Attending and hosting sleepovers is one of the fondest memories adults have from their childhood. If you’ve ever hosted a sleepover, you know just how much thought and energy goes into planning the perfect sleepover party. Now that it’s your child’s turn to host one, you might be wondering how to throw a sleepover and what some of the essential things to keep in mind are while you’re planning the party. To help you in this process, we have compiled a detailed guide that will give you a plethora of ideas and suggestions to utilise for your child’s sleepover.
In addition to giving you ideas for activities to include, we added a section all about planning the slumber party, as well as some general tips that will be of help.
With that said, it’s time to cover the planning stage.
The first step to throwing any kind of party is planning out all the details. We have included several tips that will help you set up the party in the easiest and most time-efficient way possible, so let’s start with the first one.
Making a Guest List and Sending Out Invitations
One of the first steps of throwing a sleepover is choosing which guests to invite. This is a fun activity for your child as they will appreciate having the freedom to pick who will attend their sleepover. With that said, it’s a good idea to set a guest limit right from the get-go, depending on how much space you have to work with.
The secret to hosting a memorable party is in the details. While invitations aren’t considered to be crucial for many, there’s something special about making invitations and handing them out before the party.
The invitations should include details like the location of the party and if there’s any special dress code, like themed pyjamas. The more details the sleepover invitations include, the easier it will be for the children to pack for it, which is always a plus.
It’s all the more fun if your child decides to make their own invitations. It’s a perfect opportunity for them to be creative and show their guests how much thought they’ve put into the party. If they don’t want to make invitations from scratch, you always have the option of downloading several templates from the internet and giving them to your child to fill out.
Needless to say, in this digital age, many prefer to send out their invitations online which saves you the trouble of printing out templates. If you’re short on time, or if your child won’t have the chance to see the attendees in person prior to the sleepover, this might be the best way to go about sending invitations.
Food and Drinks
Preparing a selection of party foods is a must when it comes to sleepovers. Some of these include sandwiches, pizza, wraps, and homemade cookies. If the party is more last minute, you can always opt for a food delivery.
Apart from light meals, kids always appreciate having snacks around. There are various snacks you can make from the comfort of your own home, such as popcorn. Alternatively, store-bought snacks, like chips and candy, are always an option. Taking your child grocery shopping before the party is a nice way to make them participate in the planning – we’re sure they’ll love picking out snacks their friends will like!
You can balance the classic slumber party favourites that are rich in sugar and salt, like chips and candy, by adding a few healthy options, such as fruit, carrot sticks with hummus, or a nut mix.
In terms of drinks, you can’t go wrong with fruit juices and sodas. Always have water available in case anyone gets thirsty overnight.
Apart from providing fun snacks for your guests to nibble on in the evening, you should also prepare breakfast for the morning. Other than breakfast staples, like cereal and parfait, you can take a more elaborate approach and make waffles, crepes, and fruit skewers. If it’s an option and your child and their friends are old enough, you can provide all the ingredients necessary and allow them to make their own breakfast. That way, they can have something to look forward to in the morning and, chances are, they’ll have a lot of fun in the process.
Displaying the food and drinks is another fun way your child can participate in the party organising, by either helping you set up the snack table or choosing what kind of napkins, table cloths, and glasses to use.
Another important thing to keep in mind is whether any of your child’s friends has any food allergies or intolerances. If this is the case, you’ll likely be notified by their parents, but it’s best if you ask beforehand to make sure you have bought all the food and drinks necessary.
You will want to childproof your home, depending on how old your guests are going to be. Childproofing includes removing any sharp objects from the room your guests will be staying in, putting away any knives and tools you might have in the kitchen, and checking the safety of any electrical devices you have lying around. If you’re not going to be supervising the sleepover at all times, you also might want to lock any rooms in the house that can be a potential safety hazard, such as storage rooms, in case any of the children get curious and start exploring around.
Sleeping Set Up
The next step in the planning stage is to arrange a proper set-up for where your guests will sleep. The sleeping arrangements can be made in the bedroom or in the living room, depending on how many guests you’re expecting to arrive. If you have a spacious living room to work with, it’s always an option worth considering since the kids will have more space to play in, they’ll have access to certain amenities, like a TV, and it will be much easier for you to keep an eye on them.
Making the sleeping arrangements is also an incredibly fun part of planning a sleepover. You can opt for traditional sleeping bags that are practical and warm, place pillows and blankets on the floor, or, if your budget allows it, create individual beds by purchasing a tipi for each guest.
Create an Atmosphere
There are many ways to make the space where the guests will be staying cosier. Hanging some fairy lights and adding extra blankets will always do the trick. Instead of overhead lighting, you can opt for fun lambs, like a Himalayan salt lamp.
Aesthetics aside, another thing to consider when creating an atmosphere is the temperature of the room. Make sure it’s cool enough so that the children will be able to fall asleep easily, but warm enough so that they don’t get cold at any point during the night.
Activities to Do at a Sleepover
Now for the fun part – what are some of the best activities your child can do with the guests to keep themselves entertained until bedtime? We have compiled some of our favourite activities to give you some ideas about what you can potentially include in your itinerary.
Watching movies (or cartoons, depending on your child’s age group) is a classic sleepover activity that’s going to be a hit for everyone. Before your guests arrive, discuss some potential movies with your child and see what they’re interested in seeing. After you ensure that all the selected movies are PG, your child can present the list of options to their guests and they can make a decision based on what they’re in the mood for.
If the first movie is successful, you can always suggest a marathon. Marathons are a great way to introduce other movie-related activities in the sleepover, such as a movie bingo. You and your child can make a DIY bingo checklist so the guests can cross off any tropes or scenes that might come up. Disney movies are a classic you can’t go wrong with, both the animated and live-action ones.
If your child is older, they might want to go with a scary movie. After all, scary movies are best watched with friends.
Board games are a staple for sleepovers. Whether it’s a classic, like Monopoly and Clue, or a newly released one that’s going to require the guests to learn new rules and navigate new territory, it’s a fun way to pass the time.
If it’s a girls sleepover, what better way to end the night than indulge in some pampering rituals with your daughter’s friends? Some options include giving each other manicures, doing each other’s makeup, and doing a face mask? Granted, a beauty station requires more preparation than some of the other activities we’ve mentioned, but we’re sure your guests will have a wonderful time.
Regardless of your guests’ age, karaoke is always a fun option. Use a karaoke machine or simply look up some lyrics videos on YouTube and fun is guaranteed.
Apart from karaoke, another music-themed activity your guests can try is a dance contest. Everyone can perform individually or divide themselves into several groups. Once everyone’s ready, they can bring out their best dance moves and let the judges decide on who did the best job.
Make Your Own Pillowcase
Another fun activity you can suggest to your child for their sleepover party is make your own pillowcase. Essentially, you will provide each guest with a blank pillowcase and some colourful pens and allow them to design their own pillowcase for their night. They can use their imagination or go by a certain picture, depending on what they want their outcome to be. As a bonus, you can tell your guests that they get to bring their pillowcases home with them as a fun little souvenir of the sleepover.
Arts and Crafts
Including some arts and crafts is an amazing way to let your guests express their creativity. You can organise a painting station for each guest, supply them with a canvas and some watercolours, and give them a prompt for something to draw. If your child wishes, they can even organise an art contest and vote for the best painting once everyone’s done with their little masterpiece.
Host a Fashion Show
This is an activity designed for all fashion lovers. If your guest list is brimming with children who love fashion, why not throw a fashion show in the midst of your sleepover? It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate – you can provide your guests with a couple of accessories either from your or your child’s closet and see what kind of outfits they come up with. For more fun, you can be the official photographer of the show and take a picture of every outfit.
Photo Booth Station
If you have some extra space in the room, why not make a designated photo booth? You can customise the backdrop and provide the kids with some costumes, masks, or sunglasses. They can take pictures of each other or even film a short movie using some of the props you provided them with!
Before we conclude, here are some general tips to keep in mind to ensure that the sleepover goes according to plan.
Greet the Parents
Talking to the parents when they drop off their kids is always a good idea. Ask them about any medications, allergies, or needs that their children might have. This will reassure the parents and allow the children to have a safe stay, and you to enjoy a stress-free night as a host. Apart from getting this essential information, make sure you have contact from every parent in case something unexpected occurs during the stay.
Establish a Bedtime
While it’s not necessary, establishing a bedtime can be of immense help when hosting a sleepover. For instance, if some of the kids are getting picked up very early in the morning, having a set bedtime ensures that they get enough sleep and they aren’t tired in the morning. Talk to your child and see what they’d prefer to do so they have some freedom in the choice.
Keep an Eye on the Guests
While you don’t want to come across as an overbearing parent, checking in on your guests from time to time, especially if they’re very young, is crucial. If you don’t want to disrupt their activities too often, you say hi in between activities and see if everything is going according to plan. When you do enter the sleepover territory, check to see if there’s enough food and drinks for everyone or if they need anything.
What Age Is OK for a Sleepover?
Sleepovers can technically happen at any school age, starting from six years old. Similarly, you’re never too old for a sleepover, which is why many adults throw grown-up sleepover parties. The only thing you should keep in mind is that you should know the parents well if your child is invited to a sleepover and it’s their first one.
Is It OK to Have a Boy Girl Sleepover?
If the families are comfortable with the idea and know each other well, boy-girl sleepovers are appropriate.
How Do You Say No to a Sleepover Invite?
To politely decline a sleepover invitation, thank the host for the invitation and give them a reason why you can’t attend, like you have other arrangements planned for that night.
We hope you found our guide on how to throw a sleepover helpful!
Before the guests arrive, make sure you have sent out all your invitations, prepared food and drinks, talked to the parents, and made the necessary sleeping arrangements. Some activities your child can try out with their guests include watching movies, making a pampering station, singing karaoke, doing arts and crafts, and hosting a fashion show. If your guests are younger, make sure you pop in to check up on them often and ensure that they have enough refreshments and food.
And with that, we’ll leave you to enjoy planning the sleepover with your kid!