The Play Forum is a collection of voices from parents and people in the toy and children’s entertainment industries. Read what’s on their minds, and join the conversation.
My 9-year-old daughter is getting to the age where she wants to have more bonding time with her girlfriends. Gone are the days of playdates. My daughter and her friends now require more time doing girlie things together, such as dressing up, playing with their American Girl dolls, and of course, talking about things that interest them. Recently, my daughter hosted her first-ever slumber party with two of her friends, which happen to be our twin neighbors. I wanted the girls to have a fab time, and I would like to report that they all had a swell time.
Here are six tips to help you host a fabulous slumber party for girls:
1. Talk to the Parents
Before the slumber party, I talked to my daughter’s friends’ parents to ask them what foods the girls liked to eat and if they were allergic to anything. Were there any restrictions on the types of PG movies they could watch, and were there any rules that they followed at home that needed to be followed in my home? It made it easier when preparing the dinner and snacks, and I also think it made the girls’ parents feel better.
2. Plan Activities
A slumber party isn’t just about staying indoors. It is also about keeping the kiddos active and enjoying the outdoors. Why not plan some time for the children to go to the neighborhood pool for some fun or visit the park for some swing time? The kids will love it, and you can take a photo or two to send to your guests’ parents as a memento.
3. Give Them Space
The last thing your child or your guests want is to be hovered over during the party. Let them do their thing, and check on them a few times during the evening. But not too often or you may make them feel like they are on display.
4. Ground Rules
When the girls first got to my home, I sat them down and went over the rules. No running down the stairs and no food in my daughter’s room other than snacks. Food and drink needed to be eaten in the kitchen or dining room. And, of course, no fighting. Setting the ground rules lets your child and her guests know what you expect and how you want them to act while at your home.
5. Be Creative
My daughter and her friends love to dress up and play pretend, so I had a few dresses, old shoes, and other items that they could use to play. I created a makeshift station in my daughter’s room that they could use to change into their ensembles, and the girls really enjoyed this.
6. Make Your Guests Comfortable
When my daughter’s friends came over, I already had plastic cups (purchased at the dollar store) with their names on them. This made them feel like they were at home, and the cups could be used during the sleepover. I also tied towels with a bow and attached each girl’s name to the towels so the girls had their own towels to use in the bathroom. These may seem like little things, but they really meant a lot to my guests and made them feel like a part of the family, if only temporarily.
Slumber parties are a rite of passage in childhood and great ways for your child to interact and have fun with her friends. Use these tips next time to help you throw a fete that your child’s guests will enjoy.