Every tween or teen loves a slumber party. A whole night packed with exciting activities, games, chit-chat, and pure fun with your friends is undoubtedly the most exciting party idea for kids (and adults too!).
For a parent, however, slumber parties entail a ton of behind-the-curtain tasks related to party planning, from invites and food to décor and clean-up after the bash.
We have put together a perfect guide to help you organize a successful slumber party that will instantly secure you the title of “fun parent.”
What is a slumber party?
Simply put, it is a party that doesn’t have to end at a specific time. A slumber party essentially means 1 or more kids staying overnight at a friend’s place and partying.
While slumber parties are more popular with tween and teen girls, boys can also have a fun night with their close buddies.
Slumber party vs. sleepover
There is just a subtle difference between the two. A slumber party means a party with fun games, movies, and food, with the guests sleeping at the host’s place.
A sleepover means a person sleeping at another person/ friend’s place, and it may or may not involve a party.
Slumber party ideas: How to throw a kids sleepover party
When my twin daughters decided to have a slumber party with their “girlfriends” as their birthday party, my mommy brain got to work and started making a list of all the things that needed to be taken care of.
I’m sharing tips from my experiences as a cheat sheet for you moms to rock your tweens’ party. Be it a slumber party birthday or just a casual sleepover fun night, these tips are sure to work.
So, what are some slumber party/sleepover ideas? The simplest way to plan a successful party is to break down the task into minor points and steps. Whether you want to go with a theme or keep it casual and simple, you can throw a fantastic party for your kids either way.
Here are essential and easy tips for throwing an excellent slumber party:
1. Slumber party invitations
Spread the word long before the day of the party. Send out slumber party invites well in advance and specify when the kids should arrive and when they should be picked up the next day.
If the children need to bring their own sleeping bags, comfort toys, or other stuff, make it clear in the invite to help parents prepare well.
2. Party décor
Next in line after invites is planning the party décor. Kids love having a beautifully decorated party room just to themselves. Give them a room full of comfy beds and cushions, and you’ll move up on their list of favorite adults.
Since the slumber party is essentially a sleepover, keep the décor cozy and warm. Put in lots of bedding, blankets, pillows, and cushions. Donut-shaped pillows will be a perfect addition to the ambiance.
Hungry kids are grumpy kids, so it is essential to keep their tummies full to make them happy. Before choosing the menu, ask the parents about any dietary restrictions or allergies and keep that in mind while picking the food for the party.
The choice of food would depend on whether you want to start the slumber party with dinner or serve night-time snacks. Some of the most popular options for party foods are cheese and crackers, pretzels, donuts, cookies and milk, cupcakes, hot cocoa and marshmallows, pizza, and finger sandwiches.
4. Slumber party games
The most crucial task in any party planning is keeping the guests entertained. The task becomes all the more challenging when these guests are tweens or teens. Choose the games in accordance with the age and preferences of your young guests.
Some choices for a sleepover party game or activity are:
- Scavenger hunt: Hide their return favors inside the house or in the backyard and let them hunt for their gifts.
- Pin the horn: Kids of all ages love this game as it’s simple to play and always fun.
- Twister: This versatile game is sure to get lots of laughs and giggles.
- DIY slime: It is perfect for kids aged 5-9 and comes with all the ingredients needed to make the party “gooey.”
- DIY friendship bracelets: Girls love to make personalized friendship bracelets for each other, and this DIY set comes with plenty of charms to keep them happy.
- Eye masks painting: Both girls and boys enjoy coloring their eye masks and personalizing them. The box contains 10 eye masks and 8 coloring pens to help the Picasso in each kid come out. Children can take home the eye masks as a return favor.
- Baking cupcakes: The pack contains perfectly measured ingredients that make the baking less messy and more fun.
- Baking cookies: A pre-measured pack helps little bakers enjoy cookie making.
- DIY bath bombs: This organic bath bomb kit has natural ingredients and an instruction manual.
- Movie night: This is a classic way to have a relaxing, fun night.
5. Pick a theme
Is it even a party without a theme? Picking a theme makes the whole event more fun and party planning easier. Select an age-appropriate theme that kids can relate to and participate in. The most prevalent themes would be pajama party, camping, spa at home, rainbows and unicorns (every girl loves that!), donuts, and candy.
This is the most versatile, easy-to-pull, and fun theme for a last-minute slumber party.
- Ask all the kids to dress in their favorite pajamas.
- You can decide on a color for pajamas or get matching pajamas for your kid’s friends. You can send these pajamas together with the sleepover invites or hand them when they arrive. The children can take the pajamas home as return favors.
- Make their party room cozy by throwing in lots of cushions and comfy blankets.
- Serve warm popcorn and hot chocolate, night-time snacks.
- The kids can bake cookies or cupcakes together and decorate them with these pretty cupcake toppers. They can later enjoy their baked goods with a movie.
Indoor camping slumber party
Sleepover is synonymous with camping for most kids. Even if you want to keep it indoors, you can still have a fun camping party.
- Send out beautiful party invites. Don’t forget to mention whether you will provide slumber party tents or sleeping bags or they need to bring their own.
- Decorate the party area with a jungle backdrop and a cardboard fire centerpiece to give it a camping feel.
- Set up individual tents for kids and place individual flashlights for them.
- You can make them play shadow games and scavenger hunt using flashlights. Kids can take home tents/sleeping bags, torches, and treasures (gift) from the scavenger hunt as return gifts.
- Looking for camping recipes for the slumber party? Put out marshmallows, skewers, chocolate fondue, s’mores, etc., and place these matching plates and napkins for a finishing touch.
- To take it up a notch, you can include a hot chocolate bar for kids where they can customize their “drink” for the night.
Spa-at-home slumber party
Seriously, who can say no to that theme? Set up a spa at home for girls and let them pamper and indulge themselves.
- Send out a pretty invite for the spa party.
- In the invite, you can mention that you want the girls to bring their bathrobes to enjoy the nail spa. Alternatively, you can have a set of customized bathrobes and slippers ready for the kids when they arrive.
- Decorate the party room with glitter and shimmer spa backdrops. It also comes with beautiful photo props for making these fun moments memorable.
- Set up the spa corner with all the nail files, toe separators, nail paints, glitter, clip-ons, hair clips, and other accessories. This spa mini kit is a one-pack solution for such parties.
- Girls can take home the customized bath set and hair clips along with shiny, gorgeous nails as a party favor.
- Make sure you restrict food options to finger food or food that can be consumed with forks or skewers as the girls wouldn’t want to spoil their pretty nails while eating. Choose food like cheese and crackers, meatballs with individual toothpicks, fruit kebabs, and nuggets. Don’t forget to keep straws for juices and other drinks.
Important points to remember when hosting a kids’ slumber party
You have sent out the invites, prepared the party food, and planned perfect games to entertain the kids. Here are a few simple checkpoints to keep in mind to make the party a success:
- Keep the parents informed. The parents who are leaving their kids overnight at your place would appreciate it if you checked with them about the convenience of the date and time and updated them the next day about their kids.
- Also, check your guests’ bedtimes with their parents and make sure the kids are asleep by that time.
- Rather than planning lots of activities, try to limit the number of games to 2 or 3 as more than that might over-stimulate the children.
- If you’re planning more than 2 or 3 activities, keep quiet and soothing ones for the end of the party. That will help the kids go to sleep on time. Some examples of relaxing activities are simple cards games, shadow games in the dark, and soft songs to help the young minds calm down and prepare for sleep.
- Having fun is a tiring job. Let them sleep the following day as long as they want so that they wake up fresh.
- Keep some breakfast ready for their grumbling tummies, things like pancakes, toast, eggs, and cereals.
Use the tips and guidelines above to throw a super fun slumber party for kids, and you are sure to become their “favorite fun parent”!