20 Tips for Great Sleepover Parties ...

If you're the parent of young kids or tweens, you could probably benefit from some helpful tips for sleepover parties. As young kids, we were always absolutely delighted to have a sleepover party, but the parents... perhaps not so much. Some parents even suggest that the best sleepover party tips were to actually not have one. But as it is such a valuable part of a child’s upbringing, creating so many wonderful memories, maybe parents just need some advice about sleepover parties, so that it doesn’t turn into a stressful event. And who knows, after a few great ideas, you may even be willing to repeat the event. Here are 20 Tips for Great Sleepover Parties.

1. Social Media and Sleepovers

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Every social scenario these days is dominated by a cell phone. No matter what age your kids are, they may well have one. If they have one at parties, you can be sure that they are on them all the time - updating profiles, taking pictures and even talking to other people at the party on their phones. A way to combat this is to give the parents your number, put a basket at the front door, and as each child comes in, they have to put their phone in it until the end of the party. Make a point of each child spending time with each other and not on their phones.

2. A Den

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If you are having loads of giggling girls over, one of the best tips for a sleepover party is to transform an area of the house into a special girl’s only retreat. Put together a space with loads of colourful pillows, some drapes, some magazines, music and girly things like nail polish. Young girls just love to lie around telling stories, painting nails and reading fashion mags. It won’t keep them busy all the time, but it will be a cool corner of the house that bratty brothers and parents won’t be allowed in. This is great advice for sleepover parties if you’re short on sleeping space. Piles of cushions make a great substitute for beds.

3. Tie Dye

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One of the secrets of successful sleepovers is to keep the kids occupied. How about a few hours of tie-dyeing? Buy each party goer a plain white or pale coloured t-shirt or pillowcase or ask them to bring one from home. It can be a relatively simple and stress free activity for most ages, but it definitely needs supervision. Kids will have loads of fun, just remember to do this activity first thing if you are going to do it. That way, when they have moved onto other things, you will have time to wash and dry the items so that the kids can wear their creations home the next day.

4. Makeovers

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The best tips for sleepover parties involve keeping the kids happily occupied with activities they enjoy. Young girls and teens will be delighted to have the chance to use real make up and a bit of lip gloss and glitter in a makeover session. You can even employ or beg a student or an older sibling to help out with the girls, putting on blusher and eye shadow to make the girls feel special and pretty. For the younger kids, why not get an older sibling in to do some face painting? That one is always a serious hit.

5. DIY

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Kids like nothing more than an interesting project, boys and girls of all ages included. Just be sure to find an activity that is age appropriate, you don’t want to hear mutters of ‘’this is so lame’’ under kids' breath. It will make your child’s sleepover party a serious flop at school the following week. Things like candle making, pottery and funky jewelery is possible as a unisex activity. Get great tips for sleepovers by actually discussing with your child what their preferences are and go from there.

6. Cupcakes

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Decorating cupcakes is a serious treat and will be a hit among the young kids. You can even step it up a notch for the older kids by getting out some real fondant and cake decorating tools so they can let their inner Cake Boss come to life. You can bake the cupcakes beforehand and let them have enough time to cool down, then place everything neatly on the table before the kids arrive. Definitely one of the best things to do at a slumber party.

7. Healthy Wraps

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If you’re looking for tips for sleepovers that are a real hit with older kids, give them something interesting on the food front –something more adventurous. But the deal is they have to get creative and make it themselves. Lay the table with loads of pre heated wraps and individual bowls of healthy fillings like carrot strips, lettuce, tomatoes, apple, pineapple, avocado and feta cheese. Try and include chicken strips instead of the old mince and cheese favourite.

8. Pool Party

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This is great for all ages, although it will require constant supervision – and of course, you have a have a pool! Get a theme together and make it an Hawaiian pool party. Put some candles around the pool for later and let the kids eat Hawaiian pizza accompanied by jugs of fruit punch. Glasses with umbrellas will be a nice touch and you can hang paper flowers and lanterns for an extra bit of glamour.

9. An Outdoor Market

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When you need ideas for sleepovers, think outside the box. Why not create a casual outdoor country market on the lawn? Set up some food stalls, hang up some bunting, serve ice cream and old fashioned popcorn, and lay out picnic blankets under the trees. Kids will love the chance to flit from stall to stall instead of the same old same old sit down dinner.

10. Board Games

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These are an old family favourite, so if you are on a tight budget, why not whip out all the board games and cards? They will keep the kids amused for hours because they're essentially new. After all, lots of kids are so used to being on the computer and on the phones all the time, playing an old fashioned board game will be something of a novelty.

11. Team Games

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Need some budget friendly ideas for sleepover parties? If the weather is nice, why not split the kids into teams and arrange some old fashioned games? Think tug of war, egg and spoon races, sack races, apple bobbing and musical chairs. They will get rid of some of their energy and talk it about it for ages afterwards.

12. Tents

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One of the best ideas for a slumber party is sleeping under the stars. You can put up a big tepee with some old sheets and the kids can sleep under their own individual makeshift tents. As an alternative, why not put up a big family tent and all the kids can squeeze in there? If the weather is warm, this will be a perfect opportunity for them to sleep outside.

13. Ice Cream Bar

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What a better indulgence than having a fully kitted out ice cream bar for the kids to enjoy? Put out all the sprinkles, toppings and sauces, different cones and serviettes. Include old fashioned ice cream scoops and a makeshift menu. Kids will feel as if they are in a '50s diner.

14. Hot Chocolate

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Later on when highly excitable kids are all running around and nobody wants to go to bed, it's a great time to round off the evening with some nice, warm and comforting hot chocolate. Serve warm cookies and steaming mugs of hot chocolate; they'll be in heaven! As an added bonus, they will also have to sit still for a little bit while they drink and eat, so hopefully they will all nod off to sleep quickly afterwards.

15. Spin for a Manicure

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Here’s a sleepover idea for girls based on an old favorite. Set it up just like the old fashioned ‘Spin the Bottle’ game, except make the rewards things like nail polish, nail files, accessories and all things little girls would like to do with a manicure. Much nicer than the old way.

16. Box of Questions

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This is a great game, aimed at girls, to help them start to wind down their hectic afternoon of playing, crafting and feasting. Let them play this game in the chill out area and serve some cool drinks and light snacks if they are not going to have dinner. Each child takes turns to ask questions and the idea is to get the girls to start talking and initiate conversations about issues in life.

17. Slippers

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Some sleepover ideas take a bit of planning, like this one. Go to a big department store and buy up a whole pack of those inexpensive beauty salon slippers in various sizes. Set up a craft stall for the girls, who can then decorate their very own pair of pamper party slip-ons. You can use just about anything, bits of material, bling stick-ons, flowers - you name it.

18. Breakfast Bar

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Do something quick and simple for breakfast and set up a real breakfast bar like they might have in a hotel. Serve a selection of cereals, fruit salad, freshly squeezed fruit juices, toast and a selection of preserves. It's healthy and quick, plus if they don’t finish it, then nothing will go to waste.

19. Obstacle Course

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Ideas for sleepovers for boys generally don’t involve crafting and pampering. Boys will want to run around outside and jump off of things - which is why an obstacle course is a brilliant way to keep them busy. Set up an obstacle course with anything; old tires, a section through a sandpit and even put the sprinklers on the end for them to run through.

20. Going Home

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One last piece of advice for sleepover parties - make sure that you specify that the kids need to be collected by a certain time the following morning. You stand the danger of bored kids tearing around the house when you are trying to clean up from the night before. Without any more activities planned, you could have bored and miserable kids start to fight. Plan to serve breakfast, and then for the kids to be collected about 30 minutes after that.

There are many ideas for slumber parties and kids never seem to grow out of wanting to have one. But don’t go in blindly, take some advice about sleepovers and pass on your own great sleepover party ideas to your friends. Who’s got some more tips and ideas to share?

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