Sleepovers, slumber parties, pyjama parties- whatever you want to call them, are a childhood rite of passage: staying up late, watching movies until way past their bedtime and trying to stay awake for that mystical midnight feast.
Although the kids may not be able to invite their friends, a sleepover at home with the family can be just as exciting. Throwing a sleepover is a great way to break up the monotony of every day rolling into the next and the perfect opportunity to bond as a family and create some special memories to last a lifetime.
So, pop on your PJ’s, get the snacks at the ready and let us guide you through some top tips to make sure you host the best sleepover ever!
Choose Your Room
First things first; think about which room of the house you’ll be using to host your sleepover, think about rearranging the layout and furniture to create as much space as possible. Also, make sure to move anything fragile out of the way until morning.
Next up you'll need to organise the space so that everyone has somewhere cosy to sleep. If it’s easy enough to move mattresses to your chosen room then do this, if not you could use sofa cushions or sleeping bags if you have them. Grab your duvets and pillows and have a designated space for each member of the family. If the kids have a favourite cuddly toy then make sure they come along too! Lay everyone’s PJ’s on their pillows and show everyone where they’ll be sleeping beforehand so there are no arguments when it’s time to bed down for the night.
Set The Scene
Think fairy lights, lanterns and bunting.. let’s transform your chosen room into a sleepover haven. Some twinkly fairy lights will set the perfect ambience, add in some scatter cushions and throws and you’ll have a space that screams sleepover!
Why not have a fun craft day with the kids beforehand and make some homemade decorations to make your space look extra special.
Make some homemade lanterns to place around the room
Make some bunting- you could stick to colour schemes or set a sleepover theme
If you have a mini pop up tent or teepee than these will be a great addition to your sleepover space!
You don't want to spend the entire night in the kitchen slaving over a 3-course meal so let’s keep the food nice and simple.
Chicken Fajitas - a great sleepover dish that requires very little prep or cooking
Pizza - you could get buy ready-made or why not make your own- then you've got food and entertainment all rolled into one!
Lasagne - you can have this dish made up beforehand and just pop it in the oven to heat it up.
Games are crucial to hosting the perfect sleepover so let us guide you through some of the best games sure to keep the whole family entertained.
Play Charades - this classic game of acting, drama and guessing is sure to get the whole family in fits of giggles! You can adjust this game entirely around your children’s age and abilities. You can make up your own charades cards or there are loads of resources available online- here’s a great printable for younger children and try this trickier one for older children.
Classic Party games - play some classic party games like musical statues, musical bumps, wheelbarrow races or have an egg and spoon race.
Make A Piñata- if you’re feeling creative then why not have a go making your own piñata?! Check out our blog on how to to make one here.
Go On A Scavenger Hunt - you can tailor this to your children’s ages. Make a list of items for everyone to collect around the house and the first to collect them all is the winner! You can use pictures instead of a written list for younger children. Here’s a printable one for you to try.
Have A Dance Off- turn up the music and take it turns to strut your stuff on the dance floor! Dancing is such a feel-good activity and a chance for everyone to let off some steam. Dance like no one's watching!
Board Games- break out the board games and have a board game marathon!
Snacks & Drinks
No sleepover is complete without snacks! From sweet to savoury here are some great snack ideas to get your taste buds tingling.
Popcorn- the ultimate sleepover snack! Why not jazz it up and have multi-coloured popcorn?!
Crisps are a definite must-have
Fruit skewers- we know its a sleepover but it’s good to have a healthy option!
Marshmallows and melted chocolate
Make some mocktails- kids will love feeling grown up with their fancy drinks! Give this Fruity Mocktail a try!
Have A Pillow Fight- a sleepover is not a sleepover without a good old fashioned pillow fight!
Photo Booth- why not set up a photo booth to capture the fun of your sleepover?! You can keep your photo booth super simple depending on what you have at home, if you have a plain white wall then this would work as the perfect backdrop or you could jazz it up with some bunting or a customised banner. If you have a fancy camera with a tripod or a Polaroid camera then great but if not then you can simply use your smartphone. What really makes a photo booth is the props! So, have a hunt through your wardrobes and fancy dress supplies and see what you can find! Or, get crafty and make some props of your own, here are some ideas to get you started! Print off your photos and create a sleepover photo album that you can look back on in years to come.
Pamper Party- for a girly sleepover you could set up a home spa where you can relax, unwind and have a little pamper. Set up a little pamper space at your table and have a selection of face masks, nail polish, hand creams, face creams whatever you have that’s suitable. You could make your own simple face masks by mixing 1/4 cup of plain yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of honey and one medium banana, simply give it a good mix until it’s a smooth consistency and your homemade face mask is ready- just add some cucumber slices for your eyes and voila! Girls will absolutely love this!
Build A Den- build a cosy little den using blankets, throws and cushions. This could be the perfect place for watching a movie or for all those midnight-snacks!
Time To Wind-Down
Watch A Movie- wind down with a family-friendly film! Pop your PJ’s on, pass around the popcorn and get cosy with some scatter cushions and throws. On Netflix? Why not set up a ‘sleepover movie night’ profile with some pre-selected films ready for you to watch.
Stargazing- if the weather permits this is a great activity that the whole family will enjoy. Grab some blankets and plot up outside and enjoy the wonders of the night sky- if you’re lucky you might even spot a shooting star!
It’s likely that you all had a late night so it might be more like brunch than breakfast but it's a good idea to have it all prepared and planned out- after all this is the ‘ultimate sleepover’ so let’s finish it on a high!
Pancake Bar- whip up some pancakes (or cheat and buy ready-made - we won’t tell!) then add bowls full of lots of different toppings; blueberries, whipped cream, sliced banana, strawberries, bacon, golden syrup, chocolate chips, honey, ice cream, peanut butter... the options are endless! You can have this all prepped ahead of time.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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