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How to Plan a Children's Sleepover in 10 Easy Steps!

Nov 21, 2017 05:20PM ● By Staff Writer

If you have elementary or middle school children, there’s a good chance that with the kids out of school for the holidays—you or some other brave parent will be talked into having a few of your child's closest friends over for a sleepover. And if it’s you—God Bless You!

Sleepovers or slumber parties can be a great experience for you, your children and their friends, provided you plan ahead. Fail to properly plan this little weekend soiree and you just might be tagged as the modern day Cruella De Vil of the soccer moms! Yeah, your kid will need therapy for years… So plan ahead!

Tip #1 – Try to relax and enjoy this time with your child and their friends. Kids will be kids, and if you’re uptight they’ll know it and everyone will be miserable. Count on something going wrong—it always does, but it’s ok (unless you forget someone has a peanut allergy), then that’s on you. But other than something like that, TRY to relax and enjoy.

Tip #2 – Make a guest list. You’ve got a few options here. Invite “friends” or “close friends.” What’s the difference? Well, you’re child probably has a lot of friends at school. They’re in the same class, they play together at recess, and they eat lunch together every day. That’s great, but have they ever been to your house to play for an afternoon? Do you know them or their parents? If the answer is NO, then do yourself a favor and only invite those children that you know well enough to call their parents if a problem or situation arises. (Recommendation: Unless your house is huge, keep the guest list at 8 to 12 kids.)

Tip #3 – Set a date and time. This is an important one, especially during the holiday season. It’s a busy time of the year, events pop up and schedules change, so pick a date that works well for the masses or you may have a lot of no-shows.  

Tip #4 – Invitations, RSVP’s, drop-off & pick-up details. Store bought or DIY invitations all work the same. Just remember the—who, what, when, where and why’s listed on the invitation. Include an RSVP date. Once you know who’s going to attend, provide each parent with your contact information, a drop-off time, pick-up time and any other details you would like for them to know. You’ll also want to get their contact info if you don’t already have it along with any special conditions or dietary restrictions you should be aware of (like peanut allergies). A few days before the big event, call or text the parents to remind them of the party and also to make sure your headcount doesn’t change.

Tip #5 – Meal planning. No matter if you entertaining boys or girls, you’ll need snacks (lots of snacks), dinner, and something for breakfast and lunch depending on when the sleepover ends. Keep It Simple Sam! Gumbo, chile, tacos, pizza, whatever—you’re not going to want to be tied to the kitchen if you’ve got 10 excited kids running in and out of your house.

Tip #6 – Activities. Girls will be girls and boys will be boys, so plan age-appropriate activities that will entertain the masses. From a movie marathon, sports activities, and group games to cupcake making, cookie baking, or dress-up, you’ll be the best judge for what your kids and their friends will most likely enjoy. Remember to be flexible, tweens and teens will change their minds in a heartbeat, so be prepared to go with the flow!  

Tip #7 – Sleeping arrangements. Even when you remind parents to bring a sleeping bag for their child, someone forgets. Make sure you have lots of blankets and pillows available. Chances are even if you think the kids are going to sleep in a certain area (if they sleep at all), you will have them sprawled out in various areas!

Tip #8 – Have a designated storage spot for all of their belongings. Trust me, it is very hard the next morning when all the parents are arriving to try and find socks, toothbrushes, pillows, etc. If you can, have the kids collect all of their stuff while you make breakfast – then you can double check while they eat.

Tip #9 - Remember to take lots of pictures, and a group photo. You can use these to print out thank you cards for the kids if it’s a birthday party or post them to social media pages for the kids and parents to view.

Tip #10 – Repeat Tip #1. Try to relax and enjoy yourself. Have fun and go with the flow! Sleepovers are one of the only times you can be the “cool” mom and/or dad.