Don't make the mistake of thinking that your 12-year-old's slumber party will be lights out at the normal bedtime hour. Tween slumber parties are meant for kids to pull all-nighters -- or close to it -- which means that a proper host of activities must be in order to keep them entertained for hours. Make sure the activities you set out for the slumber party are quiet ones, so the rest of the people in your home can still get some sleep.
Silent Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are gender-neutral activities to set up in your home for a slumber party. Create a list of items that the scavenger hunt teams must find and leave clues around the house to guide the group from one item to the next. Give the scavenger hunt a silent theme so the kids are quiet when they participate. A silent scavenger hunt means that they must use body signals and facial expressions to help one another out with the clues -- similar to charades -- rather than talking out loud. This also makes the scavenger hunt more challenging and entertaining.
If your 12-year-old is really into arts and crafts projects, set up a craft table with a variety of projects for the tweens to do throughout the night. Arts and crafts is a quiet activity that allows the kids to work individually on their own creations. You might have a jewelry-making station with beads and string, a picture frame-decorating station, an area for making puzzles and a station for decorating bookmarks. Make sure the craft projects you select can be completed without adult supervision. As such, leave hot glue guns out of the assortment of craft tools.
Tween girls and boys will appreciate a backyard campsite arrangement for a slumber party. This gets the kids out of the house, where they can bunk together in sleeping bags on the floor of a tent in your yard. Set up the atmosphere like a campsite by making a fire pit where they roast marshmallows for s'mores under your supervision, and give them other camping essentials, such as canteens of water, flashlights and snacks, and things to keep them entertained, such as word puzzles and magazines.
If your tween and her friends are into electronic entertainment, such as movies and video games, set up an area where the kids can have their slumber party in the same room as the electronic entertainment. Set out sleeping bags on the floor, have plenty of pillows ready and leave them with a variety of snack foods to keep them satiated as they participate in competitive game-playing or relaxing movie-watching.
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