A little guide on how to make the experience a little less daunting!
There can be lots of initial worries when you think about hosting a sleepover party for your son or daughter! From homesickness, too much noise and lets not even mention the mess! BUT, the positives and rewards are HUGE! Children get to develop on social skills, practice independence, build stronger foundations for friendships and create memories that they will cherish forever!
Here are 10 top tips to put you, the parent, at ease:
1. Guest List – Keep it fairly small
So, initially your child will want to start by inviting their whole class – but the more children is potentially more mayhem. Keep it to around 4-6 people, even numbers is always best as it stops anyone being left out!
2. Communicate with the other Parents
Make sure you have contact numbers for all parents and that they have your number too! Keep parents informed about details such a timings, what to bring and other activities you have planned. If you’re planning on taking them out – parents would probably like to know. Make sure you have contact details to hand, even for the early hours. Prepare yourself for the possibility of a midnight exist from a child who may be homesick.
3. Make sure your child is ready
The idea of a sleepover is very exciting for a child, but if they are younger or if it is their first sleepover it can be daunting for them too. Especially if they are the ones staying away from home! If your child is staying at someones else’s house, let them know it is okay to be picked up early if they really want to! If you’re hosting the party, check in with parents to see how the other children are feeling before hand.
4. Activities, for those who love or hate them!
Have some activities planned throughout the evening, spread them out so they don’t do them all in one hour! Activities that gets everyone involved is great, sometimes computer games involves people taking turns and can cause arguments or boredom! Dazzling Treats have some amazing activity packs and pamper packs you can add to your sleepover party packages to keep them occupied. Have some books or magazines on hand, just in case anyone doesn’t want to take part.
5. Stay nearby – supervision is key but don’t invade (too much)
Supervision is key , especially if it is the first sleepover for your child and/or guests. Give them their time and space but check in occasionally to make sure everything and everyone is okay. Asking a child to ‘help out in the kitchen’ can give you a chance to check in without being ‘too embarrassing’. Research shows that having a code word, something like ‘What time is it?’ gives the child an opportunity to tell the parent that something isn’t right or they aren’t happy with something – giving the parent a chance to check in and help out. (McGillian)
6. Actually getting sleep at the sleepover
Set clear boundaries of when you want children in bed and asleep. They will be tired, and so will you. do it in steps so it isn’t completely boring. For example, give a time that they need to be in bed for, when lights will be off ( maybe a good time to put a film on), and finally when you expect them to be asleep. Make the timings earlier than you actually want so they have some leeway time.
7. Prepare for forgotten items
Keep some extra supplies on hand, there is always going to be someone who forgets a toothbrush! With a Dusk Dreams Tipi Sleepover you can be guaranteed that everything is included – from beds to throws and pillows, all in a theme chosen by you. This eliminates the need for children to bring sleeping bags or pillows and therefore making it easier for you hosting the party and the guests parents! Hey, why not add some extra ‘Bedtime kits‘ for all children as a party favour, that way all children will have their own toothbrush with them.
8. Keep food simple!
Although the idea of creating a build your own pizza parlor sounds exciting, when you’ve got 6 hungry children to please it can become a mission of a task just to feed them! Keep it simple with nibbles and grab and go food – simple pizzas, chips, sandwiches are always a good shout. Have some healthy options too! Carrot sticks and dips are always a win, or even cheese and pineapple!
9. Chat to your child before the party
Have a conversation with your child before the party. Lay down some basic boundaries. It might include things like; what rooms they can and cant go in, rough timings for bed time and sleep time, making sure everyone is involved. If your child is going to a party, remind them about manners and being polite in someone else’s home.
10. Plan for the morning
Set a time that parents need to pick their child up. ‘Anytime will do’ could result in your plans for the day not going ahead. Also, be prepared for those early risers! There is always one who is awake at the crack of dawn ready for another day of fun and insisting that the hamster needs to be out of the cage at 6am.
So, if its your first time hosting a party or you’ve done it a million times, but it has never run exactly how you planned – it is okay! Remember, the children will have the most amazing time and it will all be worth it in the end. But for now, use some of these tips to put your mind at rest. If the children are happy, (I would say quite but lets be honest!) there will be more time for you to put your feet up and enjoy a cuppa!
Love Kell x