Last year, we hosted a couple slumber parties for Lil and her friends. Today is Lil’s turn to attend a birthday sleepover at her best friend’s house. We have known her BFF’s family since they were both toddlers. So it reassuring to know, that they’re not strangers. I thought I’d share a few helpful sleepover tips when hosting a slumber party or having your child sleepover someone else’s home.
What to bring to a slumber party: (Lil’s must-haves)
Pajamas (Pick one that goes with the party theme OR accessorize an existing pajama set to fit the said theme)
Extra day clothes (to use the next day)
Favorite stuff toy
Journal (Lil found it fun to write down what fun stuff they did together. Her friends also, signed their names and drew fun stuff in her diary)
How many kids should you have over? 2-4 kids maximum. I think keeping it small gives the kids more quality time together plus makes it more manageable for the parents too. 🙂 Believe me the noise level of four extra kids was like having ten around.
What’s a good party theme? This is the fun part and totally customizable according to your child’s interest. For the first slumber party we hosted, Lil wanted to sleep under the stars. With the help of our imagination and some sheer sheets we were able to create a canopy of stars and planets. We set up a big bed mattress topper on the living room floor where the girls camped out.
Goodie bags? What’s a party without a goodie bag! Cute journals, nail pedi-kits, or their DIY completed projects make a good giveaway.
What kind of important information to ask and tell parents? Ask if their children have any food allergies, do they take any medication (like for asthma etc.), type of food the kids like (some of Lil’s friends were vegetarian), their contact phone number. Some of the parents requested that they would like to call in and say goodnight to their child which was much needed especially for the first timers. Also, important for the parents to check in and make sure their child is having fun and is ok. Ask, if its ok for their child to stay up late. Most parents were ok with the midnight curfew. Let the parents know what’s the best time to drop off and pick up their kids.
What to tell your child? Lil was a little nervous when she had to sleep away from home for the first time. I told her I was excited for her and couldn’t wait to hear all about it when she came home. I reassured her that we were a phone call away and had her write down both my husband and my cell phone numbers on the back of her journal and told her to call us anytime. I reminded her to be respectful, polite, speak up if you need anything or if something is bothering you, but most of all HAVE FUN. She had a blast and didn’t even call home.
Unfamiliar territory and anxious parents? It’s completely normal to feel a little anxious about sending off your child to sleepover someone else’s home; especially if you are unfamiliar with the family. I think it helps to ease those nerves by setting up a playdate ( a week before) with the slumber party host’s family and get to know the parents.
Do I need to set some house rules? I think it helps to let your young guests know certain household rules. My number one rule is HAVE FUN. I made sure to let the girls know to keep down the noise after 9:30 because Emmy was sleeping by then and they could stay up late (12:30 am was the latest). I also let Lil decide if she wanted to set some rules when it came to her room, etc. Here are some rules Lil came up with that Emmy got to pose with. There was no “No Baby Sisters Allowed Rule”. So, Emmy was able to sneak in half an hour of fun with the big girls.
What are fun slumber party activities?
DIY projects are always fun after dinner. Like a cute tote bag project, rainbow loom friendship bracelets, night light lanterns (we made some of these, last time we hosted), pedicures are always fun too.
What kind of games can we play?
Lil and her friends loved to play the Catch Phrase game (sort of like a hot potato phrase game)
“How Do You Do?” is a fun “name that tune” game we discovered while watching Hollywood Game Night. Lil wrote down 10 song titles that her friends like on strips of paper. Folded the papers and put it in a box. The girls split in two groups. They each pick a group leader to sing out the tunes by only singing “doo, doo, doo”. Each team is given 5 songs to guess in a minute. Whoever has the most points, wins!
Kids are so creative and spontaneous. They came up with their own games and just had fun bonding and hanging out.
What to expect the day after?
Lil and her friends had so much fun that they didn’t really get much sleep from all the excitement. The girls turned in at 12:30am but woke up at 5am. Make sure your child takes a good power nap after lunch. At first, Lil was in denial that she was tired but was completely knocked out the moment she lay in her bed.