Sleepovers are definitely not what they used to be. We remember each child showing up with a sleeping bag and pillow and then we'd camp out on our friends living room floor with no air mattress, or cushioning. Now there are companies like our A Little Campout that come in, set up a little tent for each child, complete with mattress, blanket, lights and even a breakfast tray (breakfast in bed like you've never seen before!).
With more of these sleepover companies popping up in North America, parents are being asked (begged!) by their children to have sleepover party for their birthdays. Our Sleepover Party Rentals A Little Campout certainly help with the logistics of the party such as, where are the kids going to sleep, and bedding. But what about the rest? The planning. What are you are going to do with a house full of middle school or junior high kids? Since sleepovers are our speciality, here are some tips and insights on how to plan a successful and memorable sleepover party!
First things first…the guest list/invite. Since it’s an overnight party at home, you will likely want to keep the party fairly small. We recommend keeping the guest list to your child’s best friends, and the younger the children, the smaller the party. It’s also important to remember that not all children are allowed to have sleepovers at friends houses, so our tip would be to ask the parent before the invite gets extended to the child.
In order for the sleepover to go smoothly and to take some stress off you, you'll want to make sure each child brings what they need. We recommended including a sleepover checklist for each guest with the party invite. The list should contain what each child is required to bring. Some items would be; toothbrush, pajamas, change of clothes for the morning, favourite stuffed animal and a pillow if needed. (It wouldn't hurt to have a few extra toothbrushes on hand....just in case someone forgets).
It's best to plan party activities ahead of time. Having a good plan will ensure your guests are kept busy and entertained, and if they are little and not used to being away from home, it will help keep their minds occupied. Start with a fun activity, something creative like a craft, jewelry making or have them play a board game.
Once the kids have had some fun and interaction, it's a good time to have dinner (if your sleepover started early enough) and cake. After cake, you might have time for one more activity, otherwise it's time to get the kids to settle down. To do that we recommend putting on a movie before bed time. It'll get all the kids relaxed and quiet (and maybe YOU want to go to bed). Some popcorn and water is a great snack for a movie and you won't have to worry about messy spills!
It's always good to let the kids know in advance that after the movie is going to be bed time. Of course we can't guarantee they'll go to sleep right away and you may hear some laughing and giggling from the room, but that's okay right? They are just creating memories.
Pro tip: Leave a bowl with some fruit/healthy nighttime snacks in the sleepover room, along with bottled water. If someone gets hungry they have food and water and hopefully you can get some well deserved rest.
Before we wrap up this blog, let's talk about the next morning. You don't have to drag your party on, you've done your job! It's perfectly acceptable to feed the kids breakfast (we suggest pancakes or waffles and fruit) and send them on their way. Make sure you add the pick up time to the invite so parents know when to come by.