Since launching my new sleepover party packages late last year I’ve had so much fun putting together some dreamy birthday celebrations. One of the best parts is seeing the reactions of the children when they walk in to see their bedroom or playroom transformed for the night – I wish I could bottle it up!
Walking through the process with the parents beforehand made me realize that it may be useful to share my top tips for planning a sleepover party at your home, as for many this will be your first time dipping your toes in the water of slumber party fun! When booking a party with me, I want to make sure one of the main things you do is try to relax as much as possible, and have fun too! The kids will have tons of fun being together sharing the experience, snacking, and staying up late. And you’ll all make some beautiful memories in the process.
Planning your Sleepover Party in 10 Easy Steps:
1. Set a date, plan the guest list and organize timings
Arranging for all the kids to be dropped off at the same time is a good way to go. That way they can experience the excitement of walking into the sleepover room at the same time (and the other parents can have a peek too)! I have found that a late afternoon drop off works best, and pick up after a lateish breakfast the next day, so no one gets too tired and grumpy.
2. Decide on the theme
This is a fun activity to do with the birthday boy or girl, and really helps to build on the excitement and guide the invitations and food choices. I have three themes at present – Unicorns & Rainbows, Bohemian Dream and Happy Campers. Each has different color schemes, accessories and goody bags, so there’s something to suit everyone!
3. Send out the invitations
I’ve said this before, but in my opinion online invitations are the best way to go. You can track who has opened them, schedule reminders and see who still needs to rsvp. It definitely takes away an element of stress! Make sure you have a date set to RSVP and also send a reminder out to all of the parents a couple of days prior to the party.
4. What’s on the menu?
I provide little tray tables with my sleepover packages, and the children love to sit together and have dinner on them at the start of the party. Keep it easy with options like pizza, mac and cheese and chopped vegetables. For dessert, think ice cream sundaes, cupcakes and fruit cups. Have a couple of flavors of ice cream, syrups, jams, and an assortment of chopped up candies for them to decorate.
Snacks for the night are also a must! I provide various add-on packages, such as a donut wall with donuts from Donut Crazy in Westport, a candy station and cute glass bottles and straws for milkshakes. For breakfast, stock up on cereal, pancake mix, waffles and juice. Sleepovers create big appetites!
5. Activity time
Most of the time everyone will be so excited to just be there hanging out and having fun, but I find it’s often a good plan to have a craft activity on hand too. Something that they can all create together and take home as a souvenir of the sleepover! Good examples are pottery or mini canvas painting, bracelet making and make your own dream catchers.
6. Other fun plans!
Have at least an idea of what you will do to entertain them if things take a bit of a dip or the excitement levels are bubbling over. I can provide a spa kit for each child as part of my packages, which includes a lip-gloss, nail varnish, nail stickers, a hairbrush and a mirror. And for the boys, camping kits packed full of mini led flashlights, compass wristbands and twig pencils always bring out the adventurers in them. Or plan a movie marathon and include my themed popcorn buckets and sodas!
7. Sleeping arrangements
I provide all the sheets, pillows, blankets and quilts, so there’s no need for guests to bring anything with them. However, some children prefer to bring their own pillow for a bit of home comfort, or a favourite teddy, and it’s worth mentioning this to the parents in your invite. One of the best things to do is to have them each pick out the bed they want and agree on this as a group when everyone first arrives, then there’s no meltdowns when everyone is getting tired later on.
8. Have a designated storage spot for all of their belongings
Avoid the stress of mass pickup the next morning by having everyone pack up their overnight bags while you make breakfast – then you can double-check while they eat and be ready for when all the parents arrive!
9. Photos photos photos!
This will be a big event for the kids, and you want to make sure it’s documented as much as possible! Each of my basic sleepover party packages includes an Instax Mini Camera and photo props, so they can take photos throughout the party and put them in goody bags to take home. I even put little mini clips on the string lights that go around the tent frames, so they can decorate their tents with them! Take a group photo on your phone and send this out on a card thanking the guests for coming after the party. Chances are these will go in a frame and be a cherished memory.
10. Have fun and soak it all in
Everyone has arrived, they’re having fun and bonding and the sleepover room looks amazing…take it all in and rest easy knowing that this is going to be the party they will talk about long after the sun has come up!
If you would like to book a sleepover party with me, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.906.5439 to discuss. Full details can be found on my Slumber Parties Theme page.