Sixteen is a good age for a birthday party sleepover. As a parent, you should make sure the birthday girl's guests know you're there but you should refrain from hovering over the teens.
Send invitations about two weeks in advance. Teenagers can have busy lives, so give guests enough time to save the date. Request that guests RSVP so you have an idea of how many teens to plan for. Be sure to include the information that it's a sleepover party so guests know to bring the proper items with them.
Use wording such as: "Get ready for a fabulous 16th birthday party! The party goes all night, so bring your sleeping bag and pillow to rest up from the fun we have planned."
Food and Drinks
Teens are always happy with pizza. Ordering pizza creates less stress for you, and satisfies guests. Make sure there's a vegetarian option. A junk food buffet is always fun, but provide guests with healthy options such fruit and veggie platters that they can snack on throughout the night. Instead of a standard birthday cake, serve a tower of 16 cupcakes, creating tiers of cupcakes on a stand.
Instead of serving soda, go for a girlie faux cocktail of pink lemonade or punch mixed with club soda. Garnish with fruit for a flirty feel. Give guests large goblets emblazoned with Sweet 16 or something of that nature. Plastic glasses like this can be found at party supply stores or online. If you or the birthday girl are crafty, you can also use stencils and paint to customize each glass.
Most teens don't need a set of planned activities, but having a few ready will help the party move along. This is especially useful if the teens are from different social circles (i.e. some from the birthday girl's school and others from her dance class).
Karaoke always allows people to loosen up. Rent a karaoke machine or check with your cable company to see if karaoke is available on your television. Girls can go with a theme for song choices or select songs for each other.
Teen girls love romantic comedies. Make popcorn and pass out candy so the girls can settle in and watch movies like "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" or "The Wedding Planner."
While spa parties are trendy, they're also expensive. Create a DIY spa area at your home for the sleepover. Stock it with cheap flip-flops, nail polish remover, cotton balls and swabs. Be sure to also have nail files and nail cutters on hand, along with an array of nail polish colors for girls to give manicures and pedicures to themselves or one another.
Samantha Cabrera is a freelance editor and writer, covering fashion and beauty. She currently serves as the Fashion Director of Papierdoll.net, and writes Style-television.com, a blog of b5 media. Cabrera also serves as the National Women's Fashion Examiner for Examiner.com and has written for About.com and Bride.ca. Cabrera is a native Texan and attended the University of Houston.