Blogger Heather Acerro

Program in a Post: Stuffed Animal Sleepover

Stuffed Animals Playing on the Bridge in Youth Services at RPL

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

    Sleepover Book Cover
    Sleepover Memory Book Cover
  • 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
stuffed animal poster
Stuffed Animal Sleepover Poster

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.

Crafts Sleepover Memory Book Page

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.

Puppet Show Sleepover Memory Book Page
Washing Machine Sleepover Memory Book Page

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.

Sleepover Jumping on Bed
Jumping on the Bed Sleepover Memory Book Page

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!

Playing on the Bus Sleepover Memory Book Page



  1. Alice Joseph

    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.

  2. Chantal Emerson

    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!

  3. Kris Lill

    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! 🙂

  4. Al

    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.

  5. Dawn Weidner

    I love your memory book idea for the stuffed animal sleepover! Would you please share the template, as well as your poster? Thanks!

  6. Georgia

    I would love your templates and thanks for sharing!

  7. Shasta Bolduc

    This looks fun! I would love a copy of a memory book please 🙂

  8. Sherry Kay

    I would love a copy of your sleepover memory book. Thanks much!!

  9. Sally Walker

    Great Idea and something I would love to try! Please would you share the file?

  10. Penny Williams

    Please send me templates and planning, etc. etc. THANK YOU!

  11. Heather R.

    This is so helpful! I would love a copy of the template, please. Thank you!

  12. Julia C

    I would love a copy of the template, please! Thanks 🙂

  13. Kayla

    I would love a template of the memory book!

  14. Tammy

    I’m doing this program next month and would love to have your template, if you’re still willing to share! Thanks so much!

  15. Cathy

    I’m doing this program in February for the second time. I would love your template as well if still available!

  16. Betsy Kreider

    I would love your stuffed animal sleepover template and any other ideas you have to offer! Thanks!

  17. Amy Sinnema

    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! 😉

  18. Claudia Erickson

    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!


  19. Kelly

    Our first sleepover is coming in May – I would LOVE a copy of your templates please! Thank you – Kelly

    1. Kelly Curtright

      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.

  20. Kaiti

    Would you please send me the poster & memory book templates? Thank you 🙂

  21. Donna Conway

    I would love a copy of the template! This is awesome!

  22. Barb Bussema

    I would love to have the Memory Book template from your Stuffed Animal Library Sleepover, if you still have it.
    Barb Bussema
    Parchment Community Library
    Parchment, MI

  23. Laura Santo

    I am doing my first stuffed animal sleep over next month. I would love to have your poster template! Thank you!!

  24. Adam Beebe

    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!

  25. Laura Santo

    After planning my sleepover, I have decided I need the memory boo template as well,

  26. Marian Simmons

    I would love a copy of your template if it is still available.
    Thank you!

  27. Courtney Tyniw

    Hello! I will be doing this program in March. Could I please have the template if it is still available?

  28. Amanda Haney

    I would love a copy of the template, please.

    Thank you!

  29. Stephanie

    I would love a copy of the template, please

  30. Megan

    I’m hosting my first Stuffed Animal Sleep Over, and I’d love a copy of your template for the event if possible.

  31. Andrea Webster (@aloudlibrarian)

    I’m doing 2 of these this summer! I would love your template – and publicity too!

    Thanks much! Andrea

  32. April Jones

    I’m hosting our first Stuffed Animal Sleepover and would love your template! Thanks

  33. Lisa Houde

    Would love the template as well! Thank you!

  34. Alycia Tedford

    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?

  35. Melissa Sanchez

    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!

  36. Melissa McCleary

    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!

  37. Meagan

    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!

  38. Diana Learned

    Great post! I would love to get a copy of your memory book template if it’s still available. Thanks for the info!

  39. Amanda K

    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?

  40. Julie Ylinen

    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.

  41. Sarah

    Hello! I am going to be doing this program soon and would love to see your memory book template!
    Thank you!

  42. Meagan

    I would love a copy of your template please!

  43. Mary H

    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!

  44. Kat Collins

    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!

  45. Martha-Lynn Corner

    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?

  46. Laurie

    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.

  47. Stacey

    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!

  48. Sharon

    I am working on a sleepover program now.
    Can you please send me the memory book files. Thank you!

  49. Shannon

    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!

  50. Rachel G

    Hi Heather! Please share your template with me. We are doing a stuffy sleepover in Pine Island for our Summer Reading Program.

  51. Sarah

    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.

  52. Rachael Gridley

    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

  53. Shawna Ketch

    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?

  54. Clodagh Bourke

    Your ideas are wonderful. I would appreciate a copy of your template please as our library hosting a sleepover soon.
    Thanks .

  55. Anita Nagel

    Hi There
    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!

  56. Keri Perkins

    I would also like the templates for the memory book and flyer please

  57. Jennifer Taylor

    Is it too late to ask for a template of your memory book? It is super cute! Thank you!

  58. Ethan

    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.

    Thank you!!

  59. Ludustia Prisk

    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!!

  60. Melissa Carroll

    I would love to use your memoery book template! This is amazing!!

  61. Cheri Stainforth

    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!

  62. Frances

    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!

  63. Cheri

    Hello again,
    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!

  64. Amie Toepfer

    Hi All! I would love the memory book template and the poster template if it is still available.

  65. Karin Rezendes

    Hello! I would love to have copies of the templates if you’re able.

  66. Melissa A

    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.

  67. Erin C

    Hi! My library is planning a stuffed animal sleepover and I would love a copy of your memory book you used please. Thanks!

  68. Cindy Merricks

    Great ideas!!! Would love to have a copy of the memory book!

  69. Lynne Campbell

    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?

  70. Tera Torres

    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!

  71. Diane Pamel

    I would love a copy if you are still able to send.

  72. Jessie Fleming

    Your memory book idea is so cute! If you are still sending out the templates, could you email a copy to me? Thank you!

  73. Jill Weatherby

    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!

  74. Lisa

    Please send me the template for the Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book and advertising poster. Thanks!

  75. kelly march

    Could you please send me the stuffed animal sleepover template if still available?

  76. Beate van der Schalie

    Could you please send me a template for your Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book ? These are wonderful ideas! Thank you!!

  77. Paige Shank

    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!

  78. Liz

    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!

  79. Nickie Smith

    Hi Friends,
    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)

  80. Sarena Christensen

    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!

  81. Danielle

    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!!

  82. Donna Conway

    Hi, I would love to use your template! Could you email it to me at please? Thanks!

  83. Renee Burton

    If possible could I get a copy of your template? We’re doing a stuffed animal sleepover soon and it’s adorable.

  84. Leslie Swaim-Fox

    Are you still emailing the memory book template? We are giving this a try and I would love to have it! Thanks so much!

  85. Katy

    Can I get a copy of this? Thanks!

  86. Lauren

    I’d love a copy of your template, I’m running this program next week!

  87. Dana

    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!

  88. Amy

    I love your creative ideas! Could I please have a copy of your template? Thanks so much!

  89. Deanna VanDell

    Hi, can’t wait to do ours this summer! Yours looks so cute! Can I please have the memory template file? Thank you so very much!

  90. Felicia Gill

    We’re planning one as well, could I please get a copy of your memory book template and your marketing materials as well please? 🙂

  91. Jo

    I would love to get a copy of the template. Please!

  92. Julie

    I would love a copy of the template, if you are still sending them. I’m in the process of planning my first stuffie sleepover at the library!

  93. Mary Ellen Albin

    I would like a copy of the template please.

  94. Christine Westercamp

    I would love a copy of the template if you are still willing to share. Thank you!

  95. Melanie

    I am doing a program like this next month! Would you be willing to send me the layout for this memory book. I think this is a great idea!

  96. Leya Rosewood

    Is this memory book still available? I would love to use it for our library.

  97. Ann

    I would love a copy of the template if possible for the stuffed animal sleepover our library is doing this in April.

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