would it be possible for me to use the template as well?
Your program looks so cute. I would appreciate receiving the promotional pieces and the memory book template. We are considering a stuffie sleepover for our library preschoolers. Thanks in advance.
I have just decided this week that I want to do a sleepover program. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed because of our operating hours and my schedule…but it will work!
Can you please send me the memory book and advertising files? Thanks so much!
I am working on a sleepover program now.
Can you please send me the memory book files. Thank you!
I would love to add this idea to my elementary media center events! Do you mind sending me the memory book file?
Thank you so much!
Hi Heather! Please share your template with me. We are doing a stuffy sleepover in Pine Island for our Summer Reading Program.
I love how you laid this all out! You handled a huge number of attendees and friends so well! We’re doing a sleep over at the end of summer. I would love to get a copy of your memory book if you still have it handy.
I am doing this program at my library in a couple of weeks and would love to have the memory book template sent to me! Thank you so much
I am very excited to try this program. It looks so much fun! May we have a copy of the memory book template sent to us?
Your ideas are wonderful. I would appreciate a copy of your template please as our library hosting a sleepover soon.
Love this idea! I worked in an elementary school library for 29 years (just started at my public library) and I did “Stuffie Sleepovers’ quite a lot. Looks like I’m not the only crazy one out there – your pictures are really awesome!
Could you please share the “memory book” file with me? I would so appreciate it as we are going to attempt a sleepover here at our public library. Thanks so much!
I would also like the templates for the memory book and flyer please
Is it too late to ask for a template of your memory book? It is super cute! Thank you!
If you have time, I would really appreciate a copy of this template as well! I have done a similar program several times and am planning another one for this December.
Hi!! I’m really hoping the template for the memory book is still available. I have just heard about this great idea and really want to do this!!! Thanks in advance!!
I would love to use your memoery book template! This is amazing!!
Hi! Wow!! This looks like SO MUCH FUN!! What a huge success! I am going to try this in January. Could you please send me the template for the memory book as well as your advertisement template. Thanks a lot!
Fantastic idea – so looking forward to my own program during March break! I would love the memory book template as well as the poster template. Thank you!
I know I requested a memory book from you back in Oct. but I accidentally deleted the file. Could you resend that one to me? Thanks again!
Hi All! I would love the memory book template and the poster template if it is still available.
Hello! I would love to have copies of the templates if you’re able.
Hi! I missed the stuffed animal sleepover at my local library, but I would love to pass along the idea to the media specialist at my niece’s elementary school. If they are still available, could you send the templates you offered to share? Please and thank you.
Hi! My library is planning a stuffed animal sleepover and I would love a copy of your memory book you used please. Thanks!
Great ideas!!! Would love to have a copy of the memory book!
Love this idea…talked to my children’s librarian about it and she’d like to do it again.I love your templates…may I use them?
If it’s not too late, may I please request a copy by email of your template for the Memory Book? Thank you in advance!
I would love a copy if you are still able to send.
Your memory book idea is so cute! If you are still sending out the templates, could you email a copy to me? Thank you!
This is such a cute idea! We are having a sleepover this summer. I would love the template if it is still available. Thank you!
Please send me the template for the Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book and advertising poster. Thanks!
Could you please send me the stuffed animal sleepover template if still available?
Beate van der Schalie
Could you please send me a template for your Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book ? These are wonderful ideas! Thank you!!
I am interested in planning a stuffed animal sleepover of my own at one of my branches. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I would love your templates if you can still share. Thanks!
Hi Heather! I’m helping to host a stuffed animal sleepover next month. If you still have the Publisher file of the memory book and are still willing to share it, I’d love to get a copy! Thank you!
I would love to have a the Publisher file for your Memory Book Idea!! If you are still sharing it. Thank YOU so much for your FUN ideas and pictures. They are appreciated… I think our sleepover stuffies are going to be mischief makers.
Stay Blessed and Warm (we have snow)
Hello! We would love to have a copy of the publisher file! We are starting our first stuffie sleepover in a couple of weeks and would greatly appreciate it!
Hi! I love this post. I’m hosting a sleepover in the summer and I would love to use your template. Could you please send it to me? Thank you so much!!
Hi, I would love to use your template! Could you email it to me at email@example.com please? Thanks!
If possible could I get a copy of your template? We’re doing a stuffed animal sleepover soon and it’s adorable.
Are you still emailing the memory book template? We are giving this a try and I would love to have it! Thanks so much!
Can I get a copy of this? Thanks!
I’d love a copy of your template, I’m running this program next week!
If the template is still available, I’d love to get a copy! I love this idea for the souvenir book. I took polaroid photos the first time and while it was really cool, the photos fade fast and it was a huge time sink to take a hundred polaroid photos. I love the idea of all the kids seeing all the photos in their books which will last much better than the polaroids!
I love your creative ideas! Could I please have a copy of your template? Thanks so much!