BY Ritu Shah
21 Nov 2022
As your kids grow up they start having their social circles of friends and classmates. Sleepover, also called a slumber party, becomes an activity in which they will be involved sooner or later.
If you are hosting a sleepover, you will need planning and lots of patience. And since the success of the party will impact your little one’s confidence, you will feel a bit of heat. Here we have prepared a handy guide for you to host a super fun sleepover for your kid and their friends.
You should keep the party small, preferably inviting 1-3 kids if your kid is less than 6 years of age or it is your first time hosting a sleepover. Remember younger kids need more supervision and care. We suggest that you keep the guest list limited to the kids and parents that you know well. The kids might be from your family or the closest pals of your little ones.
Have clear communication with the parents of the kids you are inviting especially for the following:
- Date, day, and time of the party
- What time should they drop their kids off
- Items the guest kids have to bring, including their pyjamas, a change of clothes, toothbrush, sleeping bag, pillow, stuffed animal
- Pick-up time in the morning. It should ideally be after breakfast.
Collect Critical Info
Ask the parents of the invited kids about pertinent and critical information.
- Phone numbers of both the parents and home address in case there is any emergency.
- Veg or non-veg food. Any other dietary restrictions
- Any allergies or medicines that the kid has to take
- If the kid is afraid to sleep in total darkness or has nightmares
- Some kids might be prone to bedwetting. Knowing beforehand, you can prepare for potential mishaps without embarrassing the kid.
Plan Some Activities
Always have some activities planned for the kids. Devise these activities as per the space you have at home. Try not to give the children the entire run of the house. Some fun and easy sleepover activities are:
- Decorating cupcake or ice cream scoop before eating.
- Craft projects - bracelet making, finger painting, slime making
- If you have a backyard or access to a park, then keep some outdoor games
- Board games or
- Watching age-appropriate movies
Plan the sleepover on a Saturday or during school vacations. Never keep a sleepover if the next day is a school day.
Food and Snacks
Other than spending time with their friends, food is the next most attractive aspect of a sleepover. It is a time to indulge in fast food and favourite snacks. Some easy-to-handle food for dinner and snacking are pizzas, pasta, noodles, veggie sandwiches, paratha rolls, idli, and fruit salad. Kids also love popcorn which they can munch on anytime. Keep desserts like ice-creams, cookies, muffins, or cupcakes. You can also offer fruits like apples and bananas for the super-hungry ones.
Do not forget to be prepared for breakfast the next morning. Toasts, eggs, pancakes, dosa, and poori make for a quick yet filling breakfast. You can also keep small packets of juice to be served in the morning.
Rules to Follow
Based on the age of the kids, have some basic set of rules for them to follow. This will ensure that you have a slightly less messy place to clean up. The rules will also help to maintain a semblance of coherence and discipline. Some of them you can use are:
- Keep some areas of the house out of bounds
- No bullying and teasing among each other
- No food fight inside the house
- A phone call to their parents before bedtime
You can have multiple sleeping arrangements. If the kids are bringing their sleeping bags, put them in a circle on the floor to make a huddle. If they are not, you can put mattresses on the floor, or use trundle or bunk beds if your kids have any. Set up a specific bedtime and communicate this to the kids. Of course, allow some leeway for them to break this rule!
It is best to call the parents immediately if the invited kid is feeling sick. If there is a mishap involving any kid, then also contact the parents. Sometimes a child might feel extreme homesickness. If the kid goes back, invite them over for breakfast with other sleepover participants.
Your Child As A Co-host
This is a fun occasion for your kid and a great time for learning and practicing social skills. Designate your kid as a co-host. Even if your kid is small, they can still help you in greeting the guests. For bigger kids (7+ years), you can also involve them in setting the table for dinner or handing out snacks. However, do not overburden your child since they would want to have fun with their friends.
Sleepovers are a fun time for kids but can become stressful for parents. With clear communication and a bit of proper planning, you can easily pull it off. Arrange for some activities, games, and lots of food, and steer them towards winding down to actually sleep, although a bit late than usual!