Arranging the sleeping situation correctly during a slumber party can help prevent arguments and unwanted nighttime noise and activity. Slumber parties are generally suitable for kids older than 8 years of age, and are generally held by girls for their other female friends. Sometimes, both boys and girls will attend the slumber party, and this presents more issues for parents who are concerned about unsupervised teenagers. Planning the right sleeping arrangements for your kid's slumber party can also help guests from feeling left out or isolated.
“Pudding Pie” Bed
A “pudding pie” bed is basically a large communal bed, suitable for same-sex slumber parties. Arrange three mattresses together (more if you have more than six children attending), and provide double duvets to cover the entire bed. A double duvet is a larger duvet made for double beds, which sleep two people. Arrange the pillows so that one child's head is beside next person's feet. This encourages group conversation rather than private ones. While there may be some discomfort inherent in this sleeping arrangement, the children will enjoy being together and being able to talk until they go to sleep.
A “starburst” pattern for your child’s slumber party will remove any issues with people wanting to sleep near a specific person. Basically, the children’s heads will all be in the center, as their bodies stretch out in all directions. This allows all of the children to talk to each other easily while still having individual space to sleep in. If your children are particularly prone to late-night talking, this can at least reduce the volume. Arrange the pillows so that they form a hexagon in the center of the sleeping area.
Splitting Boys and Girls
Most parents prefer to split boys and girls up into separate rooms to prevent any unwanted activity. Prepare a spare room for the boys to sleep in. If your slumber party is mainly made up of boys, give the girls the spare room. Let the boys and girls mingle throughout the evening, but split them up at bedtime. Other guests’ parents may be concerned about this aspect of your slumber party, so use the sleeping arrangement to allay their fears.
If the children have brought their own sleeping bags and are all of the same sex, you can allow them to arrange their own sleeping arrangements if you wish. Try to suggest a “pudding pie” or “starburst” sleeping pattern, but if they aren’t interested, allow them to work it out themselves. Allow children to use sleeping bags if they have brought them. Sleeping bags are inherently mobile, so most sleeping arrangements are feasible with them. Look in on the children to check out the arrangement and ensure the group hasn't left anyone on their own. If in doubt, arrange them evenly around the room they are sleeping in.
Lee Johnson has written for various publications and websites since 2005, covering science, music and a wide range of topics. He studies physics at the Open University, with a particular interest in quantum physics and cosmology. He's based in the UK and drinks too much tea.
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