Ever wonder what your stuffed animals do at night? Well McLib has a truely cute activity for your 2 - 6 year old where they can find out. They can bring their second favorite stuffed animal to a library sleepover on Thursday, January 31. It's not that they can’t bring their most favorite - but what are they going to cuddle in bed?

Dress your little ones in pajamas and bring teddy or another stuffed friend for a fun night out. Activities starts at 5pm in the Meeting Room on the Second Floor, and end at 6pm when they kiss their animal goodnight so they can begin their sleepover! There will be bedtime stories and a ‘bear-y’ good nighttime snack. No humans will be staying overnight in the library - the sleepover is for stuffed animals only! No sign up is required. 

iLove It

The kiddos can come back in the morning after 10 am to pick up their friend and see what they were up to all night!

“Back in 2015, we had our first ever Teddy Bear Sleepover,” McLib Youth Services Assistant Katie Underwood told me. “About 25 stuffed animals participated, and if this year’s participants are like the last, they won’t be getting much sleep!”

iLove It

“Teddy Bear Sleepover programs in libraries not only encourage a love for reading, but they are also so magical to little ones and adorable to caregivers” Underwood added.

Want to see just how cute this is? Here are more pictures from the 2015 event. 

iLove It

The Science Behind the Event

Here’s how it works: Kids bring their favorite stuffed pal to the library (researchers say it’s best if they choose one they’re especially attached to). The librarians usually lead the kids in a story time circle with their favorite toy. After that, it’s time for the kids to say goodbye and goodnight — but they leave their little buddy behind for the overnight library party.

Once the doors are shut, the library staff gets to work posing the stuffed animals living it up at the library all night long, and snapping photos as they go.

iLove It

When the kids come back the next day to pick up their little loved ones, they get to look through photos of all the fun their pals had, which will be posted on the library’s Facebook page.

And when it comes to reading, the “magic” helps. In fact, a recent study led by researcher Yoshihiro Okazaki of Okayama University, found that instilling a sense of magic and wonder is a necessary part of getting kids to fall in love with reading in the first place. What’s more, Okazaki says that sleepover programs increased reading interest. (After all, once the kids see their stuffed animals reading books, they want to read with them, too!)

iLove It

Okazaki says these library programs, “contribute to the smooth transition from passive to active reading,” which is what inspires kids to pick up a book on their own and read, instead of having their parent read to them.