How to host your child’s first sleepover or slumber party

Planning your child’s first sleepover or slumber party? Here are eight tips to ensure it’s a success. 

There will come the day when your child will ask the question that some parents love, and others dread: “Can I have a sleepover please?”

Hosting your kid’s first sleepover or slumber party is a rite of passage that every parent will go through at some point. And it can be as stressful or fun as you choose to make it.

How to host your child’s first sleepover or slumber party

To her ensure your child’s first sleepover or slumber party is the latter, here are eight things we recommend doing.

1) Nail down the details

Sit down with your child and discuss important details such as the date and time, number of guests, desired party theme, and other important details pertaining to the party itself.

If you don’t know much about the other children invited, ask your child to tell you a bit about each of them  what activities they like, what food they enjoy, and any other details that will help you plan a sleepover everyone will enjoy.

You may also want to personally call each attendee’s parent or guardian to find out important things such as food allergies and medications.

2) Pick a fun theme for your party

Deciding which decors, party favours, and activities to include in your child’s slumber party will be much faster and easier with a theme in mind. So choose a theme you want to go with first.

You want your child to feel involved in the planning, so ask them to help you come up with the theme. Should the party revolve around their favourite cartoon, movie, or series character? Should it be a superhero or princess theme? It can be anything under the sun, as long as you decide on it together.

3) Be creative with the invitations

Now that you’ve both decided on a theme, it’s time to take care of the invitations. If your child has decided to go with a space-themed slumber party, for instance, you can create invitations shaped like a spaceship. Or if it’s a unicorn-themed party, why not cut out some unicorn horns out of sturdy cardstock paper and decorate them with multicolored glitter for a magical touch?

4) Ask your child to help you decorate

You don’t have to go too fancy with the decorations. This will be a slumber party after all, and you’d want to keep the decor to a minimum to create a more relaxed atmosphere that’s still conducive for sleeping. You won’t even have to purchase them readymade – just make them yourself.

Since the sleepover will take place in your child’s room, you won’t need a lot of decor to make your party look put-together. You and your child can simply collaborate on a few craft projects, and use them as decorations (or even favours) for the party.

5) Plan fun, theme-related activities

Obviously, sleepovers aren’t just for sleeping. The kids are going to want to tire themselves out with fun activities before they actually go to sleep, so you will need to prepare those as well.

So come up with a few games or arts and crafts projects for them to do, while staying true to the theme. You won’t have to come up with too many, as you can also fill up the time with a movie marathon or a fun bedtime story.

If your kids are a bit older, you can also make the activities a bit more competitive by placing them in teams (for group activities) and getting “judges” (yourself and your partner, for instance) to choose the winners.

6) Get creative with the food

Snacks are obviously a must. You can stick to store-bought snacks and serve them on fun plates if you don’t have the time to cook. But if you want to go the extra mile, make them from scratch. This way, you can get creative with it and customise each recipe to fit your party’s chosen theme.

Don’t know what to make? Go on Pinterest or check out food blogs to get some recipe ideas that you can recreate for the party. Enlist your child’s help in cooking or baking the party food, and make it a fun bonding experience too.

7) Have fun with party bags

This can be as simple as getting a brown paper bag and designing it with paper cut outs or crayons, writing the name of the attendee, then filling it with treats or small trinkets that they can take home. Or you can go all-out and create the contents of the party too.

If you’re crafty and you have some time on your hands, you can include mini soaps or crayons cut out in fun shapes for them to use. You can include anything that you think will make them happy or that they’ll find interesting and useful.

As always, ask your child to work on these projects with you as this will give you an opportunity to teach them a few useful new skills. And who knows? If your child shows an interest in working on these craft projects, you may end up with a fun new hobby that you can enjoy together on a regular basis.

8) Document the fun

Last but certainly not the least, remember to document the fun. After all, this is your child’s first slumber party, and you will probably want to remember this moment for years to come.

You can take the photos yourself, but if you want to avoid being too intrusive, you can also set up a video camera or GoPro in the room so that you can record every minute of the festivities.

If possible, you can also supply the children with a kid-friendly camera (but make sure to teach your child how to take photos, of course) so that they can document the party themselves. This allows you to have photos of the party from your child’s point of view, which is equally as important as any of the photos or videos you plan to take yourself.

Photo by Annie Spratt