Sleepovers are definitely an extremely popular choice for birthday parties and other kid’s celebrations at the moment. Sometimes it’s a few friends staying over after other activities or sometimes the sleepover is the main event! We’ve been in the party planning industry for over ten years now and having just launched Sleep Stars, our sleepover kit hire service, we thought we’d share some tips and ideas we’ve picked up along the way to make hosting a sleepover as stress free and fun as possible!
Where to sleep?
The first thing to do when planning a sleepover party is to establish where everyone is going to sleep – we would of course recommend hiring a kit from ourselves to make this super easy! We provide airbeds, sheets, sleeping bags and liners in your choice of colour, night lights, a disco ball, mugs and hot chocolate – all the kids need is a pillow and their pyjamas. It looks great, is budget friendly and is really simple to set up and put away. We’re based in Glasgow, Scotland but with delivery throughout mainland UK, it doesn’t matter where you live. From Inverness to London and everywhere in between, a Sleep Stars kit is accessible to you. If you’re planning a summer sleepover, you could even set up a tent in the garden and use one of our kits there!
There are, of course, other options for sleeping space. Depending where you live, you might find a local business who hire out indoor teepees or wigwams, these are lovely but do take up a lot of room and can be expensive. For a high end option though, they can be really effective. There’s also the option of a DIY set up. If you have lot of beds at home, you can remove mattresses and put them all in one room with any spare duvets and blankets you can find. When we were younger this is how we did sleepovers but can see how it resulted in a lot of extra work and laundry for our parents!
You’ll want to keep the kids busy before bedtime to tire them out and have some hope of getting them to sleep at a reasonable time! Setting up some structured activities keeps everyone occupied and creates lasting memories. Try some of these ideas for simple fun –
Make your own pizzas
This is an ideal activity as it also results in creating the perfect sleepover snack! Buy bases, pizza sauce, grated cheese and a few different toppings and let the kids loose on their own creations. Ten minutes in the oven and a tasty snack is ready!
You can’t go wrong with some games to get everyone chatting and in a party mood. Our top five sleepover game suggestions would be:
- Would you rather?
Write questions on paper and put them in a jar e.g. “Would you rather eat slugs or spiders?”. Take turns to ask and answer the questions and prepare for lots of giggles!
- Emoji Bingo
Loved by both boys and girls, Emoji bingo takes the classic game and twists it with a theme they’ll love. First to fill their card wins a prize. You can download the cards and print them out from various online sources.
- Toss and Talk Ball
Useful of calming everyone down and getting them into their sleeping bags! Get an inflatable ball or balloon and write lots of interesting questions on it. The kids then toss the ball to one another – catcher must answer the question closest to their right middle finger before sending the ball to the next player.
Another classic! Like hide and seek except only one child hides. The rest must hunt them down and join them in their hiding place until the last person finds everyone – only agree to this one being played if you don’t mind finding a small mountain of children in your wardrobe!
- Dance Off
One of the best ways to burn off excess energy. Set the scene with some tunes and a mini disco ball like the ones in our kits and let them warm up with a well-known dance routine like Gangnam style or the Macarena (Are we showing our age here?!). When everyone is warmed up, take it in turns to out dance each other, the winner is the person with the most outrageous moves! Mums and dads, make sure you get a couple of videos of this on your phone to give all the kids a giggle with later on!
Most kids love to get creative and settling them down to a crafty activity or two will keep everything calm and give all the kids something to take home as a memento. Why not try letting them design their own pillow case? You can pick white cases up really cheaply in supermarkets and fabric pens don’t cost too much but can create some really effective designs. Other sleepover craft ideas include lantern making, friendship bracelets, mug painting or DIY teddy bear making.
Whether it’s something a bit scary that make them jump into bed, an action packed thriller that has them hooked or a slushy rom com to create a room full of laughter, there’s no doubt that sleepovers and movies go hand in hand. Throw in some popcorn and hot chocolate and you’ll earn some serious parent points without too much fuss!
After lots of bouncing around and games, why not turn your living room into a day spa to chill everyone out? Think low lighting, fluffy robes, a kids YouTube yoga tutorial, face masks and some relaxation music. The kids will feel like they’re getting five star treatment and you’ll probably feel more chilled out too if you’re worrying about getting everyone some sleep!
This is probably the bit of having a sleepover that most parents feel a bit concerned about. Will everyone settle ok? Will they stay up all night? Sleepovers are definitely all about fun, midnight snacks and late nights but especially with younger kids, you do want to make sure they get at least some sleep. Our top tips for a reasonably restful night would be as follows:
- Make some rules (to be broken)
If you want the kids sleeping by midnight, tell them it’s probably going to be lights out by 10.30. Then let them have a bit of fun by not actually insisting on lights going out until an hour later. They’ll feel they’ve had extra fun time and will hopefully be ready for a snooze by this point.
- Make sure everyone knows where to find you.
Some kids find staying over with a friend for the first time a little daunting. If you’re not staying in the room with them, show everyone where you’ll be and reassure them they can come and find you at any point in the night. It will help them drift off more easily if they feel reassured.
- Don’t make it completely dark.
You want it to be dark enough that everyone can sleep but not so dark anyone is uneasy about it. Individual night lights solve this problem by letting each child choose if they have a little light next to them or not. The star shaped ones we provide with our kits are really cute and very durable so you don’t need to worry about anyone knocking them over.
- Don’t stress.
It’s highly likely there will be chatting and giggling for a while after lights out but unless it’s getting out of hand then roll over and leave them to it – laughter and conversations in the dark with friends are what sleepovers are all about and create the best memories!
The Next Day
The morning after a sleepover can be a little tense if not done right. There’s not been much sleep, everyone has been cooped up together and there’s most likely a bit of a sugar come down going on! We would recommend a hearty but healthy breakfast to get everyone going, fresh fruit and some toast is probably going to be a winner. After breakfast, why not get everyone outside to the garden for a scavenger hunt and some fresh air while you pack up any bedding that might need sorted. This means that when the kids are collected, they’re fed, happy and you have your house back to normal! If you’ve hired a Sleep Stars kit, there’s no laundry to do, just pop everything back in the boxes and we will arrange a courier collection and do all the hard work for you.
We hope you’ve found this sleepover guide helpful and picked up some ideas for your next slumber party! We’d love to hear from you if you have any other games or activities that have been a hit at your parties and we’ll feature them in a future blog post.
Susan and Nadia