Slumber Party Essentials

February 12th, 2013 posted by Barbara Thomas

Don’t be put off by the idea of a slumber party. They are noisy and inconvenient for the grown-ups, but great fun for the kids. In terms of preparation, a slumber party is a snap. Here are the basics:

Age range: 8 years and up

Boys and girls will both enjoy slumber parties separately, but I do not recommend co-ed parties for any age group!

Optimal number of guests

Four to eight, depending on the size of your home and the amount of sleep you absolutely must have that night.


Choose a date when you know everyone in the house can sleep in the next day, since the noise of the party will likely keep everyone up past the usual bedtime. Set up in the living room or rec room – it’s always more of an adventure to sleep somewhere other than a bedroom. Ideally, slumber parties should start after dinner (around 8 p.m. and end before lunch the next day (around 10 a.m.)


At my childhood slumber parties, we played Truth or Dare, gossiped, gave each other makeovers, tried to guess which boys liked us and giggled a lot. So you don’t have to plan a lot of activities. This is one type of party where the guests can make it up as they go along. You can rent movies and have board games, like Scrabble or Pictionary, available if the kids seem bored.


Traditional slumber party snacks are popcorn, chips, pretzels, soda or punch, and whatever cookies or candy the guests have smuggled in.

Your obligations as the adult on duty

Greet all the guests and make a point of showing them where the bathrooms are, as children are often too embarrassed to ask. Tell each guest (privately if you prefer) that they can ask you to call their parents at any time if they want to go home. Show them where they can unroll their sleeping bags and change into their pajamas. Greet their parents, and get home phone numbers and any special information you may need (food allergies, info about retainers, nighttime fears, etc.) Half the fun of a slumber party is the feeling of being unsupervised, so stay out of the way for the most part. Do check in periodically, though, especially to see if any kids are feeling homesick, or to break up any tensions that may arise those gossip and Truth-or Dare sessions. Offer extra drinks and snacks, and of course, remind them to quiet down or turn out the lights. It’s no fun staying up all night unless you aren’t supposed to! Other than that, your only duties are to put up with a lot of giggling and general noisiness.

The next morning

You don’t have to make a huge breakfast, but do have a variety of choices; cereal, toast, eggs, juice. Breakfast is an easy meal, with items that are almost universally popular. Ask the kids to help clean up any mess made the night before. Before each guest leaves, ask if they have collected all their belongings. Make sure your child is there to say goodbye to each guest, and to keep company with the child who is last to be picked up.

Barbara Thomas (7 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe
Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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