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ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKE SLEEPOVER PARTIES AMAZING IN ONE BIG LIST
Sleepover parties are practically a right of passage for kids. So I’ve put together a list of 102 brilliant sleepover party ideas to help you plan and host the best sleepover party ever for your child’s next birthday celebration.
Of course, the highlight of every sleepover party is the midnight feast – though I have yet to know of any child who waits until midnight to start snacking away.
But there are lots of other things you can do to make your child’s sleepover party the most fun sleepover ever, from hiring indoor teepees to laying on fun sleepover games and activities.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to go to great expense, creative thinking can go a long way to creating a memorable sleepover party that the kids will absolutely love.
A GREAT SLEEPOVER PARTY PLAN
So if you’re looking for a sleepover gameplan you’ve come to the right place. Things to cover off in that gameplan include:
- How many kids you can comfortably accommodate
- Where the kids will sleep
- Sleepover snacks and midnight feast
- Games and activities – don’t go overboard, freedom is what they savour most!
- Sleepover movie
- Sleepover party kits (in place of party bags)
- Morning after breakfast
TOP SLEEPOVER PARTY TIPS
Just ahead of diving into the big list of ideas I thought I’d share some tips for hosting a successful sleepover party. These are tips gleaned from hosting sleepover parties and from friends who have hosted sleepovers.
The best way to ensure that every child enjoys the sleepover is to set some boundaries within which the fun can be had.
This is the best way to avoid mischief that turns sour and kids disolving into tears. It’s also a great way to reassure parents that you will be doing a good job of looking after ther kids
- Speak to the kids’ parents to establish if there are likely to be any issues – scared of the dark, sleepwalking, nervous about sleeping over
- Set out tech rules to both kids and parents. It is fine to base these rules on your house rules for mobiles and screens, it’s your home. Make it clear that taking mean or nasty photos is banned. Consider a no tech rule for kids under 12. Consider a cut-off point for older kids and make it clear what the social media posting rules are (which in reality should be no posting under the age of 14!)
- Set out sleepover rules – no mean pranks, make sure everyone is involved, listen when you are speaking and do as you ask
- Brief your own child on being a good host, having a bunch of friends stay over is very different to having friends round to play or one friend sleeping over, so emphasis kindness and making sure everyone feels included
- Don’t hover – once you’ve established the rules it’s best to step back and give the kids their space, your role is as facilitator and provider of food, part of the fun for kids on a sleepover is the autonomy it gives them for a night
- Plan activities and games for the first part of the sleepover when the kids are just together and super excited. You don’t need to go crazy with a bunch of activities, but having something to focus on does help get the party going
- Stick on a movie to help the kids settle down into relaxation mode. Don’t go for a scary movie unless you’re confident all the kids can cope
- Leave a night light on in case a child wakes in the night
- Let the kids know where you sleep and what to do if they need you in the night
- Leave a light on in the bathroom
102 BRILLIANT SLEEPOVER PARTY IDEAS
1. SLEEPOVER SLEEPING IDEAS
There are a number of ways you can tackle the sleeping arrangements for a sleepover, you don’t have to spend a fortune.
However, it is lovely to create a super cool space for the kids to hangout and sleepover.
First up, decide where/what the kids will sleep on. Your options include the following:
- Hire teepees from a local sleepover party company
- Buy a couple of big teepees if you will get the use out of them
- Ask everyone to bring a sleeping bag or bedding and you provide cushions, airbeds and mattresses from around your home
- Give the kids a big stack of cushions, blankets and assorted other bits and get them to make their own sleep fort
2. SLEEPOVER ACCESSORIES AND DECORATIONS
- Fairy lights
- Snack trays
- Snuggly blankets and throws
- Night lights
- Retro glass bottles with straws
- Paper pompoms
3. SLEEPOVER ACTIVITIES & GAMES
- Printable fun party games are great to have on hand throughout the party, like these cute Slumber Party games for tween girls.
- Karaoke – hire a karaoke machine or buy a karaoke machine
- Mini spa – hire a hottub if you really want to go for it, face masks, manicures, facial steamer
- DIY mani pedi – including homemade foot spa – scatter rose petals and add bubble bath
- Pizza making
- Cupcake icing
- Make smores
- DIY photo booth
- Design your own pillowcase
- Make friendship bracelets
- Build your own sleepover fort – provide blankets stuff kids can use to create their own fort
- Hair braiding
- Donut bobbing – hang donuts from string and each guest has to try eating one without their hands
- Face cookie – place small cookie on forehead and try and get it into mouth using only facial muscles
- Murder in the dark
- Scavenger hunt around your home or garden
- Talent show
- Provide a stack of board games
- Minute to win it games
- Would You Rather game
- Two truths and a lie game – each guest takes a turn to share three things about themselves, only two are true. Everyone has to guess which is the lie
- Write and star in their own movie
- Themed movie night – choose a movie then theme the party around it
- Movie marathon – great idea for older kids to binge-watch a movie series or movies on a theme
SHOP MUMS MAKE LISTS
4. GREAT SLEEPOVER MOVIES FOR KIDS
Clearly, the movie or movies you choose will be age-dependent. So here’s a list of classic sleepover movies great for kids across a range of ages. I’ve put the recommended age in brackets, but ultimately you know the kids you’ll be inviting and what is appropriate.
I think the joy of having a movie at a sleepover is to go for something more classic that isn’t currently on at the local cinema. So I’ve based my list on some of the most brilliant classics around.
- My Neighbour Totoro (Age 5+)
- Toy Story (Age 5+)
- Despicable Me (Age 6+)
- E.T: The Extra Terrestrial (Age 7+)
- The Last Unicorn (Age 8+)
- Harry Potter (Age 8+)
- Matilda (Age 9+)
- Back To The Future (Age 10+)
- Turning Red (Age 10+)
- The Karate Kid (Age 11+)
- Napoleon Dynamite (Age 11+)
- School of Rock (Age 11+)
- The Goonies (Age 11+)
- Lord of the Rings (Age 12+)
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Age 12+)
- Pitch Perfect (Age 12+)
- Jurassic Park (Age 12+)
- Clueless (Age 13+)
- Legally Blonde (Age 13+)
- Jaws (Age 13+)
- Ten Things I Hate About You (Age 13+)
- The Fault in Our Stars (Age 14+)
- Mean Girls (Age 14+)
- Stand By Me (Age 14+)
- Zoolander (Age 14+)
- The Breakfast Club (Age 14+)
5. SLEEPOVER PARTY SNACKS AND DRINKS
Make sleepover party food and drink fun. Treat the kids to party food specially created for the party, allow them to put the food together themselves or serve the food in a novel way – donut wall, french toast kebabs, popcorn bar… the more interactive the more fun it is.
- Popcorn bar
- Donut wall
- Pizza delivery – what kid doesn’t love the novelty of takeout pizza? Or make it at home and give the kids a selection of toppings to add themselves
- Hotdog board – take a look at this hotdog board guide for inspiration
- Popcorn – serve in popcorn boxes or go for packs of super delicious flavoured popcorn
- Nachos or tortilla chips and dips
- Marshmallow pops
- French toast kebabs
- Chocolate fountain
- Fondue – cheese fondue followed by chocolate fondue
- Cheese and fruit plate
- Vegetable batons and dips
- Big bowl of M&Ms
- Big bowl of cookies
- Create a signature sleepover mocktail and serve in fancy cocktail cups
- Fancy hot chocolate – make a big batch in your slowcooker (I have some fun slowcooker drink recipes here) and provide marshmallows, syrups and squirty cream
6. SLEEPOVER PARTY BAGS/FAVOURS
It is a lovely idea to give each child a party favour or party bag with things they can use during the sleepover. Think of it as pre-party favours!
If you really want to go for it you can tie everything in the sleepover party bags into the party theme if you have one.
- Matching pyjamas
- Sleep masks
- Face masks
- Fun toothbrush
- Hair scrunchie
- Spa headband
- Slippers or slides
- Temporary tattoos
- Fun cushion
- Personalised or fun mug to use at breakfast
- Retro style bottle with straw
- Buy personalised sleepover kits
- Sleepover squad T-shirts
Related: The best gifts for 12-year-old girls
7. SLEEPOVER BREAKFAST IDEAS
- Pancake stacks
- Breakfast smoothies
- Waffles – serve with a choice of berries, banana slices, squirty cream, syrups, chocolate, sprinkles
- Selection of mini boxes of cereal
- Breakfast pizza – with selection of toppings including chocolate spread, sliced fruit, cream, syrup
- French toast
- Breakfast muffins
I hope that you find this list of ideas really useful and that you pull off the most brilliant sleepover party ever for your child’s birthday!
Hello, I’m Luci, founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, I have combined my experience as a mum, journalist and shopping editor to create useful guides and lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Plus I create beautiful party printables, from invites to party games. Read more.