Remember how much fun it was to have a sleepover with your friends when you were a child? You would stay up late talking, watching movies, playing games and doing pretty much anything but sleeping! Now that you are grown and you have children of your own your little ones will want to have their friends sleep over, or sleep over at the house of a friend. Read on for some tips for managing these sleepovers with as little stress and hassle as possible.
Sleepovers are a great opportunity for children to improve their social skills and learn to be more independent. It could be one friend sleeping over, or a few friends celebrating a birthday together. As the parent who is organising the event, it will be up to you to make sure that everything goes well. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are organising a sleepover:
Choose the Right Space
Find a place within your home which would be suitable for hosting the sleepover. It should have enough space for all of the sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses to fit on the floor. Make sure that you remove anything breakable, just in case a pillow fight breaks out. There should also be enough room for playing games and perhaps a TV for watching movies. It would be nice if there were a bathroom nearby so that the kids don’t have to go far if they need it in the middle of the night.
Plan Some Fun Activities
Most of the time the children will organise their own entertainment, but it never hurts to have a few activities on hand to keep them busy. This could include karaoke, movies, board games, playing hide and seek or dressing up. Start the evening with the noisy activities, then transition into the quiet and calm activities later at night so that the children can settle down.
Make Sure That You Offer Healthy Food
If you feed the children sleeping over at your house too much sugary and unhealthy food, they will become overly hyper, which can be difficult to deal with when combined with the added excitement of a sleepover. Also, avoid giving any overly greasy food that might upset someone’s stomach, especially if they are already nervous being away from home. Always ask the parents of your guests if their children have food allergies so that you can prepare in advance.
The best thing to offer your young guests is healthy fare such as veggies and dip, fresh fruit, nuts, popcorn and other light snacks. When it comes to breakfast the next morning cereal is a simple and easy option, but you could also cook up pancakes or French toast for a special treat.
Set a Pick Up Time for the Morning After
Make sure that you tell the parents of your guests a specific time to pick them up, so that they aren’t still hanging around by dinnertime the next day. 10 or 11am is a good option and it will give your tired sleepover guests enough time to drag themselves out of bed and have breakfast. Since most kids will not get a lot of sleep during sleepovers, you should only have them on weekend nights so that they don’t have to be alert at school the next day.
Prepare for Forgotten Items
Be prepared with extra toothbrushes, pyjamas and other items just in case your guests show up without them. In fact, it is always a good idea to have an extra toothbrush or two in the bathroom cabinet for the event that your child’s friend has a play date that evolves into an unplanned sleepover.
Encourage Them to Get Some Sleep
Children on a sleepover are very unlikely to get much sleep, but you can do your best to encourage them to get at least a few hours. Set a “lights out” time at midnight or 1am – after that point they can use flashlights and chat in whispers but all television and music must be turned off. If you settle down the action, they might talk for a while but if they are lying in their sleeping bags in the dark they are more likely to drift off.
Last but not least, here are some safety tips to keep in mind when hosting a sleepover:
- Make sure that you have all of the contact numbers of all parents in an easy to find place.
- Equip yourself with a first aid kit, just in case of any minor injuries.
- Put some nightlights in the corridors so that the children who are not familiar with your home can still find their way to the bathroom in the dark.
- Establish strict rules about using the internet, chatting with strangers and making prank calls.
- Also, there must be a rule that children cannot leave the house for any reason without informing you.
Keep these tips in mind so that you can host a successful sleepover for your child and their friends!