Ahh, the slumber party—a rite-of-passage in which nobody actually sleeps, pizza is inhaled and the giggles continue until early morning. Try these sleepover survival strategies to salvage your sanity and ensure a fun night for everyone.
Determine how many guests you’re comfortable hosting in your home and stick to that number when making the guest list. A good rule of thumb is to allow one-third as many guests as your child’s age (e.g., your 9-year-old could host three guests), depending on how much space and adult supervision you have available, suggests Linda Wan, of Top Party Ideas.
Communicate with Parents
Reach out to each guest’s parents ahead of time and share the particulars of the party, including drop-off and pick-up times, a list of the adults and kids who will be in your house during the party, household rules and activities planned. Also ask about any food allergy requirements or special considerations you may need to take into account for each guest, recommends Blair Neel, editor of Little Rock Family magazine.
Make a Plan
Movie-watching, popcorn-eating and lip-syncing battles are par for the sleepover course, but having a flexible itinerary can help stave off boredom or, worse, trouble. A simple, no-fuss activity can yield hours of fun and conversation—try a bead-stringing station for creating one-of-a-kind necklaces; offer up a few prewashed white pillowcases and a pile of fabric markers for some take-home artistry; or put together an assembly-line-style kitchen project, such as cookie decorating.
Prepping an elaborate breakfast might make you feel like parent-of-the-year, but chat with your child ahead of time, and ask what she and her friends prefer. A simple spread of fruit and bagels or yogurt and granola may be more than enough for your groggy guests.