The first time your child hosts a sleepover, it can feel like an overwhelming proposition. Not only do you have to provide due care and attention for your own kids as standard, but also extend your care to another child, and try and figure out how to keep everyone entertained while providing a bed for a night. Frankly, even for the most experienced of parents, it’s a logistical nightmare.
To try and ease some of the worry you may feel about the task, here are a few essential tips to help you achieve sleepover success on your first attempt.
Choose your time wisely
If you have a large family, then it can be difficult to make room for another child (or more) in your existing space. It thus makes sense to choose your time wisely, such as weekends when your older kids are away at a camp, or when your parents can babysit your youngest. With fewer bodies to think about, you should be able to plan all the more effectively.
Think sleeping arrangements first
Of course, everyone wants to be the parent who provides the great sleepover entertainment that delights and enthrals both your child and their guest(s). However, the most important aspect of a sleepover is to ensure you have adequate sleeping space for everyone. The easiest way to add sleeping space without having to buy an entirely new bed is to opt for huge beanbags or even sleeping bags; items that can otherwise be stored in your child’s room, then called into action when required.
Obtain dietary guidelines
The one thing guaranteed to put a dampener on a sleepover is your guest(s) falling ill, so you’ll need to obtain dietary advice from their parents. If they have allergies or intolerances, then you need to take all the necessary steps to ensure the food you provide avoids any problematic items– you don’t want a sleepover to be cut short because of ill health.
The urge to go all out when your child is hosting a sleepover is tempting; you want to ensure everyone has the best time imaginable, so you indulge, and even overspend, on ideas. However, for the most part, this is entirely unnecessary. The kids are having a sleepover because they already like one another, so any entertainment will suffice. There’s a great list of simple sleepover entertainment ideas here, so it’s worth reading through and choosing something that you think is appropriate.
While this one obviously depends on the age of your children, ideally the less you supervise a sleepover, the higher the chance of a sleepover going well. Kids don’t deal well with their parents’ constant presence, so if they’re old enough to usually be left to their own devices to play, don’t change that habit just because it’s a sleepover. Keep your check-ins sparse, even if you’re just asking if anyone wants a drink, and the night should proceed without a hitch.
The tips above should help ensure the perfect sleepover for you, your child, and their guests– good luck!