Kids asking night and day for a sleepover with their friends? Here’s a timeline and what you need to know to host an easy and affordable movie night and slumber party.
At Least a Week Before the Party
- Send out invitations. Printed invitations can be costly, but Evites are a fun and free way to get the party started. Make sure to communicate when guests should arrive — and when they should plan to head home the next morning. Be sure to include the date of the party, as well as drop-off and pick-up times and whether kiddos will need to bring sleeping bags and pillows.
- Plan your menus. Depending on the drop-off and pick-up times you set, you may need to provide dinner, a snack, and breakfast. Depending on your budget, you could even include a sweet treat. For dinner, consider mini pizzas, which can even be a fun party activity. Kids can customize a few to their individual tastes just before you slide them into the oven. If dessert is a must, a DIY sundae station is simple to set up with a few types of ice cream and a variety of toppings: candies, sliced bananas, flavored syrups, and whipped cream. For a cinema-inspired snack, there’s popcorn (obviously). To mix it up, purchase plain popcorn and have different toppings on hand: extra butter, Parmesan cheese, cinnamon sugar. Breakfast in the morning can be as simple as individual boxes of cereal or a big batch of fluffy pancakes.
- Pick the activities. For girls, you can’t go wrong with a mani-pedi station and/or a DIY Hollywood glamour photo booth with costume jewelry, feather boas, oversize sunglasses, and makeup. For parents who know how to braid, a braid bar is always a crowd-pleaser. For boys, think something more active, like flashlight tag or a silly string war. A video game tournament is another option, and karaoke is fun for everyone.
A Day or Two Before the Party
- Pick a movie (or two)! Keep an eye out for family-friendly new releases or ask your child for a recent favorite. To re-create the movie theater experience, consider renting a projector (available at some Rent-A-Center locations), which will allow you turn any white wall into a big screen.
- Send a short reminder about the sleepover to the parents of your child’s guests.
- Be ready for unprepared guests by having extra pillows and blankets on hand, as well as making sure there’s plenty of food (in case kiddos whose parents did not RSVP show up).
- If you’ve rented a movie projector, make sure it’s set up and working.
- Don’t stress if something’s not perfect. Your child will have a wonderful time making memories with friends no matter what.