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15 Tips and Ideas for Throwing the Best Sleepover Party Ever

Here's how to plan the world's best slumber party, from advance prep to pancake overload.

Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns

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Want to make your kiddo's next sleepover party a 10 out of 10? You easily can thanks to these slumber party ideas and planning tips, no actual sleep required.

6 Slumber Party Prep Tips

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1. Keep It Small

As much as it might be tempting to invite all of your child's friends to sleep over, keep the party small. Stick with about six or eight guests. That way, everyone can get involved, and you and your child won't be overwhelmed and overrun. If the guests are on the younger side, it's probably better to keep the party even smaller just to make sure everything runs smoothly.

2. Have a (Loose) Schedule

When guests arrive, let your child give them a printout of an itinerary for the party. Not only will this get everybody excited for the events to come, but it will also clue them in on what to expect. Depending on their age, it could be a little nerve-wracking to spend the night at a different home. Some insight into the activities and fun to come will ease their nerves about being somewhere new. Don't worry if you don't stick to the exact schedule — be flexible and use it as a loose guide!

3. Stock Up

Chances are someone is going to leave something at home. Be prepared and stock up on some extras like toothbrushes, pillows, or even sleeping bags. The quick backup will keep the party running smoothly.

4. Make a Contact List

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With a bunch of kids staying over at your house, it's best to have contact and medical information for them just in case you need to reach out. Make a list of phone numbers and known allergies to keep handy. This way, if you need to reach out and ask a question, you'll be very prepared. 

5. Kick Off With a Welcome Tour

While most of your child's guests have probably been to your house before, they probably haven't spent the night. To refresh their memories and make sure they're comfortable, have the birthday kiddo give their guests a quick house tour when they all arrive. Show them where they will be staying, where the closest bathrooms are, and if any rooms are off-limits. They'll also want to know where the kitchen and all the snacks are!

6. Pick a Theme

Looking to add a theme to your child's sleepover party? There are endless options to choose from. Go with a Marvel-themed party and let kids spend the night making superhero crafts while having an MCU movie marathon. Star Wars more your kiddo's thing? Set up a sleeping bag area decorated to look like a night away in the galaxy. Any idea can be transformed into a theme for your child's sleepover with a little creativity — get them involved in planning and decorating! 

9 Sleepover Activities (Since No One Will Be Sleeping Much)

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1. Take the Games Outside

Tangle NightBall Basketball

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If it's warm enough, part of the fun of a slumber party is getting to play outside as long as possible! Keep the games going after sunset with glow-in-the-dark toys like the Tangle NightBall Soccer and Basketball. The balls have LED tech built right into them, so kids can clearly see the ball even in the dark. Use the soccer ball for a glow-in-the-dark shootout or host a nighttime game of HORSE with the basketball. 

2. Have a Spa Night

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Sleepover parties and spa nights go hand in hand. Transform your living room into an at-home spa! Give each guest a bathrobe and set of flip flops when they arrive, so they are ready to be pampered. Then set up stations with face masks, manicures, and pedicures to rotate through. Kids can snack on some finger foods and fruit smoothies while they relax and bliss out. (Bonus: This activity might actually make a few of the kids sleepy.) 

3. Decorate Pillowcases

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Want an activity that also doubles as a party favor? Set up a DIY pillowcase craft station. Fill a table with different color fabric markers and hand out white pillowcases. The best part about this activity? There are no rules as to what you can put on your pillowcase. Have everyone at the party sign it like an autograph pillow or make a fun design that goes with the theme of the party. Either way, guests will have a memorable piece of the party to take home with them. 

4. Play Glow in the Dark Games

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For when you have to take the party inside but want to keep the games going, switch gears and set up some glow-in-the-dark games. Stick glow sticks in some water bottles and set them up like pins for glow-in-the-dark bowling or clear out the basement for a game of glow-in-the-dark capture the flag.

5. Cupcake Decorating

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Let everyone get in on the birthday celebration with a cupcake decorating station for dessert. Give everyone a plain cupcake and let them choose their toppings. Start with a frosting base and then add on candy, chocolate chips, and lots of sprinkles. Pro tip: don't wait too late into the night to indulge in the cupcakes. Do it early in the evening and plan a few activities afterward to avoid the crazy sugar rush right before settling down. 

6. Game Night

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Board games are always a good idea, especially at a sleepover. Pull out your favorites like Don't Break The Ice, Rhyme Antics, or Guesstures. Want to make game night the main activity? Go with a game that will keep the kids busy all night like like CATAN or Ticket To Ride. Hopefully, they'll finish playing before the sun comes up. 

7. Future Pop Stars

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Singing Machine

Any good sleepover party has a good singalong. Turn that singalong into a full-blown activity with some karaoke. Let everyone pick out their favorite songs and load them into a YouTube playlist. Then cast the lyric videos right onto your TV and let everyone sing their heart out with a karaoke microphone. When you're done singing, load your songs into a Spotify playlist to share with your guests so they can listen to the songs when the party is over. 

8. Movie Marathon

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Everyone knows there's no bedtime when it comes to sleepover parties. At some point, though, your guests might start to get a little tired. Solve this problem by ending the night with a movie. Have everyone change into their PJs and settle in for the night. Set out some snacks and popcorn, and let all the kids watch a movie from the comfort of their sleeping bags. Pick something fun and light — that way, if anyone falls asleep, they won't miss much. 

9. Pancakes on Pancakes on Pancakes

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Sugar Mama Cooks

Continue the sugar fest into the morning with a pancake bar. Make a basic batter and set out a bunch of dishes full of toppings. Go all out with chocolate chips, fruit, or peanut butter. Then let each kid come up one by one to the stove and have them drop their toppings into the batter. Don't let the toppings stop there! Set out whipped cream, jam, syrup, chocolate sauce, or even ice cream to pile on top of the fluffy treats! Looking for a pancake recipe that will feed a crowd? We've got the perfect solution.