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Top Tips on Kids Sleepover Parties

Sleepovers can be a nightmare at the suggestion for most Parents and totally dreamy for kids. Parents have lots to consider - take for example a typical sleepover experience from one of our Mums. Energetic kids, homesick kids, kids with allergies, small conflicts can make the experience an eye opener for first time sleepovers. “At 3 a.m., my child was the only one asleep,” says Ali, Mum. “The others were have a popcorn food fight!” At least pop corn is not too bad for next day clean up.

But let's not focus on the clean up. Sleepovers give our kids the opportunity to show independence and to manage any issues that can arise within a group of kids. Follow our tips on how to host a great sleepover with a few rules which will hopefully assist in some sleep!

1. Make sure your child is truly ready for one.

The reality of a sleepover can be a lot more daunting for our kids, a number of their friends have had one and your child wants to be next. From chatting with our Mums, 10-12 years seems to be the typical age but while your child may be ready, other kids may not want to spend the night but don't want to be the odd one out. A good option is to suggest a "half" sleepover. Kids will arrive in their PJs, have a mini party, movie nights work a treat and are collected by their Parents at 9.30pm.

2. Keep the guest list small.

Our Mums believe you should start small and once you get the hang of it, organise a bigger sleepover as a birthday treat or perhaps a Halloween or Christmas party night.

3. Check in with other Kid's Parents

To have a successful sleepover party, invites should clearly state drop-off and pickup times, whether meals are included, what kids should bring (sleeping bag, pillow), planned activities and a contact number. Check any food allergies and medicines.

4. Be mindful with sugary treats before bedtime

Pop corn, pizza, veggies and hummus, fruit and other light nut free foods and snacks are sensible choices. Any jellies, lolly pops or sugary sweets should be given early in the evening. Hot Chocolate is a nice treat before bedtime.

5. Activity Ideas

Decorating cupcakes or making ice cream sundaes; watching age-appropriate, non-scary movies; creating a dance routine or video; karaoke; board games - Pictionary is always a fun game, Monopoly can be a bit too competitive and long!

6. Host Parent/Parents should be close by

It is best to keep younger children within hearing distance as you; with older kids best to check in every 30 minutes. Ali suggests having a code word with your child, could be as simple as "what time is breakfast tomorow"? You can then step in and help as keeping everyone happy can be a tough task on a young child.

7. Making Sleep Possible

There is little hope of a regular bedtime but there are a few things youn can do to get the kids to sleep at 2am instead of 7am! Let them know when lights will be out and if they are still noisy into the wee hours, grab a sleeping bag and suggest joining them.

8. Prepare for the unexpected.

Have extra sleeping bags, duvets, pillows and toiletries available. Be ready for a phone call in case a child gets homesick or out of control. Keep list of Parent's number handy for middle of the night calls.

And finally for the Sleepover Kid's Parents - be mindful of your own child's needs. Don't forget the special blanket or cuddly toy, and remeber the importance of the drop off and especially collection times. Remember the host Parent may have had little sleep and next time it could be you hosting the Sleepover!