Slumber Party Planning Tips
As much as you want to give your child a fun slumber party, let’s face it — inviting a bunch of kids into your home (not just to hang out for a few hours, but also to sleep overnight) can be daunting. You have to think about sleeping arrangements, food, activities and more. How can you minimize stress? What are some good tips for slumber party planning? To help answer these questions, here are some key ideas to keep in mind:
- Determine the guest list. Decide ahead of time how many kids you can logistically fit in your home, and ask your child who he or she wants to invite accordingly. If you already know your home can’t accommodate 12 kids, it’s best to say so upfront and minimize the guest list to the number you can handle. Likewise, if kids will need to sleep in more than one location, draw names about who sleeps where in order to avoid hurt feelings.
- Plan a simple, fun menu. Typically at a slumber party, you can expect to provide the evening’s dinner, a variety of snacks, and the next morning’s breakfast. Save yourself some stress by keeping the food simple: Find out if any kids have allergies ahead of time, and then create a kid-friendly menu. Dinner could be pizza or takeout. Snacks could be items that are easy to pick up at the store like chips, crackers, fruit, candy, desserts and so on. Then, in the morning, you can provide store-bought muffins, a prepped breakfast casserole you can pop in the oven, fruit, donuts, juice and milk.
- Stick to disposables. Especially if you’re planning a slumber party for lots of children, skip washing dishes and go with disposable plates and utensils. This will make cleanup easier and simplify meal times.
- Plan a few fun activities. There are lots of ways to keep kids entertained at a slumber party. You might ask your child to pick a movie or two that everyone can watch, or you could get everyone involved in meal prep by having them top their own pizzas or put together simple sandwiches. Set out board games and card games. Provide a stack of mad libs. Another idea is to have the kids take on some sort of DIY project like using fabric markers on T-shirts or making their own jewelry.
- Make nighttime less scary. For those kids who are afraid of the dark but embarrassed to say so, leaving a nightlight or hallway light on can be a real comfort. Likewise, you can make the party more fun and add illumination by ordering glow sticks or other glow-in-the-dark products that you hand out to participants.
- Communicate expectations. Be in touch with parents about your expectations — what time to drop off kids, what time to pick them up, what kids need to bring to the party, etc. The better you communicate, the less chance for misunderstandings. Likewise, make sure all the parents have your phone number and you have theirs in case something comes up and you need to reach them.
- Get backup. If you’re at all unsure about being able to handle the party alone, enlist backup by way of a spouse, friend or other parent. Having other adults on hand to manage logistics, answer questions, comfort kids, etc., will help ensure everything goes smoothly.
The good news, when it comes to a slumber party, is that you don’t have to be overwhelmed by the prospect. With ample preparation you can minimize stress and everyone can enjoy a safe, fun experience!
Author bio: Jeremy Thompson is a born entrepreneur and Partner at Premier Glow. His many businesses include a DJ company, selling bubble gum and novelty toys.