Friday, October 26, 2012

How to throw a pajama party

I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the BEDTIME PAJAMA PARTY BLOG TOUR promoting Jeanne C. Blackmore’s new children’s book HOW DOES SLEEP COME?  Elizabeth Sayles’ illustrations paint the coziest, most relaxing pictures that will have the little ones yawning in no time.

Before bed, Jacob asks his Mom, “How does sleep come?”  His mom answers with soothing images that leave Jacob’s eyes drooping as he lifts off to dreamland. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky has been kind enough to provide a Pajama Party Kit that will keep the party interested and provide the children the ability to become a part of Jacob’s bedtime adventure. 

BEFORE the party starts:
·       Download invitations that are sure to get responses! 
·        If you want to create your own invitations:
o   Use construction paper to cut out little pajama bottoms and write the desired information on the legs.  Use colored ribbon to make a cute bow on the top to look like pajama draw strings. Put in an envelope and send.
·        Dress to impress in your snazziest pajamas. (Don’t leave out your stuffed animal for comfort!)
·        Make sure you have all your food and materials ready and set up for the guests. (I always have extra so that everyone smiles.)
o   Food Ideas:
§  Milk and Cookies:
--Cookies made in moon, star, and teddy bear shapes
§  Cupcakes with moons and stars as decoration toppings
§  Sliced Apples with Peanut Butter (but check for allergies first!)
·        Decorations are easy for a Pajama theme!  Push living room furniture out of the way first.  Throw pillows around the living room and place plenty of blankets around for a cozy atmosphere.  To add affect, create a starry sky by hanging white twinkly lights around the party area.

DURING the party:
·        Use the creative writing stars found in the Sourcebooks Pajama Party Kit as an icebreaker.  You can ask questions such as, “What is the best bedtime snack?” or “What stuffed animal do you cuddle with at nighttime?”
·        Easy obstacle course to get energy out before reading the book:
o   Pretend they’re Jacob sprinting to his bed before lights out: jump the pillow, crawl under the chair, go around the footstool and end up in the living room (or party area) for the reading. Have crepe paper “finish” and “start” lines taped to the floor.
·        As you read HOW DOES SLEEP COME have the kids count sailboats and guess what animal will appear next.  Then, ask them how they think sleep comes.
            This would be the perfect time to bring out snacks! (see above)
·         Like the rabbit in HOW DOES SLEEP COME, race and hop around.  To add effect: make a blanket out of cotton balls on the floor, so that it feels like clouds and snow. 
·        Pajama Contest with winners and prizes for most comfy, most sleepy time props, brightest PJs, and more.  Prizes could be a small plush toy or candy.
·        If it’s a sleepover, have a sleeping bag relay race (similar to potato sack race)
·        Decorate pillowcases to make your very own Dream Canvas to sleep on!  
o   Buy blank pillow cases and assorted permanent markers (safe to sleep on) and draw away!
o   You can also use the pillow case as a cape to look like Jacob on the cover.

Use the downloadable Sourcebooks
Pajama Party Kit for activities that will allow the kids to interact with Jacob’s bedtime in How DOES SLEEP COME?

·        Slip one of the cookies they might have enjoyed during the party into a cellophane CD envelope, tie with colored yarn, and add a nice Thank You note or tag.  On the less expensive side, simply use sandwich baggies or saran wrap!
o   The Thank You note can be made with colored construction paper cut out in moons or stars, punch a whole, and attach to yarn!
·        Packets of hot cocoa mix, so when they go home and get ready for bed, they can feel all snuggly and warm.
o   To jazz up the packets, add a Thank You note using the ideas listed above.
·        Make your own bookmarks with dreamlike pictures like the ones you find in the book
·        Purchase glow-in-the-dark stars and put a few in 5.5 " L x 1.5 " W envelopes. You can write Thank You on the front and draw on moons and stars.

Have fun planning your Pajama Party to celebrate HOW DOES SLEEP COME?

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