Not all Pajama Drives are alike.
Here are some tips for hosting Pajama Days or Drives with your school, library, scout troop, theater group, religious or any other civic organization. Pajama events play out differently in different socio-economic communities.
- In prosperous communities, organizations can ask students to donate new pajamas. Decide between a local or more regional group to be the recipient.
- In underprivileged communities explore businesses that might provide the pajamas for your event. Price Waterhouse Cooper purchased pajamas for 72 children who participated in a Haverhill, Massachusetts afterschool program that centered around The Pajamas of My Dreams at a Title 1 school. They also sent a representative to speak to the elementary school students about careers in the field of finance – as did guest speakers from many different professions in the community who visited the program to talk about their occupations.
- Middle income communities must approach a pajama event from different perspectives. Encourage students who can comfortably afford them, to donate pajamas. Refrain from a competition based around quantities. Instead, make a central collection site, perhaps in the lobby of the school. It will not be as obvious for students who cannot afford to donate as it might be in the classroom.
Pajama drive organizers should speak with guidance counselors or social workers regarding providing new pajamas to children in need for a Pajama Day at school. Discretion should be applied in purchasing and distributing pajamas to those children so that they have appropriate pajamas to wear that day. Rather than distributing the pajamas that their peers have donated, consider asking a local business or, for example, your PTA to purchase them. That way no student will recognize the pajamas they donated on a child they know.
Children are very proud of their choices of pajamas to donate. Some find it hard to part with them when the time comes to hand them in! That is an important part of the lesson.
Pajamas of My Dreams – cozy activities for pajama centered-events all over town!
Author, Laurie Collins, and illustrator, Margie Florini, have created a quick and easy curriculum to utilize with a pajama happening!
Are you considering hosting a Pajama Drive at your retail or book store, restaurant or coffee shop? Consider hosting a kickoff or culminating event. Employees can wear their pajamas to work and invite your customers to do so also!
- Read The Pajamas of My Dreams and/or other pajama themed books. Have guest readers – someone from your community, elected officials, educators or even other students. Invite high school students to your elementary school to read the story, maybe the sports teams or national Honor Society students would be interested? The older students love to visit the elementary schools. The younger students are captivated by having the big kids visit.
- Perform The Pajamas of My Dreams Rap. At smaller events have a puppet perform the rap. Encourage the audience to participate in the rhythmic “pajamas, pajamas, pajamas, pajamas” refrain. Or have theater or choral students perform the rap. See rap performed by participants of The REAL program.
- Use the repetitive text from the book for a reading prompt. “In the pajamas of my dreams I climb into bed, pull the covers up tightly, close my eyes and…” Ask the young writers to investigate words that apply to a career they might pursue. In the book the entomologist page includes scientific vocabulary – “wings, head, abdomen thorax, legs and antennae” of an insect.
The Pajamas of My Dream is illustrated in cut-paper collage. Participants might complete a writing prompt and create art in that medium. Colorful craft paper, a paper doll cutout, scissors and glue are all that is required.
Illustrator, Margie Florini, has created craft packets that include a bedroom background with colorful bedding, a paper doll, pajamas and cutouts of hair (many colors of curly, straight and different styles of hairstyles). That packet is available for $15.
The creation of a pajama-clad paper doll makes for an endearing decoration, for example, also a pajama tree for a classroom or a pajama garland at a local coffee shop.
Have the young artists color blank templates in a pajama shape to depict what they want to be when they grow up.
Host Your Own Pajama Party/Pajama Drive Program!
What is a typical Pajama Party/Pajama Drive program:
- Children/Teachers/Families are invited to wear pajamas and to bring a new pair of pajamas to donate to a children’s service agency (C2C, for example).
- Laurie, a children’s librarian, invites young people to talk about children’s books with stuffed friends – Olivia, The Cat in the Hat, The Pidgeon, etc.
- Laurie (and/or Guests) reads The Pajamas Of My Dreams. Guest readers do a wonderful job reading special pages or the entire book. View a video of Tito Jackson’s reading on our Facebook page. It is engaging.
- Laurie performs The Pajamas of My Dreams Rap with a chef puppet, and audience participation and, ideally, with children performers, rapping and dancing, too.
- Margie has created a Power Point program about The Illustration Process for the book, as well as an exhibit of the original sketches and ideas.
- Margie directs a craft called, “Build Your Own Dream Page” which allows children to express their dreams in the same cut-paper medium as the book. The craft is now available for purchase.
The Pajamas Of My Dreams is a small and classic book with a Big Message: “Let’s create a more even playing field so that ALL children will grow up to follow their DREAMS. May all our Dreams come True.”
Please join us at one of our upcoming events:
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If you have missed us at our events and would like books and the craft kits for Christmas presents, call the studio at 978-927-4987 and we’ll make sure you get what you need: Books are $16.95 each and the hand-made cut-paper Build Your Own Dream Page craft is $15.00.
Events often include a special storytime and pajama drive for Cradles to Crayons (C2C). Bring a new pair of pajamas to donate, special reading of the story followed by a time to create your own dream collage assisted by Illustrator Margie Florini.
We look forward to seeing lots of folks and their children create their own dream collages this year. You are invited to wear pajamas and cozy slippers!