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Paws to Slumber 2014
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California Summer Reading Program

Paws to Read, Paws to Slumber

Back by popular demand, and inspired by the 2014 animal themed summer reading program, get ready for a night of make believe at the 2014 Paws to Read Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Children are encouraged to drop-off their stuffed animals for a slumber party at the library. Once the children leave, their stuffed animals magically come alive. Staff and/or teen volunteers pose and photograph the animals engaged in all sorts of after-hours activities – story times, hide and seek, enjoying a midnight snack, using the library computers, etc. The next day children pick up their stuffed animals along with a photo showing what the animals did all night, and/or a certificate of participation. For added fun, libraries can host a family story time and other programs for the kids when they drop off their animals or a breakfast program when they pick them up. Post photos of the slumber party on your library facebook page or website for all to enjoy. Send us the link and we’ll share it on the CLA website.

Photo credit: Trinity County Library - Weaverville


Pre-school and school-age children (plus teens as volunteer program assistants).


  • Recruit teen volunteers to help pose and photograph the animals engaged in various sleepover activities and late night hijinx. This makes for a great activity for your library’s Teen Council or Teen Advisory Group.
  • If you don’t have the capacity or time to print a photo for each child (although this is preferable), display group photos in the library for the kids to see the next day when they return to pick up their animals. You can also post the photos to your library’s website or on your library’s Facebook page.
  • Use removable labels to label each stuffed animal with the owner’s name.

Ideas for Stuffed Animal Action Shots

  • Animals enjoying a midnight snack
  • Animals playing board games
  • Animals tucked in under a blanket heading to Dreamland
  • Animals having tea
  • Animals lounging around reading books
  • Animals at story time
  • Animals playing hide and seek
  • Animal races
  • Animals using the library’s phones or computers
  • Take a look at last year’s events for inspiration! 2013 participating libraries and photos

Activity Ideas for Drop-off and Pick-up Days

  • Story-time with an animal or bedtime theme. (Encourage everyone to dress in pajamas for this!)
  • Animal themed craft making:
    • Make a mini blanket: Have small squares of inexpensive fabric sheeting for kids to decorate and make a blanket or pillow for their animals
    • Make paper plate animal masks
    • Make animal puppets
  • Movie night with an animal or a stuffed animals-come-to-life theme:
    • Night at the Museum
    • Toy Story
    • Ratatouille
    • Visit Movie Licensing USA for lots more movie ideas based on the Paws to Read theme.
  • Note writing & picture drawing:
    • Have the children write a good night note or wish for their stuffed animal and post it on the library wall. Some may prefer to draw a picture.
  • Return the stuffed animals in a bag or tote bag:
  • Fill the bag with library info, bookmarks, perhaps a breakfast item (a piece of fruit) and a picture of their stuffed animal. The totes sold as summer reading incentives make the perfect bag for this!

Materials for Your Program

Participating Libraries

Let us know you're taking part! Email Trish Garone, CLA Summer Reading Programs Associate. Send us a link to your photos and we'll share it on the CLA website for all to enjoy.

California's stuffed animals are enjoying sleepovers this summer at the following libraries:

  • County of Los Angeles Public Library
    • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library - see photos!
    • Temple City Library
  • Fresno County Public Library
    • Clovis Library
  • Humboldt County Library System
  • Nevada County Library
  • OC Libraries
    • La Palma Library
  • Sacramento Public Library
  • Santa Clarita Public Library



Please contact CLA Summer Reading Programs Associate, Trish Garone, at