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!