Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Sleepover at Your Home

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Sleepovers are a rite of passage that all children and their parents eventually encounter. However, sleepover hosting isn’t for the weak – it’s hard work! There’s a lot of planning to do, and you need to make sure you have the right activities and rules to make your sleepover a success for your child and their guests. Therefore, we’ve broken down what you need to know about hosting a slumber party for a birthday party or just because, depending on your child’s age.


RELATED: Why It’s Important to Set Ground Rules for Sleepovers

Sleepovers for 3 to 5 year olds


Although preschool may be a little young for sleepovers, brave parents who are willing to try will find success if they are willing to keep it small and not go overboard.

Plan the event

Since preschoolers continue to grow and develop their social skills, sleepovers for children in this age group should primarily be small events with one or two close friends. In fact, the team Rainforest Learning Center says you might even want to pick a family you’re close with and make it a family affair where the friend’s mom stays to avoid any midnight meltdowns that might occur.

Since you’ll only be hosting one or two other children besides your own child, details like invitations and elaborate plans aren’t really as necessary at this age. Instead, you’ll want to focus on communicating with other parents and learning all about their child, so they have the best possible experience in your home. You will also want to contact other parents to provide them with a list of items the child may need to bring, such as a sleeping bag, pillow, stuffed animal, toothbrush, and clothing. Also, be sure to get emergency contact details in case something goes wrong, including the names and phone numbers of both parents of the child (if applicable) in case one parent cannot be reached .


Finally, you’ll want to think carefully about sleeping arrangements for preschool sleepovers. You’ll want a space that allows the kids enough sleep, but where you’re close by in case someone gets scared or has a problem during the night. It may even be a good idea to cram into the living room if there is enough space.

Sleepover Activities

Preschoolers don’t need a lot of elaborate activities to keep them busy. In fact, the toys will keep them busy for hours. Likewise, children this age love to explore the garden, especially if there are fun things to play with.

However, if you want activities, you can try including some of these ideas:

Rules you will need in place

Most of the time, explaining your house rules to children is enough for this age group. It may be helpful to post a chart with the rules and limit them to 4-7, so the kids can remember them. Whether it’s a written rule or not, you may want to emphasize the importance of not entering the kitchen without an adult because of the risk of injury or choking that may occur. Also, you’ll want to set clear rules about bedtimes so kids get enough rest.

Sleepovers for 6 to 9 year olds


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Most of us have fond memories of our first slumber party in our early elementary years. With a little planning and lots of love, you can also give your own child and their friends the best sleepover possible.

Plan the event

Although planning a sleepover for this age group usually works much better than for preschoolers, there can still be a few hiccups. Therefore, it’s best to limit the guest list to 6 children or less and try to select children you’ve met before so you know their typical behavior. It also helps if you know the parents a bit, but that’s not a requirement.

Friday or Saturday nights are generally best suited for sleepovers for this age group, and you should probably send out invitations 2-3 weeks in advance, so people can clear their calendars. However, you’ll want to make sure to mail the invitations or find a way to distribute them that doesn’t involve the school, as this can hurt classmates who were invited and those who weren’t. not been. Invitations should include address information, drop-off time and pick-up time for the next day, and your phone number to RSVP.

When parents drop off their children, be sure to have a notebook or sign-in sheet ready where each parent can leave their name, phone number, any important health information for their child, and their pick-up plans for the the following day. This will not only help you cover your tracks in an emergency, but it will also make it easy for you to see what time each child is coming home and who is picking them up.

Sleepover Activities

This age group will do better if you plan the evening with activities to do. Since the children will be arriving for the first time and at least one will inevitably arrive late, you’ll want to start with something simple like playing in the garden or a simple craft activity at the table. Then, once everyone has arrived, you can move on to dinner time and the rest of your fun projects.

Sleepover activities that work well for this age include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • karaoke
  • outdoor game
  • would you rather
  • charades
  • mud making
  • movies

Additionally, country life has a great list of 25 board games that work well with this age group.

Rules you will need in place

Although kids in this age group aren’t as sneaky as teenagers, they can sometimes have ideas in their little heads that aren’t exactly great. For this reason, having set rules that each child reads when they arrive at the party can really help avoid any problems later that night. Some things to cover include parts of the house that may be off limits (like a sibling’s pool or bedroom), no going out without an adult, rules about fighting or fighting ( especially if it’s a boys’ sleepover) and don’t use a phone.


Additionally, you’ll probably want to set parameters for what constitutes an emergency and what isn’t, and what kids should do if they’re scared at night.

Sleepovers for 10-13 year olds


Play beats stress for kids up to 18
Credit: Shutterstock / Deb_Edit

The 20s are the perfect age for fun (albeit hectic) sleepovers all year round. However, this is also the peak age where things like bullying and rule breaking start to happen, so be prepared if you’re planning on hosting a group of kids.

Plan the event

Although this age group generally does much better with group activities, you will need to think about how much space you have and how many children your child can really entertain at once before making the guest list. . 5-10 is about ideal most of the time, especially when trying to figure out where everyone is going to sleep.

Just like the 6-9 age group, these sleepovers work best on Friday or Saturday nights, and invitations can help you provide contact information and other details. Also, be sure to use the invitation to specify what kids should bring (like sleeping bags and toiletries) and what they don’t (like cell phones). Also, be sure to clearly define the arrival time and pick-up time for the next day on the invitation, so that there is no doubt about it.


The biggest difference when planning for older children is food. Not only will you need to plan dinner and breakfast like you would with other age groups, but you’ll also want to have plenty of snacks on hand and make sure they’re in easily accessible places. because those kids will probably stay up later than you. Just make sure you know about any allergies that may interfere with snacking plans, then stock up on popular favorites.

Sleepover Activities

If you want to occupy this age group and not have any problems, you have to fill the evening with activities. Obviously, these activities will vary greatly depending on gender, but we have some suggestions going either way.

For girls, try:

  • Jewelery making or similar craft
  • Karaoke
  • talent show
  • Spa treatments like facials or foot baths
  • Board games like Apples to Apples or similar
  • Age-appropriate movies
  • Pastry shop

For boys, try:

  • Outdoor games or backyard sports
  • campfire stories
  • board games
  • Escape game or similar
  • Minute-to-Win Style Games
  • Age-appropriate movies

Also, when planning activities, most specialists say you should think of quiet things early risers can do in the morning (because there are bound to be at least one or two). This will help keep things calm while the rest of the kids sleep after being up for half the night.

Rules you will need in place

Rules can make or break a slumber party with this age group, whether it’s boys or girls. Be sure to set ground rules on things like roughness and name-calling and have a lights-out time (although they probably won’t go to sleep). Also, it can be a good idea to collect cell phones at the door, so that there is no problem with whoever has them or not, and it will also help prevent videos or snaps that disturb children or jokes.

Make sure each child knows your house rules, what is allowed and what is not allowed, and what they can and cannot eat. Also, make sure you have clear rules about going outside or what kids are allowed to bring to the party to avoid any other issues you haven’t thought of.

Hosting a sleepover can be fun, but it can also be a lot of work. Just be sure to think about everything that could happen, so you can anticipate any issues before they happen, and you’ll be fine.

Sources: Rainforest Learning Center, country life, parenting


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