A sleepover birthday party is a time-honoured tradition loved by children everywhere. Sleepover parties require pyjamas and slippers, lots of snacks, fun things to do and staying up late. If you feel your 7-year-old is ready for a sleepover birthday party, proper planning will help you to feel calm, your child to have a memorable party, and everyone involved to have the best time possible.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Plastic tableware
- Dinner food
- Ice cream
- Craft supplies
- Breakfast food
- Goody bag
Decide on the number of guests for the party. A guest list of about five children is ideal for a sleepover. Do not invite children of the opposite sex. Boys should have sleepovers with boys, and girls with girls.
Prepare invitations. Include your child's name, address and phone number, as well as the date and time of the sleepover. Ask the invitee to bring pyjamas, a sleeping bag and a pillow. Write a note on the invitation informing the invitee's parents that the party is a sleepover. If the parents or child are not comfortable with a slumber party, invite the child for dinner and some of the earlier activities, and arrange for him to be picked up or driven home according to the parents' wishes. Invite the child back for breakfast if feasible.
Call the parents of the children you invite, or speak to them when they call to RSVP. Let them know what will be happening at the party and that you will be there all night to chaperon. Answer any questions or concerns that they may have, and make any reasonable modifications in your plans that they insist on.
Choose decorations for the party. Plan on balloons, streamers, bright-coloured plates and cups, confetti and other festive decor.
Plan dinner. Allow your child to choose the menu. Pizza and hamburgers are always popular choices. Purchase paper plates, cups and silverware to make cleanup easier. Plan to follow dinner with ice cream, birthday cake, candles and a rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Prepare a craft or activity. Your daughter may like to paint pillowcases with puffy fabric paints and glitter. She may also enjoy hosting a salon party: styling hair, applying kid-friendly make-up or painting fingernails and toenails. Your son may enjoy having a video game competition, a scavenger hunt or relay races in the backyard.
Rent or purchase a movie to watch. Inform the parents if the movie has anything but a "G" rating. Even if the kids don't end up watching the movie, it's better to be prepared so as to be less likely to run out of things for the kids to do.
Make sure you have plenty of pretzels, candy, sliced fruit, crackers or other favourite snacks. Allow your child to choose these too. Plan to serve the snacks in small bowls, which will allow you lots of opportunities to refill the containers and nonchalantly check up on the kids.
Schedule a "quiet time," along with your child, and inform the party guests. This will be the time when parents can pick up their children if they're not sleeping over, and the children sleeping over can begin to settle down for the night.
Plan breakfast and have all the ingredients ready. As before, allow your child to choose the meal if possible, and take out plastic plates and utensils for easy cleanup.
Put together a thank-you goody bag or small gift for each child to take home from the sleepover.
Tips and warnings
- Some children may be anxious about sleeping in a strange place and might be afraid at night. Check periodically to ensure that everyone is OK. Call a frightened or homesick child's parents if necessary.
- Keep a sharp ear and a watchful eye. Ensure that activities and conversations remain appropriate and that each child who wants to be is included in them.
- Don't be too strict about bedtime; staying up late and talking is part of the fun.
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