BookTrust’s Pyjamarama Day – 14th May 2021
Hosting the perfect Pyjamarama day
Are you looking for some fun and engaging ways to get pupils excited about reading? BookTrust’s Diana Gerald has some advice for schools on hosting Pyjamarama, a day to celebrate reading whilst raising money to ensure that every child gets a bedtime story.
On 14th May 2021, BookTrust’s Pyjamarama returns for the third year running. Pyjamarama is all about getting children excited about reading, and fundraising to make sure that every child gets a bedtime story. BookTrust is inviting children around the country, in schools and nurseries, and at home, to spend a day reading, enjoying and sharing stories, all in the comfort of their pyjamas, in return for a £1 donation to help make sure no child misses out on their bedtime story. get books to children who are missing out on a bedtime story. This year we have made Pyjamarama bigger and better with more activities, tips and ideas to encourage the children in your class to read.
Sharing stories both at school and at home is a fantastic way to help children build social skills and resilience and supports communication skills, language development, confidence and mental health, which is even more important given the difficulties of the last year. At BookTrust we’re all too aware of the negative impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on children and families: our insight suggests that many are reading less and have struggled to access books.
BookTrust has been working hard with our partners to send books and resources to those who need it the most, but there is always more that can be done. That’s why we’re asking children across the country, at school or at home to don their pyjamas on 14th May and donate £1 to BookTrust so that we can help all children have access to books and stories because reading really does changes lives.
To give teachers a helping hand, BookTrust has put together some special tips and advice for a fun-filled day in pyjamas.
- As well as having a fun day in PJs on Friday 14th May, why not dedicate the whole week to reading, and plan activities each day to get children excited about celebrating and sharing stories.
- Host a reading-related assembly – ask different teachers to read a favourite story or look at our website for videos you can share with pupils.
- We know that book choice makes a huge difference to a child’s enthusiasm for reading. Our Great Books Guide recommends the top 100 fiction and non-fiction books published in the last year, which have been carefully selected to engage children, whatever their reading level.
- We’ve learned that children respond well to reading with older children so why not set up buddy reading sessions across the school?
- If you’re looking for inspiration for your pupils, why not take a look at BookTrust’s HomeTime hub. Filled with story readings, drawalongs and book-related activities, there’s something for everyone!
Ways to get creative with your pupils on Pyjamarama day
- Design your own book cover
Ask each pupil to design a front cover, come up with a title and storyline for a new book. They could even have a go at writing an intriguing first chapter. You can also find a book cover activity sheet to photocopy and use on our website.
- Reading room of my dreams
Ask your class to design their perfect reading room/corner… anything is possible! A great activity for art and design.
- Poetry time
Ask your class to write a poem about spending the day at school in PJs.
- What’s your favourite book character
Encourage everyone to talk about their favourite characters from their books and explain why they like them. Get your pupils to vote for their overall favourite.
- Get active in your PJs
In PE, get the class skipping, playing football or tennis, or completing an obstacle course - all in their PJs.
- How it ends
Give the class a short story and ask everyone to come up with a different ending.
- At the end of the day
Save time for a story at the end of the day and encourage the pupils to go home and read with their parents or carers that evening.
In addition to asking your pupils to donate a £1 each for the opportunity to come to school in their pyjamas on 14th May, there are lots of other ways you can fundraise to help BookTrust get books to children who are missing out on a bedtime story.
- Host a bake sale
Hold a bake sale and ask families and staff to contribute cakes. You could even theme the bakes e.g. Snow White’s Apple Cake and Paddington’s Marmalade Muffins. Remember to make sure it is run in a safe way and keep cash donations isolated for 72 hours.
- Make a PJ pledge
Ask children and families to pledge money for a teacher to spend the day in their PJs.
- Host a book sale
Create your very own book shop and allow children to choose a book to buy. Ask families to contribute books they would like to sell 1-2 weeks before the event so they can be quarantined before Pyjamarama day.
- Sponsored walk
Get the children doing a sponsored walk, run, jog around the playground - or if they’re brave go around the block, or venture to the park.
There are lots of ways to make fundraising fun and easy for everyone.
The inspiration and tips above are a starter for 10 but be as imaginative as you like in coming up with your own!
How to take part in Pyjamarama?
To host your own Pyjamarama day in your school or nursery and help more children have access to stories and to reading, visit booktrust.org.uk/pyjamarama to register for your FREE fundraising pack.
BookTrust is dedicated to getting children reading because we know that children who read are happier, healthier, more empathetic and more creative. Their early language development is supported and they also do better at school.