Hey guys! Wondering why I’m focusing on slumber party do’s and don’ts when you know my kiddos are toddlers? Well, today I’m sharing a guest post from Erika Long. Enjoy!
Slumber Party Do’s and Don’ts
by Erika Long
Although slumber parties are a fun rite of passage for kids, as a parent, the idea of being responsible for 8 tweens for 18 hours can sound dreadful. Managing your own children is a lot, so how exactly do you handle a group of kids? These slumber party do’s and don’ts can help you navigate even the most challenging group.
1. Do: Meet the Parents
It may seem like a given, but it’s still worth saying, meet the parents of the kids that are staying at your home. This will give you an idea of what the parents expect before hosting their child for an evening. Make sure that to spend some time with the parents and explain what’s going to happen overnight. They may have questions for you or need to give you special instructions, so you know what best for their kid like, “Jimmy needs to sleep with a light on.” or “Sally, is lactose-intolerant.” Also, this gives you a chance to make sure that you have their contact information and vice versa, so everyone can stay connected and informed.
2. Do: Make Prep and Cleanup Easy
No matter how many kids spend the night, make the evening easy on yourself. Have the kids bring a pillow and sleeping bag so you’re not using your own linens and then can avoid a big pile of laundry the next day. If they have special dietary needs, have them bring their own food. Before they leave, have them help you pick up trash or put together the room(s) they rearranged for playing.
Also, if you’re looking to host a party without having to damaging the environment or spend hours cleaning up, why not use eco-friendly party supplies?
3. Don’t Forget to Set Rules
Even with well-behaved kids, it’s always a good idea to set some ground rules when the evening is getting started. For example, tell them that they can’t go outside of the house (even to the backyard or driveway) without asking for permission first or that there’s no eating outside the kitchen. Do this once all the kids have arrived and early, so they know that everyone is getting the same rules and can abide by them as soon as possible.
4. Do Have Activities Planned
The kids will often have an idea of what they want to do, however, it’s not a bad idea to have some activities planned. For example, crafts, board games, and movies are always a big hit at slumber parties. Don’t be disappointed if they enjoy doing their own thing though! This is their time to have fun and they get to decide what they want to do as long as it’s not harmful or destructive.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Check Out
Kids need supervision but you should also let them enjoy the sleepover without you hovering around. It’s a good idea to stay close but not in the same room. It’s fine to check in from time to time to make sure things are going okay but they typically don’t want you hanging around. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t plan to be all that productive while hosting this group but still it could be a time to get some bills paid or organize the pantry.
If you’re finding yourself super stressed and the kids are getting on your last nerve, go to another room and remember that they’ll all be gone the next day.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Set a Curfew
Although it can be tempting to let the kids fall asleep when they want, you can be assured that their parents would rather pick up kids that are well-rested. Feel free to let them enjoy a late night, but don’t be afraid to set a curfew. Depending on their age, it’s perfectly reasonable to tell them that 11pm or midnight is bedtime. Typically, those times are still well past when they normally go to bed so it’s still a treat to them. If they are rowdy, don’t be afraid to set it even earlier or threating to renege on the time for an earlier one. Lights out is a good idea, regardless of their age.
A slumber party is a great way for kids to enjoy a fun night with their friends but it’s up to you to set the stage for a safe evening. Follow these slumber party do’s and don’ts to a successful sleepover and the kids will have a blast while you keep your sanity.
Erika Long loves corgis, curry and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.