DON'T HOST YOUR NEXT SLEEPOVER WITHOUT READING OUR LIST OF TOP THINGS TO DO AT A SLEEPOVER!
For kids, sleepovers are a rite of passage. A hallmark of childhood. A time for late night giggles and shenanigans. But for parents, sleepovers consist of something else entirely. Mainly trying to figure out how to entertain a houseful of strange children so they don't completely trash your house, whine about being bored and then complain to their parents about how spending the night at your house was pretty much the worst ever.
But don't worry, we won't let that happen to you. Here are our top 5 sleepover games and activities that are sure to induce a frenzy of excitement and squeals of "This is the best sleepover EVER!!!"
1. Outdoor Movies
Kids love movies and they also love doing normal things in unusual places. Offer your kid a plate of broccoli at the dinner table and he might not want it. Offer it to him while he's sitting under the table in his new "fort" and voila - the kid can't get enough.
This works for sleepover activities too. Try taking the evening movie outside by building a backyard movie theater. Check out this great article by Rick Broida @cheapskateblog for doing it on the cheap! But it can also be as simple as purchasing a projector and speaker then projecting the movie onto a blank space like the garage door, or exterior walls. You can also tack a white sheet up to the wall to enhance visibility. If you have a casting device, like Chromecast or Amazon Firestick, you could simply move your TV outdoors, set up a few chairs, add some cozy blankets, microwaveable popcorn and you've got your own outdoor movie theater.
2. Homemade Pizza
Sleepover activities don't necessarily have to be games. Let the kids get creative in the kitchen while making their own dinner. Pre-made pizza dough or biscuit dough makes this sleepover activity so easy, you may just want to incorporate it into your weekly menu! Line up the pizza sauce, grated mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and maybe a few veggies if you're feeling adventurous, and let the little chefs move down the line making their own custom pizzas. Real Simple offers some great topping combinations for kids. If you're using pre-made pizza dough, try cutting it into thirds or quarters so each kid can make their own personalized pizza. Make sure an adult is on hand to put the pizza into the oven.
Bonus idea: if the kids like pretending they're pizza chefs working in a restaurant, encourage them to try other roles, like bus boy, and dishwasher. Hey it's worth a shot. : )
3. Hot Tub
Our sleepovers always revolve around the hot tub. And the best part about this sleepover activity is that hot tubbing actually helps people sleep according to @. Not a bad thing if you don't like being kept awake all night to the sound of tiny voices. But even more so, kids love water. I've found that they'll get in, splash around, play a few made up games, get out for a movie and maybe some homemade pizza, then get back into the hot tub for more splashing, get out for another snack, then back into the hot tub! I'm not kidding, it's not uncommon for our kids to have 3 hot tub sessions per sleepover!
It's a wholesome activity that allows them to splash around and use their imagination to make up games. Plus the warm water calms them down and gets them ready for a great night sleep.
If you don't already have a spa, there are several kinds that require zero prep work on your part and can be plugged into any normal outdoor outlet. These can be brought home, filled up with a garden hose and plugged in all in the same day. Plus there are some great deals to be had these days. Fantasy Spas start around $3,000 and if you can find a good financing deal through your local retailer, you could be paying less than $75/month for a spa that can entertain the munchkins all year round.
4. Dance Party!
Kids are such neat little humans. They haven't learned to be embarrassed yet by their ridiculous awesome dance moves. So put on some music, push back the furniture and make way for a super fun dance party. Free apps like Pandora allow you to create stations based on your kid's favorite artist or genre, and YouTube has plenty of video tutorials if you want to work a little instruction into the party. Giving small prizes or candy for best or silliest dance moves could encourage shy kids to get involved. You can also try giving the kids flashlights that they can use as spotlights, or glow sticks for some added flair. Older kids might enjoy a slight variation: Freeze Dance. When the music stops, everyone has to hold the position they're in. If they move, they're out.
5. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be a great thing to do at a sleepover, and requires very little effort on your part. Take 5 minutes and walk around your house or yard making a list of hard to spot items. Break the kids into teams, give them each a list and let them spend the next chunk of time on their own, looking for items. First team to find all the items wins. Make sure to have a prize available, even if it's something simple like the winning team gets to pick the movie.
There you have it, our top list of sleepover ideas. So next time junior asks "what are some fun things to do at a sleepover" you'll have all the answers.