The moment has arrived which many parents dread…when their child asks for a ‘sleepover’! Your initial thoughts resemble a tornado and out of control feral children, but it doesn’t have to be that bad, honest! Whether you’re still listing reasons not to as long as your arm (and rapidly running out of excuses) or your hostess hat is waiting eagerly in anticipation, be sure to read our survival guide which will give you some hints and tips to help you along the way…
Know your guests
When your little cherub presents you with a name you’re not familiar with, why not suggest they come round for tea first before committing to an overnight stay. You’ll get to know the child and gauge their temperament, meaning that you can plan suitable activities to (hopefully) avoid a raucous evening when sleepover night arrives!
Choose a date which suits your family requirements
How well does your child deal with lack of sleep? Many children struggle for a good few days after the offending night so don’t plan a sleepover when you have important dates in the diary. If there are siblings, seeing if they can stay with a relative may be a good idea to avoid any arguments and upsets. The following day will be needed to recover, you’ll potentially be dealing with a grumpy emotional little person!
Allocate rooms prior to the party
Allocate one or two rooms to the party to avoid your home being completely taken over. If you have more than one child over to stay, having a designated room for their belongings is always a good idea and will avoid frantic hunting for items when their parents are on the doorstep to collect them the next day.
Agree structure for the evening in advance
Agree a time structure with your child before their friends arrive so that they know what is to be expected of them. Tell your child what time you expect them to settle down and a lights out time. Although it’s pretty much guaranteed they won’t sleep straight away, it will be a much calmer experience for everyone.
Food and drink
Naturally kids would prefer to be fuelled with sugary sweets during a sleepover however bear in mind that more sugar means more energy to burn off, and even worse near to bedtime! Of course still provide the treats, but balance it out with fruit and yoghurt dips, popcorn etc. Avoid drinks which are likely to stain carpets and furniture.
If you are able to organise activities, it can avoid hyperactive kids running riot however much of this depends on the age of the children as to what you can plan. DVD’s and a warming hot chocolate after dinner are a good option as it calms excitable children down. If you are providing a hot meal for your guests, why not get them topping their own pizzas which acts as an activity and a simple catering option all rolled into one!
Don’t drag the party out unnecessarily
Provide an easy breakfast such as cereal and croissants and wrap the party up by mid morning the following day. Once the chaos has left the building, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy a much quieter house. You did it!
Do you have any sleepover tips that we can share with other parents? We hope this has helped put those worries at ease, and will make the sleepover experience bearable 😉