Here’s a twist on the old “Can I have a sleepover?” question. This would really be a fun and educational night for everyone. So, PARENTS BE BRAVE, and give it a try.

Brought to you by Reading Is Fundamental®

Ages: Beginning readers, older readers
Materials: Construction paper, marking pens

B.Y.O.B. stands for Bring Your Own Book, the theme for a slumber party. Have your children invite their friends to read over as well as sleep over, and help them plan a few book-related party games.

Your children can make their own party invitations out of construction paper and marking pens. Perhaps they can make them look like book jackets, with “Sleep-Over Party by Donna Chang” on the front and “the story” (the necessary party information) inside: “Once upon a time, on the fourth of September, as the sun began to set and the old clock in the dining room struck six…”

When the guests arrive, you might volunteer to help them warm up by first reading a short story. (A young crowd might enjoy Ira Sleeps Over) Follow up with a game like Family Word Play. The children can make their own bookmarks or bookplates as party favors and create a group story or poem.

Toward the end of the evening, provide snacks while the children read their own books. If they’re too giddy to read, move on to other activities.

At lights-out, give the children a flashlight to shine on their faces as they take turns telling spooky stories. You may want to serve alphabet pancakes for breakfast the next morning.

Source: The RIF Guide to Encouraging Young Readers, edited by Ruth Graves, New York: Doubleday, 1987.