How to Throw a Great Slumber Party for Teens & Kids

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Slumber parties are a childhood rite of passage where kids make lasting memories with their closest friends. However, sleepovers can be overwhelming and hectic for the parents who are hosting. If your kids or teens are begging you to let them have a slumber party, being well prepared will make it easier to pull it together. Have plenty of activity options for the kids to set the stage for an amazing slumber party your kids will always remember.

Sleepover Guest Limit

Your child or teen might want to invite all his friends over for a slumber party, but it will be difficult to monitor and facilitate activities for so many kids. Consider limiting the guest list to four to six friends, or whatever you feel you can handle without getting stressed out. If your child protests, tell her she can invite another set of friends for the next slumber party, but stay firm on what you can handle at one time.

Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme can help you decide on the types of decor, if any, you plan on having, as well as food and activity options for the slumber party. Younger kids might enjoy a "kiddie" theme such as princesses or camping. Older kids may want to show off their talents with a talent-themed slumber party. Teens could have a makeover slumber party or a movie awards watch party. Other ideas for slumber party themes are pirate parties, a Hawaiian luau and spa parties. Make sure that the theme is reflected in the party invitation.

Food and Snacks

Pizza is an excellent option for a slumber party, as you can order several with different toppings. Have plenty of other finger food snacks that the kids can graze on throughout the night, such as chips, cookies and cut-up fruit and vegetables. You might have the kids make their own pizzas or frost and decorate sugar cookies. For older kids and teens, set up a popcorn bar with different flavors of popcorn, as well as a variety of seasonings and sweet toppings. Teens might enjoy blended "mocktails," nonalcoholic versions of popular frozen drinks such as pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris. Make sure you find out if anyone has food allergies so you can offer alternative food options.

Slumber Party Games

Plan games for the kids depending on their age. Kids of all ages might enjoy a scavenger hunt, hiding items that fit the theme of the party around the house or the neighborhood. Older children will find it thrilling to play in the dark with flashlights. Kids might enjoy the game piggies in a blanket, where one child has to guess who the other kids are hiding in sleeping bags. If you have a large enough space, you could have relay races where teams race to put on over-sized pajamas. Teens might not be as into structured games, but they might enjoy games such as blind makeover, where they put makeup on someone else while blindfolded, or question games, such as truth or dare.

Other Activities

Choose activities based on the interests and age of the kids. Plan a simple craft, related to the theme, to keep younger children busy. Almost all ages can belt out their favorite tunes with karaoke. Break out dance video games so the guests can test their dance skills. If you have a spacious backyard, organize a soccer or flag football game before it gets dark. Wind down the evening with movies that the kids can fall asleep to. Pick kid-friendly movies related to the party theme if possible. Allow teens to select their own age-appropriate movies that you approve.