I’m prepping to host another sleep over for my daughter and her friends in the coming month and as I was putting things together I thought – gosh I should blog this!
Last year we started hosting sleep overs for our nine year old. Growing up I went to and had tons of sleepovers with my friends. Those memories are some of the most fun ones I can recall from childhood. Being that we were all rural southern kiddos we enjoyed playing in the woods, going to the pond to feed the ducks and fish, and jumping in cement pools! Of course we did the regular stuff too like watching movies (that may have been rated a bit higher than what our parents said was ok – hello R movies at 11!) to raiding the kitchen at 1AM – those were super fun days.
The best thing about the “slumber parties” I went to was that they were not for birthdays but generally just because we wanted to have our friends over to spend the night! Of course I’m a child of half the 80’s and all of the 90’s so maybe the idea of a slumber party once or twice a month stemmed from a slower time. You know when we were not in a rush to make sure we had the fullest calendar in the clique. We were kids who did seasonal sports, were in youth group, and still ate at the dinner table every night of the week. Does anyone else miss that kind of atmosphere?
Clear your schedules and let’s bring it back this year. Host more fun things without breaking the bank or trying to out do anyone! The best place to start as mamas? A good old fashioned sleep over. My experience as a parent as been hosting them for the “tween” kid. Oh this age is just lovely as it comes ! I sat down and put together my best “tips” on hosting a fun and totally acceptable by the miniature grown ups (ha!) in hopes of helping out other mamas who have kids who are begging for an over night party!
Rule 1: Even numbers
What? Listen, girls can be best friends and then can be mean mountain lions towards on another. I remember growing up I was never allowed to have two friends over. I had three over 3+me=4. Because girls can be catty at times and tired girls can be the pits; my mom always made sure there was an even number of girls so there would never be a two against one scenario when it came to arguing over something totally stupid (I.e. Barbies, movies, nail polish, etc.) As the girls get older you can shed this rule. However, I stick to it because we’re in the thick of it with the ages that are caught between little kid and big kid. #struggle
Rule 2: Plenty of FOOD
You’ve heard this from boy moms: boys can eat you out of house and home. Well friends our XX chromosome baring kids can (and will) too! When we hosted the our first sleep over I was shocked at how much girls eat. Maybe I just failed to remember being eight years old and having a tape worm that wanted to be fed 24/7? Generally, we are in charge of feeding the girls dinner and breakfast. That’s easy! Pizza, tacos, burgers, remember all the foods you loved as a kid? Your kid does too! No matter what they are trying to pull off thanks to those ridiculous tween shows on Disney and Nick! (I have one kid that told me she’s vegan. Then she asked for extra butter!) Breakfast is always easy – pancakes or waffles with all the toppings.
Just never forget these kids snack like crazy. When it comes to hosting kids I go all out with the junk food. Growing up we gorged ourselves on Cheet-oh’s and chocolate chip cookies. I do not want to disservice this current generation by giving them kale chips and rice cakes.
Rule 3: Juice Boxes
When do kids get too old for juice boxes? Girls can be super wasteful with beverages. They can take two sips and say they are done then ten minutes later go grab another box, drink, etc and you’re like – STOP! My suggestion: Write their names on their boxes/bottles/cups and clear a shelf to keep the drinks on in the fridge. If they take two sips and run you – can slide it in the fridge and make sure they finish it BEFORE they grab another one.
Also, have lemonade on tap. Some kids cannot have soda and I totally respect that (especially since I’m loading them down with preservatives and carbs). You would also be surprised at how many of these 2000’s kids like to drink water. It’s baffling!
Rule 4: You must play outside
I only like to host slumber parties when it is optimal outdoor play time weather (AKA NOW!) We have a soccer ball, volleyball, and a great area to play tag – what more do you need? We also have the pool but it is at my mom’s house so that requires loading up kids and driving them a mile. Since we’re in the rural South that can mean hopping on the back of the truck and really having a fun ride over (what kid doesn’t like the back road ride in the truck bed?) Keeping the kids outside means my house doesn’t get as many bruises and scrapes and the kids have ample space to run around and be kids.
In a world of technology addiction….this is a favor to those kids.
Rule 5: Always Have A Movie
I make sure to always have a movie for the wind down time. Television leads to arguments over what to and not to watch (normally this stems from what is cool and not cool.) Girls will argue. So I try to get whatever age appropriate new release is out and have loads of popcorn ready to go. I wish them all sweet dreams, cut the main light and turn on the bathroom light, and leave them to eventually fall asleep.
Sometimes the weather decides to be uncooperative. When that happens you cannot cancel so you pull a few tricks out of your sleeve.
*Crafts….especially painting pictures!
*Baking….girls like to make their own cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. Of course I over see them but they really get into it!
*Spa time….manicures and pedicures for all. Sometimes they will paint and repaint seven times (not kidding!) You can also do a kitchen facial with gentle food ingredients.
*Board games….I really need to buy some!
And last…my role:
I’m the adult in charge but I refuse to helicopter. These kids are at an age where they don’t have to have an adult by their sides the entire time they are eating, playing, talking about what boy is the cutest, etc. My role is to over see from a distance. When we have kiddos over I make sure toilet paper is stocked, the fridge is full, and that they don’t ever end up pulling hair and screaming strange threats (a la Jerry Springer). I don’t try to buddy up and be part of the group – that is weird. But all the girls know if they need me I’ll be reading a magazine on the deck and secretly wondering how 25 years past by so quickly.
Then I’ll turn the hose on them when they least expect it…..
So it’s your turn to share your slumber party tips and tricks!