Each fall the literacy team at my school plans a Half-Sleepover for families. It’s a tradition that started years before I arrived at the school. I can take no credit for the ingenious name or event concept.
Every student and their family is invited to wear their jammies, bring their sleeping bags and stuffed critters to the school for a variety of literacy related activities. As families enter each student receives a program that lists the schedule and activities for the evening. This includes a tear-off survey that goes in a door prize drawing.
Families pile into the gym and find a space on the floor for their blankets and sleeping bags. We have put out as many rocking chairs as we can find around the building and we scatter buckets of books throughout the space. The goal is to get families reading together!
Activities are setup on our cafeteria tables and at a few additional stations. Kids meet up with their friends or stick with a parent and just basically have a good time! Some of our stations include:
- Make a Breakfast Cereal Necklace
- Campfire Read Aloud Center with Hot Cocoa
- Wish Upon a Star (write a wish on a star we glue to a dark background for the hallway)
- Write a Family Acrostic Poem
- Trail Mix Snacks
- Guess How Many Jars (chocolate chip cookies, marshmallows, or star garland)
- Write a Bedtime Story
At the end of the evening we cap the event with a whole-school read aloud or readers’ theater. Families turn in their surveys for door prizes. Family awards are presented for things such as “Coziest Jammies.” We also give away our Guess How Many Jars. After wishing everyone a safe drive home we send families away with lots of smiles and ready for bedtime!
It’s a wonderful event that I’m glad is a tradition at my school. Families really do take advantage of the time to snuggle in and read together. It’s one I definitely recommend to any school looking for some family events for their calendar!