In a Slumber – When the Kids Have Friends Over to Stay

Allowing your kids’ friends over to stay the night for a slumber party need not mean a night of lost sleep for you and total chaos in the house for days after. Let them organize the slumber party themselves on condition that you help. With lots of firm but fair guidance from you, the party can be a roaring success and you needn’t have to be a wet blanket.

Discuss with your child what activity they want at the slumber party. Consider how you can help to make this fun, but at the same time how you will keep things calm and organized. Girls may want to experiment with hair and makeup, or collect nail varnishes together and paint one another’s nails. Boys may want to play computer games or your child may want to have a movie night.

There are three things to think about when planning the slumber party: first, plan carefully. Make lists if it helps you; ensure you have everything you need. Consider food and drink, equipment such as nail varnish removers, cleansers, cotton wool and so on, as well as bedding — including sofa beds, duvets and pillows. Be realistic about how many children stay over, taking into account their age, energy levels, how much room you have and what plans the family has for the following day. Borrow inflatable beds or sofa beds if you need to, and consider who will sleep where depending on each child’s personality, age and individual requirements.

Second, when the children arrive for the slumber party, depending on their age, let them run off steam in some way. If they’re excited to be on a sleep over, and if you have the time, letting them have a run around the garden or do some kind of physical exercise will hopefully tire them out a bit, but should certainly help them to relax at bed time.

Third, make sure any activity you organize finishes in plenty of time to enable the children to wind down at least an hour or two before sleeping. Don’t give them fizzy drinks and sweet treats before bed; offer milk or water and a low energy snack an hour or so before if you want to. Get them off bed with time to spare: we all know they’ll be messing around and engaging in a bit of nonsense before finally dropping off to sleep!

You may need to dim the lights and be firm, but with a little planning the slumber party should be lots of fun and the kids will be talking about it for years to come. Good luck and keep smiling!

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