How to host the perfect slumber party
Slumber parties are the ultimate birthday party celebration. They are synonymous with staying up late, midnight feasts, ghost stories and lots of giggling. However, the key to a successful slumber (for mum, anyway!) party lies in the planning. There's nothing more disappointing than a slumber party gone wrong. With these slick slumber party tips, you'll win parent of the year, hands down:
Slumber party tip # 1 - Go the extra mile with invites and party favours
Drum up excitement amongst invitees with specially designed invitations. Be as creative as you dare, with invites shaped like a toothbrush, slippers or a torch - or anything else that springs to mind when you think of having a sleepover! And then follow that theme through to the take-home party favours. Buy each guest a real toothbrush, real slippers or a real torch and present it to them when they arrive. Now that's how you start a slumber party with a bang!
Slumber party tip # 2 - Decorate the sleeping space
It's easy to make a cosy and comfortable sleeping space for your excited party guests. You can create a great atmosphere just using lights, so black out the windows with newspaper or towels and string up some fairy lights or dot the room with different coloured lamps. Arrange individual sleeping spaces in a big circle on the floor so that when it's time to bunker down for the night, everyone feels included. The more bean bags, cushions and blankets, the better!
Slumber party tip # 3 - Fill them up with food
Food is a very important ingredient for a successful slumber party. Get this right and you're almost guaranteed a victory. Get it wrong, and you might have an unplanned food fight on your hands! Why not make dinner into an activity the kids can all do together . A do-it-yourself pizza bar is always a big hit! Cut up a heap of different toppings and provide individual pizza bases so the kids can design their own dinner.
And don't forget breakfast the next morning either! Go the easy road with fresh croissants from the bakery or if you want to create some extra hoopla, get up early and make a giant pancake stack!
Slumber party tip # 4 - What's a slumber party without a movie?
Yes it's an obvious choice, but that's because it's always a very popular one! No slumber party is ever complete without a movie! It's always wise to show a comedy, but make sure it's age-appropriate. For extra pizzazz,rent a big screen and make your very own home cinema. Set up a candy bar in the corner of the room, complete with popcorn and choc-tops or hand out lolly bags full of sugary treats. If you want to add a craft element to the big movie event, get the kids to decorate their own popcorn boxes before you fill them up.
Slumber party tip # 5 - Send siblings away for the night
Slumber parties work best for older children , over the age of 8 years. Younger siblings will feel left out if they can't come into the party zone, so send them to a friend or family member for the night and save them a lot unnecessary heartache.
Older siblings can be kept away from proceedings if they are allowed a friend of their own to stay the night. The last thing any slumber party needs is unwelcome guests, and unfortunately, siblings of any age usually fall into this category.
Slumber party tip # 6 - Be organised ....to a point
It's not a military boot camp; it's a slumber party! So, although you need to be super organised - with party activities and meals - allow the kids some space to decide what they want to do. Work out the best time to start the party based on the type of activities they'll be doing - and then make sure you factor in some time for them to just enjoy each other's company. If possible, allow them a bit of time outside to get some fresh air (and wear themselves out a little!) before it gets dark.
Slumber party tip # 7 - Set some clear rules
Every slumber party should have some clear rules in place, and it won't hurt to print them out and stick them up on the wall either! Make sure the kids understand that nastiness amongst party-goers will not be tolerated. Upsetting other kids in the group will automatically mean a fast trip home. In light of current cyber-bullying antics, it's a good idea to ban all mobile phones, laptops and internet connections from the party. And always remember to set some clear rules about bed time .
As much as the kids need rules, the adults in charge could do with a few rules themselves too! Nobody likes a parent who is too controlling or one who hovers over the party, spoiling all the fun! Take a step back, a big deep breath and remind yourself that once upon a time, you were a kid too!
This article was written by Jo Harris for Kidspot, New Zealand's parenting resource for birthday parties.
More slumber party articles
- How to host the perfect slumber party
- The best age for a slumber party
- The best times for a slumber party
- Slumber party activities
- Slumber party crafts
- Slumber party foods
- Slumber party rules
- How to survive a slumber party