Our kids consider it to be a rite of passage to hold a sleepover party on their 8th birthday…. and every birthday thereafter (keep in mind, we’ve only made it up to an 11th birthday so far). Sleepover parties can be alot of fun, both for the kids and for the parents, if you are willing to accept one key fact up front- there will not be a lot of sleeping going on at your sleepover party!
Here are a few tips for planning your child’s sleepover party, that I have learned along the way:
Sleepover Birthday Party Game Plan
Even though your kids are at the age when they don’t need organized crafts and entertainment, you do need a general game plan of how the kids are going to spend all of those hours- otherwise you are going to have a large group of bored party guests who will think nothing of using thier sleeping bags as sleds to travel down your staircase at 50 mph! And you want this party to be fun for everyone, not the longest 15 hours of your life! A general game plan might look like this:
The evening hours:
- 6:30- the guests arrive and have dinner
- 7:00- Wii Sports/Just Dance tournament or foosball/ping pong game while Mom & Dad clean up the kitchen
- 7:30- birthday cake
- 7:45- “main party event”….. for this we’ve played card games such as Crazy 8′s Spoons, and Black Jack. At another party, we taught the kids how to play Texas Hold ‘Em (poker). And at one of our best parties ever, we played “Minute to Win It” games. Someday when our daughters are old enough for a sleepover party- we will likely add in some more girlie activities, like mani/pedis, and a fun craft activity like making a pillow or lip gloss.
- 9:15- kids get sleeping bags set up, change into pjs
- 9:30- movie (we find that this is a key activity for a sleepover party!)
- 11:00- kids brush ther teeth and settle into sleeping bags. Lights out!
- 11:00-11:30- one parent needs to be nominated to be on hand nearby until the kids start to settle down and fall asleep. When the kids are set up in the family room, I will sit in the kitchen with the lights off, and offer a “Shhhhh” every so often and remind the kids that it is time to go to sleep.
- 12:00- hopefully by this time most of the guests are sleeping and I too can go to bed and catch a little shut-eye!
The following morning:
- 6:00 am- wake up and shower, before the kids get moving!
- 6:10-7:00- the first of your party guests will start to wake up and will be looking for something to do. At times, we’ve sent them into another room to play the Wii, or we have put on a different kids movie at a lower decibel level so the ones that are awake are entertained, and we don’t wake up the kids that are still slumbering.
- 8:00- breakfast time
- 8:45- clean up sleeping bags, get dressed, brush teeth, help kids find all of their belongings, and get everything near the front door
- 9:00- kids can play outside for awhile (basketball or soccer) to run off some energy.
- 9:30- parents pick up party guests
Sleepover Party Tips: Communicate all info with parents!
When kids are dropped off at the party, remind parents of the pick up time the next morning (because trust me, but 9:30am tomorrow- you’ll be done!) and make sure you know how to reach each child’s parents in case the child wants to go home early. Sometimes parents will take advantage of the fact that their child is not home for the night, and will plan their own date night out on the town…. so make sure you have a cell phone # just in case!
Tip: One Parent Needs to Sleep With One Eye Open- All Night Long!
One birthday parent needs to be prepared to be “on duty” for the middle of the night, in case someone decides that they are homesick and wants to go home. This has happened to one of our party guests in the past, and we first called the parent to let them know that we were going to bring their child home, but we offered to be the one to drive them (heck- we were up anyway!)
Tip: Make Good Use of Night Lights
Remember that your kid friendly house may seem dark and spooky to a party guest if they happen to wake up at 3am. So make sure you have night lights set up so that a guest can find their way from the sleeping area to the bathroom in the middle of the night, if needed!
What tips do you have for making your child’s sleepover birthday party fun for both you and the guests? Please leave a comment and share them below!