How to host a fun sleepover
6 min read
Last Modified 28 December 2023 First Added 2 August 2022
Sleepovers are exciting for kids because they get to spend fun time with their friends, eat their favourite snacks, watch movies and stay up late!
Sleeping at a friend’s house can feel like a real adventure for many children and it’s possible they may not have done it before.
As a parent, planning and hosting the perfect sleepover at your home takes some effort but it can also be enjoyable, especially if you get your kids involved with the preparations.
In this article, we explain how to host a sleepover that your children and their friends will never forget, from sending out invitations to keeping the kids entertained.
First decide on the date and time for your kids’ sleepover, and how many friends to invite.
Typically, sleepovers have around two to eight guests, but it depends on the space you have available and what your child will enjoy.
We recommend sending out invitations around three weeks before. You can post them, use email, call, text, use social media – or even tell kids and parents in person. This could be a good time to ask about dietary requirements and allergies – you don’t want any surprises on the night.
As well as telling guests what time to arrive, it’s also worth mentioning what time you’re expecting everyone to leave the next day.
Let your guests know what they need to bring, so they can get a comfy night’s sleep. We suggest:
Make a list of everything you need to buy and prepare to make the sleepover a success. Don’t forget dinner, snacks, drinks, breakfast, movies, decorations or anything else you and the children might want. This is when it’s handy to know about any vegetarians or food allergies in advance.
If your child wants to play any games you don’t have, you might want to buy them in plenty of time or ask friends to bring them over. Also remember to get everything you need for any activities you’ve got planned.
In the days leading up to the sleepover you’ll probably want to clean and tidy the house, putting away anything fragile or valuable that could get damaged by excited children.
Most kids love pizza, so a pizza night is bound to go down well with everyone. You could set up pizza making as an activity for when guests arrive or order a pizza delivery to keep things really easy.
If your sleepover guests are a creative bunch, they might want to do some arts and crafts before bedtime. Depending on the age and skills of the children you could just leave out crayons or felt tip pens and paper and let them do their own thing, or you could prepare a craft activity in advance so everyone can create something to take home. Salt dough, vegetable printing and jewellery making are all popular ideas. If the weather’s good, you could get everyone in the garden to do some painting and keep the mess outside!
Lots of kids enjoy baking so, depending on numbers, they could make some simple cakes to eat later in the evening. Cookie decorating is a fun alternative that keeps things easy.
Movie nights are a popular choice and it’s worth deciding what to watch in advance, otherwise, kids can spend so much time choosing a movie that it kills the fun atmosphere.
When everyone’s settled in front of a movie it’s the ideal time to bring out the popcorn, cookies and other treats. This will help the sleepover feel more party-like.
For more exciting sleepover ideas make sure you take a look at 15 Fun Sleepover Games.
Preparing a comfy sleep environment will help make sure everyone gets a good night’s sleep. You may already have a spare bunk bed and could put air beds and kid’s mattresses on the floor, so guests can add their own pillows and sleeping bag. Providing cuddly toys could help younger children feel cosy and secure.
Switching on a night light will help children who may be scared of the dark and guide guests to the bathroom so they’re less likely to disturb others.
It seems obvious, but it’s worth checking that any rooms that your guests may go into are free of any potential hazards. Make sure windows are locked, medicines are out of reach, and blind cords aren’t hanging down low.
Make sure everyone knows what time you expect them to settle down to sleep and what the bedtime routine will be. You may want all the children to get into their pyjamas at the same time and wind down for an hour or so before sleep. Let them know the deadline for turning off technology, as some screen-free time before bed will help them get a good night’s rest.
If you’re having a family sleepover with grandparents or you’ve got very young children staying over, it may be a good idea to tell a bedtime story. This can be very comforting to young children and help them drift off.
We hope our tips and ideas help you host a fun sleepover that everyone enjoys. For more inspiration, discover how to update your kids’ bedrooms as they grow and take a look at our kid’s beds and kids’ storage ideas.