Most of us have fond memories of sleepovers from when we were children. We stayed up late, played games, ate snacks, and drove our parents batty. Now that we’re mothers ourselves, it’s only natural to want our kids to enjoy the same experience. But if you want your kids to have a good time without you feeling stressed, check out these tips for hosting your child’s first sleepover.
Talk to Parents First
If it’s your child’s first sleepover, then chances are it’s your young guests’ first sleepover, too. That means nervous kids and even more nervous parents. Before the sleepover, check in with the parents. You can talk about specific needs, like dietary restrictions or health issues, and also exchange contact details. This should help put fears to rest.
Prep the Space
Generally, kids aren’t nearly as critical of a home space as grown-ups, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a little prep work into your home. Little kids hitting a space is like a tornado touching down in your living room, so cleaning up beforehand will make it easier to clean up afterward. It’s also a good idea to wash all your extra sheets. That way, you’ll have them ready if a kid gets cold in the night.
Lay the Ground Rules
Sleepovers are all about fun and you shouldn’t stress too much about micromanaging every detail of the evening. However, you do need some structure, especially if you have young kids. Before the kids arrive, decide on boundaries you want the kids to respect and mention them as soon as all the kids arrive.
- Places kids can and can’t eat
- Parts of the house you want kids to avoid
- Respecting each other’s privacy
- Listening to instructions
- What to do if they need anything
It’s also a good idea to give parents these same guidelines at the outset.
One common sleepover hosting tip that you can throw out the window is the idea that you must plan elaborate activities for every moment of the night. Your guests are kids who get to stay up late and eat snacks with their friends. They’ll have a great time no matter what. But here are a few low-stress activities kids love:
- Watching a movie
- Decorating T-shirts
- Helping make dinner, snacks, or a dessert
- Board games
- Dressing up and taking pictures
You can feel free to balance structured activities with play, too. After all, kids getting to spend time together is what sleepovers are all about.