I’ve got a gaggle of girls: twin daughters, four little nieces, a bunch of girly cousins and girlfriends with little girls. I grew up with three sisters; it’s what I know. And it’s a ton of fun! With our gang, slumber parties seem to be the coolest thing since sliced bread! The moms are loving it, too– a night of slumber for themselves!
I love a party! I am a recovering event coordinator, so I just can’t help myself. It’s like being an organized, logistical party geek! On that note, be warned! Some of my suggestions may contain a touch of premeditation. If you host slumber parties on the regular, this becomes pretty routine, and you can simplify.
After a time or two, you come to realize that a pile of sugar, eight little girls, and slumber don’t really go hand-in-hand! (Think Einstein hair and that frazzled, wide-eyed zombie look). Here are a few ideas to take it down a notch in the sugar department while keeping those little girlfriends movin’ and groovin’ in the slumber direction:
Organize the Slumber
If time allows, mail out invitations! Who doesn’t love to get mail? I’m talking homemade or the “fill in the blank” style. Make a project out of it!
Our group digs the Aerobed for sleeping on. We are always short one, or one deflates, so someone has to share; as a result, the drama ensues.
At our last slumber party, I set up a pile of inexpensive (pre-washed and fluffed because I am that kind of crazy) pillows along with little “mats” I sewed together from pillow cases! Genius and Pinterest-y, naturally. Walmart has some fairly inexpensive and cute pillowcases. I used four for the 3 to 4-year-olds and 6 to 8 for the older girls. Sew them together on the long edge with the openings all on one side. Let the kids stuff the pillows in each case, flip one of the end pillows over the top or under to prop up a little head and… Voila! Cozy, comfy, and reusable.
Because I am repulsed by the prospect of lice, these little mats can be washed and dried on high heat! Wrap a pretty piece of ribbon around it once it’s rolled up, and it’s easily stored. Maybe a mini pillow fight breaks out; it’s all in the name of fun! Have them claim their spot and set their slumbering space.
Hit up the Dollar Store! Glow sticks-by the handful are a great way to beat the scary dark of night. If you have clear plastic mason jars (of the wide mouth variety), they are great holders of the glow! It’s the perfect little night light. I usually give each of the girls one to keep near their head.
If you have an older, crafty bunch you can move to the next level and create fairy jars! Using those same clear mason jars, non-toxic glow sticks and a little clear or iridescent glitter, you have the same night light effect for the big girls plus a cute little craft. An adult will need to cut open and pour the glow sticks into the jars, but the girls can pick and pour the glitter, seal them up tightly, and shake away. I also sealed the lids with pretty duct tape just to keep curious fingers out of the jars. In lieu of the mess, battery-operated LED string lights work nicely, too!
Need something to send home? Kool-Aid lip gloss or homemade play dough are always winners! The big girls think they are pretty slick with their fancy gloss, and I’m not crying about it– it’s easy, not completely terrible, and tiny (so, it can be used up quickly and out of your house!). The play dough is a favorite! My girls loved it when they were teeny tiny and still love it today. We lace ours with essential oils to make it smell nice, and if you are savvy with the oils, you could whip up a sleep-inducing blend. Win win!
Party Time Beautification
Décor is something I keep low key unless it’s a special event or birthday party– in that case, somebody stop me! I am a huge fan of butcher-papered tables. I buy the giant roll at Gordon Food Service and roll it on, cover, and tape underneath. It’s fun! You can draw, paint, craft, or cook on it, or you can even just roll it out onto the floor with containers of markers for a giant mural and quick activity. For slumber parties, I like to either have my girls create place mats for their guests, or I have fun with it and lay out a buffet with cute little labels, arrows, and pictures drawn onto the table cover. Fun and easy.
Hangry = Misery
I love baking, and all things food. I have learned to tone down the sugar a pinch and kick up the fun– seriously. It will save you sleep, it will save the other moms a terrible day after, and the kids are just as happy! In lieu of tons of treats, I try to keep it simple and add an element of engagement. My girls love bananas and chocolate, so we created a little banana split pop bar.
Thick chunks of banana (halved strawberries and pineapple chunks are yummy, too!) on a stick and lots of dipping and dunking. I usually have peanut or sun butter, chocolate sauce, and little dishes of various sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, mini marshmallows, and crushed Oreos– you get the idea.
Tucker ‘em out
Flashlight tag is fun and can be played indoors or out. Just grab a flashlight and whoever is “it” tags by flashing the light on to the player. Hand the flashlight off to the captured player and they become the new “it.” They will run off some energy and have fun, too! If you are not the tag kinda people, try a dance party! Dance parties always get the wiggles out. Have Alexa play some tunes and dance up a storm.
This is a pretty important step! It’s possible that after all the running around and dancing, you might have some super wound up kiddos on your hands. Get their attention, and then with a little hydration, some jammies on, and teeth time, have them find their way to the slumber space. I like to incorporate a little yoga into this part of the night since it just helps to get the group into a relaxed place. Start with those little legs up the wall!
Scoot those bottoms close to the wall and send their legs up, heels touching the wall, with a light bend at the knee. Have them rest their arms at their sides and just be still, relaxing the vestibular system, releasing stress, and calming the body. You could read a short book during this time and also incorporate poses into the story. End with savasana or resting on their cozy little mats. Lights out!
Sun salutations or stretching are a great way to start the day on a high note! Pancakes are usually the breakfast of choice; again, keep it easy! Kodiak makes a great protein mix that’s tasty, and we bake it in our mini doughnut maker. Cute pancake doughnuts to dip in syrup or sprinkle with powdered sugar are always a hit.
Have the ladies pack up and be ready to roll! Set out their souvenirs and get them running around outside after the pack up! Create some easy fun while parents are on the way. Grab some of the outdoor toys and have them set up an obstacle course if they need direction.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done!
It’s probably a little early for wine, but maybe take a nap? When you rise refreshed, grab your calendar…
…and see who’s next in the slumber party rotation and schedule your night of slumber!