How to Plan a Successful Sleepover

Dreading planning your child’s next sleepover? We don’t blame you. With all the challenges that come with having that many small children in your home overnight, who wouldn’t be intimidated? Fear not. We’ve come up with some fool-proof advice that will make planning your next sleepover a snap.
Plan Activities
Nothing puts a damper on a party like boredom. How do you keep a group of rowdy kids entertained for an entire night? Plan games and activities, of course! Including active play in your sleepover schedule is crucial, so make sure you plan indoor games in case the weather doesn’t permit you to be outside. “We always try to plan at least 2 main activities for our camp sleepovers,” says Amanda Brown, Director of Camp NAC in Newtown, PA. Amanda has planned numerous successful sleepovers during her time at Camp NAC. “We are bouncing on inflatables and swimming at our upcoming sleepover this month. The kids always have a blast and they get their energy out so everyone goes to bed on time.”
Convenient Drop Off Time
This is something you may not think of right away, but the timing of a sleepover can be crucial. If you have parents drop their kids off too early you could run out of activities early in the night and be stuck without anything to do early in the evening. It’s also nice to be respectful of the parents of your guests and their schedules. “We have parents drop off their kids around 8:00 pm so they can go out after if they’d like,” says Brown. “This gives us just enough time to get the kids through a couple fun activities before bedtime around 11pm.”
This one is a no-brainer! Keeping munchies on hand is important to keep kids happy. “We don’t usually do dinner at our sleepovers, but there are always munchies in case the kids get hungry,” says Brown. She says her staff recommends light snacks like popcorn instead of heavy fried foods or sugary snacks that will bog kids down and keep them up all night.
Anticipate Children’s Needs
Having a bunch of kids in one space can be challenging. Each child is unique and will have their own needs. It’s possible that this might be the first time they are spending the night away from home. You could be dealing with anything from allergies to being afraid of the dark. Make sure you communicate with the parents about these needs and keep their contact information handy in case someone needs to go home.
Comfy Sleeping Space
It may surprise you, but sleeping on the floor isn’t very comfortable. If you have kids that have trouble sleeping through the night, this could cause some late night/early morning interruptions. Having the kids sleep on carpet as opposed to hardwood floor can make all the difference. If you don’t have carpets, lining the floor with comfy blankets can be helpful as well. “We have the kids sleep in the gymnastics rooms that are padded on the ground for extra comfort,” says Brown. “They are also close to bathrooms in case anyone needs to use one during the night. Extra convenient!”
Wind Down Activity
To try to fight the inevitable argument about wanting to go to sleep, try playing a winding-down game that will calm everyone down and get them into sleep-mode. “We typically get into our sleeping bags and recap our day at the Camp Sleepovers,” says Amanda. “This gets everyone to calm down and sometimes the kids even fall asleep during the conversation. Works every time.”

To learn more about the camp sleepover