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The Sleepover Survival Guide
SLEEPOVER [sleep-oh-ver]: an instance of sleeping over, as at another person's house, whereas the parental unit of said house is subjected to late-night giggling and an overall state of hysteria during which sleep is not accounted for.
Sound familiar? In just a few short months, your kiddos will be out of school and the summer sleepover season will be in full swing. Check out a few of our parent-friendly party pointers to help take the headache out of hosting.
The Power is in the Plans:
For any parent, hosting multiple munchkins overnight can be downright daunting—proper preparedness prior to the party can make all the difference.
1. Select a prime party time. While school is still in session, a Friday night gathering means the kids are already worn-out from school. During the summer, their weekly activities like day camp or summer school have kept them active all day. And, as an added bonus, your youngster (and you!) will still have Saturday and Sunday to recover.
2. Make pick-up time a noted priority to avoid after-party-poopers well into the next day.
Prep for Invasion:
Prepare a designated “slumber zone” in your house where the main event and snoozing will stay.
1. Get your munchkin to participate in the plans by transforming the room into a cozy cave of blankets and pillows for an inviting welcome to your little guests. While this will be the fortress for activities the rest of the night, it is also where your little visitors will find what they forgot—a pillow! Our PureCare Kids Youth pillows are ideal for kiddos ages 3-12 and are a sleep-saver on nights like these.
2. Don’t forget that some of your tyke’s friends may not know their way around your house, especially at night. Strategically placed nightlights on steps and around bathrooms will help little ones to defy the dark.
Lay Down the Law:
Be prepared for kids to arrive with a feeling of freedom knowing that their parents won’t be back until the next day. Kids will be kids!
1. Once the last guest arrives, it’s time for you to let the rules be known. A little welcome meeting where the fun you have in store for the evening as well as the household rules are reviewed is always a good thing.
2. Remind everyone that you have their parent’s contact information on hand in case of…emergencies.
Expect the Unexpected:
Ahh…what’s a slumber party without a crisis? While any number of things can pop-up, there are a few givens that you can expect.
1. For the homesick, nervous, or timid pal, it may be best to partner up. Suggest a buddy system that ensures everyone is included in all of the fun.
2. If you’re hosting a group on the younger side, avoid the uh-ohs of spills and bed-wetting by protecting bunk beds or mattresses with our PureCare Kids Youth 5-Sided mattress protector. Completely wash/dry safe on hot settings, you’ll be thanking yourself later.
3. Books, magazines, and markers might come in handy for those who aren’t prone to participate in every activity, or for the sprouts that rise with the sun.
Go, Go, Go, Sleep:
The secret to slumber party Zz’s? Tucker them out before you tuck them in!
1. Activities like outdoor flashlight tag in the backyard, an indoor scavenger hunt for prizes, a crepe paper maze, impromptu karaoke, or musical manicures are just a few ideas that keep them active and involved.
2. Here’s a fun sleepover activity (that doubles as a take-home treat!): Have kiddos color their own pillowcase art. Grab some fabric markers, lay down some paper, hand out the pillowcases and watch as munchkins become absorbed in their masterpieces! They’ll be super excited to cuddle up to their new work of art, and our completely washable PureCare Youth pillowcases can’t be beat!
3. Keep them involved (and on track) with a “balloon schedule.” Have a few floating balloons with different times on them. When it’s time to move onto another activity (did someone say bedtime?), select a kiddo to “pop” the balloon signaling the shift.
Stock up—They’re hungry!
The key to being a guru of the sleepover game? Provide proper provisions!
1. Keep kiddos’ health and energy levels in mind with munchies that aren’t full of refined sugars, complex carbohydrates, and icky junk. Place bowls of grapes, baby-sized veggies and dip, or healthy snack mixes around the “slumber zone” for easy snacking.
2. We suggest getting them involved! Create a build-your-own pizza bar that even the pickiest of eaters can’t resist.
3. After a long night, you can almost see the finish line, but the burden of breakfast looms. Fuel your bleary-eyed and groggy guests with an oh-so-easy breakfast option like De Waflebakkers Frozen Pancakes, which (as a relief for nutritiously minded mavens) bears the Women’s Choice Award seal as a consumer tested and recommended food. Get kiddos on board with bowls of different toppings for the most scrumptious of creations.
Set the Stage for Sleep:
Just like with your own kiddos, having a plan for the pre-sleep routine is essential.
1. Dim the lights and pop in a movie. Even if they won’t admit it, your mayhem-minded munchkins will start to mellow out.
2. If they are still awake post-premiere, remind them of the rules, shut off the TV, and retreat to your sleep sanctuary. Give them 15 minutes or so to gab and giggle but be firm beyond that. Remember that “emergency” contact list of parents? They need to know it’s in your pocket.
Do you have a sleepover strategy you’d like to share or a slumber party that was nothing short of success? We want to hear about it! Leave a comment here or visit our Facebook Page to share your pajama party stories and photos!Read More & Comment »
Sleep Success for Little Sleepers
If there is one thing that remains consistent about kiddos it’s change. There are so many stages to their growth throughout their early years, and their sleep schedule is no exception. We know that young ones require their vitamin Z’s to wake refreshed, but getting your munchkin to adopt a healthy rest routine can be a bedtime battle. Rest assured, getting great sleep for the whole family isn’t just a fairytale. Take a look at our simple slumber solutions to get you and your tot back on track with tucking in.
Tip #1: Be Keen to the Routine
The first key to success is vigilance. It is so important to create a pattern for powering down every night. Little bodies (and brains) need nightly nod-off rituals that remind them that it is almost time to drift off. Get the whole family on board with powering down electronics and slowing down for slumber at the same time each and every night. Your kiddos will not just go to sleep more easily if they hit the hay at the same time each night but will also most likely wake at the same time each morning.
Tip #2: Keep It Consistent
Weekends can provide the perfect excuse for sleeping in, but the effects can prove detrimental to your child’s sleep patterns. The truth of the matter is that their bodies don’t understand the concept of “sometimes.” Be it weekday or weekend, their sleep routine and bedtime should be the same. Being firm on this point helps avoid Monday morning meltdowns (for all involved) and weekend woes.
Tip #3: Sweets and Sleep Don’t Mix
Your kids are probably the first to remind you that there is nothing like dessert to finish off a great meal. Tempting…yes. Good idea? Depends on what you’re serving. Sugars are sure to spike their energy levels within two hours of consumption, so beware that after dinner sweets could mean a wide awake and wired tot come bedtime.
Tip #4: Keep Your Promises
You promised a bedtime story, but somehow, you’ve been talked into a third, fourth, and fifth book. Just one more couldn’t hurt, right? Actually, best practice is to stick to the original promise. One song means one song, one story means one story, and turning off the lights means shutting little lids! By persevering and setting limits time and again, you will find yourself fighting the “just one more” battle less and less.
Tip #5: Rid the Room of Things That Go Bump in the Night
Though they may be little, munchkins have big imaginations that can keep them from nodding off. Avoid scary movies or stories before bed and install night lights in their room to help relax their fears. A quiet noise machine can also help keep them calm by drowning out any potentially “scary” sounds.
Tip #6: Create a Sanctuary for Sleep
Your little munchkin’s minds are working overtime day and night to absorb the world around them. Just like you, your little sleepers need a cozy and comforting space to unwind. Sleep comfort is essential at every age, so make sure that your kiddos have the proper sleep support of a great pillow. PureCare Kids Youth pillows provide the comfort and wellness benefits that your child needs (and are completely washable to boot). Calming elements like Himalayan Salt Lamps and Aromatherapy Diffusers can be a big help for stress-release come sleep time.
Have no fear—a decent night’s sleep (for the entire family) is in your future.Read More & Comment »