Slumber Party Ideas
Slumber parties don't require much in the way of elaborate decorations, but they do require a lot of space. So push back the furniture and make way for the sleeping bags! Gather extra pillows so guests are comfy on the floor while watching movies or playing games.
Hang white Christmas lights around the ceiling to create low, intimate lighting (bright overhead lights are not a conducive environment for viewing DVDs, gossiping about the opposite sex or telling spooky ghost stories, as it turns out). You can even leave them on after the kids go to sleep, since they'll also act as a stand-in nightlight.
If you want to keep the work and expense of the party to a minimum, set the start time for an older child's sleepover at 8 p.m. That way, kids can have dinner at home before they arrive (they'll still be at your house for a good 14 hours!). Younger children sometimes feel anxious about staying overnight away from their folks, so if the party's for someone under 10, start the party earlier but consider offering parents the option of picking up their kids at bedtime.
When parents drop their children off, be sure to ask them for their phone numbers and any allergy or medication info for their kids. As guests arrive, show them where they can put their sleeping bag and where the bathroom is, give them a towel, and let them know that they can ask you to call their parents anytime if they need to.
Got warm weather and a game-for-anything child? Let the kids camp out in the backyard or on the back porch!
When it comes to slumber parties, you snooze, you lose — after all, half the fun is just staying up late. Keep them busy till the wee hours with this tried-and-true list of sleepover stuff to do:
- Rent a movie (for young kids, preferably a comedy; for older kids, preferably a horror movie starring a drool-worthy heartthrob)
- Have a sleeping bag race, where kids have to wriggle across the floor in their bags to the finish line
- Make up a line dance to a hit song
- Put on a "news report" that you tape
- Have a pillow fight
- Decorate plain pillowcases you provide with fabric markers
- Play board games
- Play charades
- Give each other makeovers
- Play Truth or Dare
- Ask the Ouija board whose crush will be reciprocated
- Play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board
- Tell ghost stories
Encourage guests to fill up on relatively healthy fare by offering pretzels, baby carrots and grapes at the start of the party. If you do decide to serve dinner, order a pizza or have the kids make mac 'n' cheese. When they pop the movie in, bring out the popcorn and theater candy faves like Raisinets®, Milk Duds®, Junior Mints® or Jujyfruits®. Later, let the kids make microwave s'mores or Rice Krispies Treats®, or pile a dozen scoops of ice cream in a mixing bowl and top it with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry to create a super-duper sundae to share. Need more snack ideas? Try some slumber party classics.
And don't forget eats for the AM. Keep it simple with a spread of donuts and bagels with toppings, or serve pancakes, waffles or French toast for a fancier breakfast almost every kid will love.
Have plenty of soda and juice on hand, but later on, whip up a pot of hot chocolate with a dollop of marshmallow crème on top for a sippable pre-slumber treat — yummy for breakfast the next morning too!
Hot Chocolate (serves 4)
- 8 cups milk
- 6 ounces chocolate chips
- Dash salt
Heat the milk and chocolate chips over medium-low heat in a large saucepan, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth and heated through. Add salt and serve.