Begin your plans for a memorable slumber party for your child or teen by setting a theme. Let your child choose the theme based on her interests. Purchase plates, cups and decorations suited to the theme; decorate the room the kids will sleep in, as well as the dining room, if you are keeping meal areas separate. Meals usually include dinner and cake, plus snacks for later in the evening. Establish ground rules early on to avoid arguments or hurt feelings. For example, tell all the kids that no one gets to sleep on couches and pranks are not allowed.
Items you will need
- Serving dishes
- Party favors
Make creative invitations. Use themed invitations, if you are using a party kit, or make your own. One idea is to craft a sleeping bag out of card stock. Cut a 3-by-5 inch rectangle and a 3-by-3 inch square from double-sided scrapbook paper. Round all the corners with scissors or a shaping tool. With the outside print facing toward you, fold one corner of the square piece back on itself, creating a triangle. This looks like a sleeping bag that is partially open. Add a teddy bear sticker to hold the fold in place. With the inside prints together, glue the edges of the rectangle and square together, leaving an opening at the top. Slip a photo of your child and the date, time and location details in the opening of the sleeping bag. List items guests need to bring as a helpful reference.
Plan your menu. Choose to go simple by ordering pizzas, or lay out a themed buffet for guests. For example, serve tea sandwiches, dainty pastries and fruit cut into flowers, stars or tiara shapes for a princess-themed party. Plan on serving cake and ice cream shortly after dinner. Later, guests will likely want to snack while talking or watching a movie, so provide popcorn, chips or veggies. In the morning, send your guests off with a simple breakfast of muffins, hard boiled eggs, fruit and juice.
Prepare activities. Kids will figure out what to do even if you do not prepare many activities, but having options helps keep the evening organized. Set up stations for nail polish, hairstyles and make-up at a makeover-themed party. For a boys' sports-themed party, hold several sporting or field day events outside before the sun goes down. An evening scavenger hunt around the neighborhood keeps kids outside in the fresh air before being in for the night. Or, host a dance-a-thon in pajamas before bedtime, featuring your child's favorite music.
Show a movie. One of the best ways to get kids in their sleeping bags and settled down is to show a movie. Choose your movie to match the theme of the party, and be sure the rating is appropriate for your age group. Parents may be opposed to violence, language or sex; ask parents for their opinions if you do not want to alienate any guests.
Make themed goodie bags for guests to take home. A drama-themed bag contains dress-up glasses, a feather boa and a disposable camera. At a superhero-themed party, send guests home with action figures, stickers and candy.
Tips & Warnings
- How you decorate sets the stage for the rest of the evening. Casual parties need nothing more than streamers and a few balloons, while elaborate parties require matching containers for individual-sized snack portions, over-sized cushions for lounging or photo booths.
- Younger siblings may cause mayhem. See if they will stay the night with a friend or family member while the older sibling's party is going on.
- Pillow fights, a classic addition to slumber parties, often end with someone getting hurt. Look for alternative activities, or warn guests to keep it light.
- Some kids need special assistance to attend a slumber party. For example, kids, even slightly older kids, might have bed-wetting concerns. Speak beforehand with their parents about their needs and assist them in the most discreet way possible during the party.
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