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27 SLEEPOVER IDEAS FOR TEENS: PLUS TIPS FOR HOSTING AN EPIC TEEN SLEEPOVER PARTY
Teen sleepovers are somewhat of a rite of passage. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a bunch of friends staying over. But what if you want to go one step beyond and create a truly fabulous and memorable sleepover party to celebrate a milestone birthday, like a 13th or a sweet 16?
I’ve put together a list of fun ideas to help you make a sleepover party fabulous and fun. In addition, I’ve included ideas for food, entertainment and games to help you plan an unforgettable awesome sleepover party for your teen.
I’ve also put together a list of tips for hosting a sleepover party for teenagers. Use this list to ensure you are truly prepared and confident about hosting a bunch of your teen’s friends overnight.
WHAT MAKES A TRULY EPIC TEEN SLEEPOVER PARTY?
The teenage years are all about making and strengthening connections with friends. Some of the bonds made during the teen years will stay for life.
Sleepovers are prime opportunities for cementing these bonds and creating magical memories.
Teens are also keen to feel grown-up and move away from their childhood years.
But they are also adept at boomeranging back into kid mode. Sleepovers allow them to let their hair down and forget about the stresses and worries of school.
The trick with hosting a sleepover for a bunch of teen girls is to set them up with the elements they need for the party – food, entertainment, games or activities, and of course, a place to sleep – and then to step back and let them get on with enjoying themselves.
Dive into this list of ideas to start putting together your party plan:
27 SLEEPOVER IDEAS FOR TEENS
I’ve broken this list into the main elements you need to cover. Pick and choose from each to create a plan that works for you and your teen.
SLEEPOVER PARTY FOOD AND DRINK
1. PIZZA IS PERFECT
Teens might not be little kids anymore, but they are still more than capable of getting giddy with excitement, which means they won’t have the attention span or room in their stomachs for a big meal.
Buy pizza in advance or order in; the choice is yours.
2. SNACK BOARDS RULE
Snacks are an essential part of any sleepover. Jazz up the snacks by presenting them on a snack board or as a snack charcuterie to make them a visual feast as well.
A delicious snack board packed with savoury and sweet treats will always go down well with teens. Canvas your own teen for ideas of what they and their friends might like included. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Mini muffins
- Potato chips/crisps and dips
- Trail mix
- Strawberries, grapes, apples and pear slices
- Cheese and crackers
- Nuts and seeds
3. MIDNIGHT FEAST
I remember that my daughter’s earliest sleepovers always had to involve a ‘midnight feast’ that would usually end up eaten somewhere around 8 pm!
There is a good chance those teens will just be getting into the swing of things by midnight, so a midnight feast is a great idea.
I suggest leaving out everything they need to make rounds of hot buttered toast, warm milk, and cookies. Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows also goes down very well.
4. HOT CHOCOLATE BAR
What is better on cold winter nights than a steaming mug of hot chocolate? A steaming cup of hot chocolate with squirty cream, marshmallows, caramel syrup and a dusting of cocoa powder, that’s what!!
Put together a ‘hot chocolate bar’ with all the essentials for making to-die-for hot chocolate.
5. BOBA TEA / BUBBLE TEA
Boba tea, or bubble tea, is huge in the UK. You can buy boba tea kits with syrups and boba pearls. You will also need some boba straws (they are wider than regular drinking straws).
6. POPCORN GALORE
Given that many sleepover parties involve a movie at some point, it would be remiss not to provide popcorn!!
You could provide a big bowl of popcorn. You could buy some cute movie-style popcorn cartons or go one step further and provide a popcorn bar.
Popcorn bars involve providing popcorn and a selection of toppings. Here is a list of ideas for popcorn toppings:
- Chocolate chips
- Crushed peppermint canes
- Popping candy
- Cinnamon sugar
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce
- Raisins or chocolate-coated raisins
- Brown sugar
- Grated cheese
- Nacho cheese
- Taco seasoning
- Hot melted butter
- Garlic salt
SLEEPOVER GAMES, ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
7. THEMED MOVIE MARATHON
You might have a bunch of teens who will sit and watch movies back to back, or you might have a bunch of teens who will appreciate having movies on loop in the background as they chatter and hang out.
Either way, planning an excellent playlist in advance is a good idea. I can’t think of anyone who enjoys scrolling through endless movie choices trying to find a consensus on what to watch. This is also the best way to ensure it is the most excellent movie night ever.
Make life easy by choosing a movie theme like 80s classic movies, 90s classic movies, musical movies, scary movies or horror movies, chick flicks, movies from the same franchise or films starring the same actor or actress.
It is worth checking in with parents if you are hosting younger teens to ensure you aren’t contravening any rules they have set. This is particularly important if you are thinking about screening scary movies or chick flicks with romantic elements.
Make sure you have a movie-watching area set up so that everyone can watch comfortably. Provide floor cushions and throws if there needs to be more space than on existing seating.
LISTS OF MOVIES SUITABLE FOR TEEN SLEEPOVERS (13-16-year-olds)
8. CREATE A MINI SPA EXPERIENCE
Think face masks, cucumber slices for soothing tired eyes, at-home mani-pedi kit. You could even provide the ingredients for them to whip up their own homemade face masks.
9. BLIND MAKEOVERS
This is the perfect antidote to all the selfie-ready fascination with looking airbrushed to perfection.
One person sits in the makeup chair and is given a makeover by the rest of the birthday party crew, all wearing blindfolds.
Provide blindfolds and a big box of makeup that you are okay with getting messed up. Oh, and plenty of makeup remover for afterwards!
10. ACTUAL MAKEOVERS
If you have a bunch of teen girls who love a TikTok makeup tutorial, you could line up a playlist of great makeup tutorials by some of the most popular beauty influencers and set them free with a box of makeup to follow.
11. BFF RETRO PHOTOSHOOT
Got a box or two of old clothes in your attic? Set the teens loose to play dress up and snap crazy selfies in your ‘vintage’ clothes.
Use a Nintendo Switch or Play Station to set up karaoke for the sleepover crew. You can buy wifi microphones relatively cheaply that are compatible with both. You can either download or purchase karaoke games.
13. LIP-SYNC BATTLE
If the sleepover party guests aren’t big on singing and want to have a little more fun with music, how about a lip-sync battle?
Everyone gets to choose a song that they want to lip-sync to. They then have a few minutes to practice.
They then have to perform their lip-sync to everyone else at the party. The more over-the-top and hilarious they are, the better.
You can either play the game competitively or just for laughs.
14. DANCE CHALLENGE
Setting up a dance challenge is a great way to entertain the teens, and it is also a great way to get them to burn off lots of energy.
Use their love of TikTok to get them to do some TikTok dance challenges.
15. WOULD YOU RATHER QUIZ
This game is excellent for getting teens animated and doubling over with the giggles.
Start them off with a bunch of preset questions; they will more than likely freestyle to their own questions after the first few rounds.
I’ve put together a big list of Would You Rather questions for teens to get you started.
16. TRUTH OR DARE
This is an excellent sleepover game for teens who know each other super well and are relaxed in each other’s company.
Each player must choose whether they answer a question truthfully or do a dare. Help them out by preparing a list of dares.
Truth or dare can be played by simply taking turns around a circle or using a bottle to spin to pick who goes next.
17. NEVER HAVE I EVER
Is this the most classic sleepover game ever? I think so!
Each person has to think up something they have never done and then share it with the rest of the group. Then, if someone else in the group has done it, they get to eat a sweet/candy.
18. THE AFTER EIGHT GAME
This game involves a box of After Eight mints and everyone’s foreheads.
Each person has to place an After Eight mint on their forehead and then race to be the first to get that mint from their forehead into their mouth purely using facial movements. No hands allowed!
The game can also work with Oreo cookies, but there is a certain comedy element to having a melting chocolate sliding down the face of someone desperately trying to win the game.
Related: 28 Fun party games for teens
A lovely way to round off an epic sleepover party is to give the party guests a delicious breakfast or brunch.
Here are a few sleepover breakfast or brunch ideas:
- Pancakes or waffles – provide a selection of toppings such as squirty cream, fresh fruit, chocolate spread, and caramel sauce.
- French toast – great with maple syrup, sliced bananas, strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar
- A stack of bagels filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon
- Omelettes – delicious with cheese, mushrooms and/or ham
- Breakfast smoothies
TIPS FOR HOSTING AN EPIC TEEN SLEEPOVER PARTY
20. SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS
It is all very well agreeing for your teen to have a bunch of friends to sleep over. But where are they going to sleep?
Try to hold the sleepover in the largest living area of your home so that everyone has plenty of space to sleep.
It’s also better if the sleepover crew are away from bedrooms where people are trying to sleep.
Luckily the average teen is pretty relaxed about what they sleep on at a sleepover. So try to make sure everyone can be as comfortable as possible.
Bring mattresses down from beds, or use sofa cushions or camping pads. Airbeds are brilliant to have on standby for extra sleepover beds. Provide as many blankets, duvets, pillows and throws as you can muster.
It’s perfectly fine to ask the teens to bring their own bedding or at least a pillow and a blanket if you are going to struggle to find enough for everyone.
This is the airbed that we have. It’s a BestWay queen-sized double, which means a couple of kids can crash out on it. It’s got built-in inflation that works super quickly, which comes in super helpful when you don’t want to put the airbed up ages in advance.
21. SET BOUNDARIES
Naturally, teenagers think they are all grown up the second they reach 13. But the reality is that they still need to be parented. So it is vital to set clear boundaries at the start of a sleepover.
You don’t have to sound like the voice of doom. However, you must be clear on what is acceptable and unacceptable in your household.
It is also well worth thinking about including boundaries around social media during the sleepover. It is one thing the teens take lots of photos to document the party. Still, they must respect each other’s boundaries regarding sharing on social media.
It is well worth running through the rules with your own teen ahead of the party. But it would be best if you also took on the responsibility of setting boundaries with the sleepover guests.
22. GIVE THEM THEIR FREEDOM AND PRIVACY
While it is essential to be aware of what is happening at the sleepover, do resist the temptation to keep popping in. Part of the joy of a teen sleepover is the feeling of being grown up and left to their own devices.
23. ACCEPT THAT IT MIGHT GET MESSY
Even the best-behaved teens can create a mess, especially when having maximum fun with their friends.
Accept that there will be some to mess to clear up in the morning and worry about it then.
24. USE DISPOSABLE PLATES AND CUPS
I am all for being as eco-friendly as possible, but teen sleepovers are one time when I think it makes good sense to use disposable plates and cups.
On the one hand, it means there won’t be any breakages. But, on the other hand, it means that everything can just get thrown away at the end of the sleepover.
25. DON’T ENFORCE A BEDTIME
I mean, seriously! What’s the point?! The fun of being a teen at a sleepover is that you get to stay up as late as you want.
However, you could enforce a quietening downtime when the TV and music go off if this works for your household.
26. SLEEPOVER TIMINGS
Since teen sleepovers are about staying up late, it is best to start them early in the evening. This way, everyone has time to get settled and have some fun before they settle down for either sleep or a quieter time.
Since teens love to sleep in at the best of times, there is no point aiming to have them out of the house by 10 am the following day unless you have a pressing reason.
I expect they won’t surface until mid-morning and the earliest, and when they do surface, they will be eager to have something to eat.
So aim for a noon pick-up time if you want to avoid having to provide lunch and the sleepover taking over the whole of your day.
27. PARTY FAVOURS
Party favours are far from essential once kids hit their teen years.
However, if you want to give out party favours, consider putting together a sleepover pack with a face mask, sleep mask, hair scrunchy and novelty toothpaste. Or take a look at my big list of 58 party favour ideas for teens.
YOU ARE ALL SET WITH SLEEPOVER IDEAS FOR TEENS
There is no doubt about it. Planning and hosting a successful sleepover party for teens takes time and effort.
This list of sleepover party ideas will set you well on your way to making the most epic sleepover party ever to celebrate your teen’s birthday.
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists. She has written about all aspects of organising family life for ten years. Her main areas of expertise are family finance and budgeting, simplifying housekeeping and family admin and kids’ party planning. Read more.