Age Range: All Ages (tailored to fit specific age groups for individual programs)
Time: 30 minutes to 1.5 hours (depending on age group)
Program Type: Registration; Drop-In; Series/Theme Across Age Ranges
Often when planning my monthly Book Worms program, I consult the weird holiday websites to search for a fun theme. Last winter, when looking for new year ideas, I came across a day, January 3, called Festival of Sleep Day. This day was designed for everyone to slow down after the holiday bustle and get some much-needed rest, and it just so happened to be my Book Worms date this past year.
Immediately I knew I wanted to encourage the kids to wear pj’s and bring their favorite stuffed animals for a pajama parade. I just had to find an engaging book to lead into this. I keep running lists on Goodreads of books to use for programs and while searching, I came across the perfect book to celebrate all sleepy things: Snoozefest by Samantha Berger. It is literally about a sloth who goes to a “festival of sleep” so to speak. It was perfect! But then I thought of something I’d never really thought of before. What if the same week I did my sleep-themed Book Worms program for the school age kids, the preschool storytimes were also sleep-themed, and we could just call the whole week of programs Snoozefest? I proposed it to my preschool cohorts and they were in! We marketed the entire week as a week of Snoozefest events in Youth Services and wore pj’s for the whole first week of the new year. It was quite a brilliant idea if I do say so myself. =)
Below are some pictures of my room setup for Book Worms. I put other sleep-related books on display for the children to check out. After we read Snoozefest, but before we went on our pajama parade, I let the kiddos make sleep-themed picket signs basically, so that they would have something to carry during the parade (besides their stuffed animals of course). Kip painted an adorable Snoozefest banner that the children in front were able to carry for all of our pajama parades that week (not only did my group parade around the library after our program, but the preschoolers did after each storytime that week as well). We also played soothing lullabies over the PA system during the parades. Our library patrons and staff loved the adorable interruption. =)
For this coming year, we’ve decided to make Snoozefest an annual event, and we are expanding it to include teen and adult programming for the first week back after the new year. Our teen librarian is probably going to do a sleep-themed book club, and our adult services librarian is planning to do a Hygge program that same week. (If you aren’t familiar with the Danish concept of Hygge, it will change your life!) I am changing up my book choice this year and reading Stop That Yawn! by Caron Levis. It has a wonderful interactive component with the yawning and will be a perfect segue into our pajama parade. I’m not sure what the preschool librarians have planned this year, but suffice it to say that I hope Snoozefest continues to be a yearly tradition.
I can think of no better way to start off a new year at work than wearing my most comfy pajamas and snuggling a plushie! =)