Sleepovers are milestones on the way to independence and a way to make great memories of friendship. Discover the activities, food, snacks, games and strategies that make slumber parties fun and even help keep them from becoming “no-sleep” overs for parents and children.
Strategies for planning a sleepover
- Have just 1 or 2 friends for first sleepover. The 1st time novelty + lots of littlies = a long night all round. @Bernie3calel
- Have a structure. As they get tired, they get bored. Nice to have tricks up your sleeve. @claradteddy
- I have activities planned to start with but then let the kids take control on what they want to do. @Tantrums2Smiles
- Plan one main activity. It can take up an hour or 2 and gives focus to the evening.
- Go over the times and rules at the start, let them have fun then make it clear there is a time for sleep. @thesoupdragon44
- I always have a couple of movies/board games set aside if they can’t think of what to do. @PiaMaria79
- Don’t expect that your child, even if they are older, can enforce your rules with their friends. You will need to set the rules and ensure they stick to them yourself.
- Take lots of photos and print them in the morning for the guests to take home https://t.co/OU8ZpUxz2B @funky_fifi
Fun sleepover activities
- Try a oneside sleepover. Everybody wears onesie and take them out for ice cream. They’ll love the silly fun of being out in a group all dressed similarly!
- Take them for a massive hike, a runaround or other physical activity in the afternoon. @storyofmum
- Let them do makeovers. Just lay down some towels for them to sit on to keep the floor clean!
- Do a Royal Sleepover: children come in costumes, food has new names (“Princess Popcorn”) and everybody gets a crown!
- Make tie-dye t-shirts. Do them early and they can all wear them home the next morning, which makes goodbyes more fun.
- Treasure hunts are always fun and it doesn’t matter how much room you have. Do them inside, in your garden or even have the children go in groups visit homes of neighbours that you know to get “clues” you’ve arranged from each one. Makes prizes for everyone and the winning team chooses between two attractive options — the next activity, say. @JHowze
- Make them do a tidy up to find clues or treats hidden in the mess. @angep1969
- One fab sleepover the boys recreated music videos. Was hilarious. Miley Cirus Wrecking Ball brought the house down! @lynnylemon
- Karaoke is a classic.
- Plan some pranks. Another good activity to do in teams…or play pranks with your partner on the kids. @BritMums
- Making dens! Usually with a thousand bedsheets and then sitting under them with their torches on lol! @Tantrums2Smiles
- Water fights. Keep it simple with plastic cups and a bucket, a hosepipe or get fancy with water balloons. @BritMums
- Do a “crazy fashion show”: Give two teams a bunch of old parents’ clothes (big shirts, sweatpants, jacket, hats) and they have 5 minutes to create the funniest outfit. There’s a winner each round (you or a 3rd team of kids can be the judge) until everyone has had a go. @BritMums
- My daughter and her friends always loved Just Dance but any group Xbox or Wii game provides fun — and tournaments! @JHowze
- Have a board game bonanza. Once one is finished, start another.
- A few weeks ago, my daughter and friends took all their blankets out to the trampoline to look for shooting stars @coldcuppaclub
- If it’s slightly older, a girls pamper sessions and mocktails are great fun. @ikkle87
Inspired sleepover food and drink tips
- Have personal lap trays for food! @StuartDonlop1
- If they are old enough, get them to bake their own treats! @missjesawyer
- We love decorating cupcakes as an activity and they can eat it afterwards! @coldcuppaclub
- Get a small cooler they can keep in the bedroom. It saves fetching and carrying drinks all night/morning! Was well worth it! @funky_fifi
- Make fajitas. It’s affordable and you can set it toppings so everyone can build their own! Easy if you have vegetarians and vegans too! @AModernMother
- Make jacket potatoes and do a “baked potato bar” where they can serve themselves and make their own version, with cheese, bacon, spring onions, shaved carrots, beans — or anything else! @JHowze
- Chilli is a great slumber party food, with meat and vegetarian versions.
- Buy a cheap popcorn maker – only about a tenner – hours of fun! @gambofi
- It is easier as kids get older: table football, marshmallow toasting, hot chocolate and they are as happy as Larry. @pinkwinkgirly
- Decide on the main meal first thing so you can have the delivery or homemade meal ready just before they get hangry. @BritMums
- Do a cookout, even if it only means eating outside. Jacket potatoes and sausages are a firm favourite!
- Jazz up bedtime hot chocolate with sprinkles, whipped cream, or the full-on polar bear, suggests @goriami
How to get children to sleep at a sleepover
- Is there a trick? I just wait until they’re finally exhausted! Usually about midnight. https://t.co/ZRU0Gz4g3Q @missielizzib
- They usually wear themselves out as the night goes on. I try not to be too strict @CymruEm
- Do chill-out activities in the hour before bedtime. You might have to get more involved but it pays dividends when they settle quickly. We do a memory game: A bunch of items on a tray covered with a tea towel. You remove the towel for 60 seconds then they try to write down as many as they can remember. @BritMums
- Bribe them with the promise of bacon sarnies for breakfast if they sleep! @Luckysammyg
- My kids have a ‘midnight feast’ when they sleep at Grandmas…normally at 8.30pm! They love it! Then they’re ready for bed. @Tkw2014
- Sometimes putting on a DVD in the bedroom can help everyone chill out and lay still thus falling asleep. @Tantrum2Smiles
- I’ve changed the time on the clock before now so they think it’s later. @ChelseaMamma
- We try not be too strict about when they need to sleep, they usually tire themselves out with all the giggling. @coldcuppaclub
- I turn WiFi off at midnight @FalcondaleJan
Best place to hang out
- We have a safe enclosed garden, the summerhouse is the perfect sleepover den https://t.co/9zeFSzz7xY @pinkwinkgirly
- I find movies are always a hit for the wind down before bed as it gets them in the bedroom chilling out before sleep @Tantrums2Smiles
- Let them sleep in a tent in the garden. Even if it takes a while, at least it will be quieter for you! @AModernMother
- When I was younger we had an old brick shed. Me and friends loved sleeping in there despite it being dirty and cold. @Evette77