The sleepover party is a rite of passage for every child. But for parents it can be just a plain exhausting experience. If it’s time to bite the bullet and have your first slumber party, then here are some things you will need to know to make it a success. And of course success means everyone survives the night – most importantly mom and dad.
15 Things to Know about Sleepovers
1. Sleep does not actually happen at a sleepover party. So don’t have one the night before an important event.
2. Sleepovers are probably best for the over-seven crowd. Most young children will not want to spend the night. They might think they’ll be okay, but once they actually do it might be a very different story.
3. Less is more with sleepovers. Having ten giggling girls in your home all night long might be overkill. And unless you have a really large space where everyone can sleep, you might find it to be too cramped. A couple of really close friends is probably best for a sleepover, especially the first one.
4. As much as your child might love to spend time with her (or his) friends, spending the entire day and evening could lead to bickering which means no fun. So do an after-dinner drop-off and after breakfast pick-up time.
5. The whole thing doesn’t need to be structured, but you should plan a few activities. Rent some movies, plan some crafts, or some outdoor activity if the weather is nice, to help wear them out so hopefully you can try to get SOME sleep.
6. Avoid the temptation to do overkill with the junk food. As much as junk food and slumber parties go together, too much of a good thing can become bad. And you don’t want sick guests.
7. Have a lights out time and stick to it. While you might not expect much sleep, it’s best to stick firm to lights out at midnight or something.
8. Have all of the parents’ contact information. You never know what will happen. A child could get homesick, or even just sick. So you need to have a way to reach the parents to come pick up their child if this is the case.
9. Lay down the law with the kids from the get-go. Let them know what areas of the house are off limits, that they are to remain inside, and no crank calls.
10. The morning after will be rough. Have some quiet activity books for the early risers to do. Do something simple for breakfast that they can just grab and go, such as some fruit, muffins, or munchkins.
11. Make a deal with your child in advance that she will help out with clean-up afterwards. There’s no sense in trying to follow the kids around cleaning up messes. So save it for after everyone leaves, but your child must chip in to help clean up.
12. Keep the kids in a centralized area of sleep so you can easily check up on them during the night.
13. Provide the kids with their own flashlight or glow stick as they probably aren’t used to your home. This way they can more easily find their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
14. As tempting as it might be to sleep with ear plugs to tune out the noise, or even drink while you have all of these extra kids in your house, for safety reasons just don’t. You need to be alert and you need to hear if there’s a problem. Sober and alert is best even if it causes a headache. This is why you make sure you have time to recoup with a low-key follow-up day.
15. There’s no need to hover. Let the kids have fun. You laid down the rules so sit back and let them do their things, but do check in frequently.
Now that you know what to do to have a successful sleepover party, are you ready to throw one?