When you're a teen, nothing is more exiting than inviting a group of your closest friends over to spend the night at a slumber party. Of course, as a parent, the mere idea of a house full of giggly and hormonal teenagers could be enough to make you scream.
However, with a bit of advance planning, creative ideas and some handy tips, this activity can be great fun for your teen and stress-free for you, the parent.
Here are some suggestions to help get you started.
- When considering where to begin planning, don't forget who the party is for. Make sure your teen has plenty of input in the process. If you entirely take over the planning, it sucks the fun right out of the whole idea for your teen.
- Ask everyone who is invited to bring their own sleeping bags and pillows. Have some extra blankets clean and ready to use in case someone forgets or becomes cold. Also, pick up a few extra toothbrushes and tuck them away, just in case.
- Set the ground rules up front, and discuss them with your teen well before the party begins.
- Brainstorm some sleepover ideas with your teen. Decide ahead of time if the party will include dinner, or just snacks. Alternatively, you can provide snacks and then a late night pizza delivery to coincide with watching movies. This is a great way for the kids to wind down before heading off to sleep.
- You already know that slumber party ideas for teens always include food. Make a list of the food your teen wants to serve at the party. Remember that this is a special occasion, and consider relaxing your junk food rules for just one night. Popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, and candy are all great snacks for a slumber party. Veggies and dip will also go over well with both teens and parents.
- Get the phone numbers of everyone who is attending, and keep the list handy. If there is an emergency or an accident, parents will expect to be notified. Remember that even though this is your teen's party, you are the one responsible for the people in your home.
- Plan some fun party ideas and activities to avoid boredom. For slumber parties for girls, stock up on makeup and nail polish for makeovers, or invest in some temporary hair dye and funky hair clips and accessories. For boys, look into renting an air hockey table, ping pong table, or other sporting equipment that you can use at home for the evening. Buy some unbaked cookie dough and add-ins like sprinkles, chocolate chips, and small candies and let the kids make their own treats. Bring out a few decks of cards and board games, just in case. Sleepover party ideas are only as limited as your imagination.
- When the teen sleepover party is in full swing, don't hover. Nothing is more embarrassing to a teen than their parents hanging around while they're trying to get some good gossip going, or just hang out and have some fun. Be accessible in case someone needs you, but go and do your own thing.
- If there are younger siblings in the house that will potentially annoy your teen and their guests, plan something special for them for that evening. One parent can take them out to see a movie or go play mini-putt, or rent them some movies and make special snacks for them to have their own party elsewhere in the house. This way they won't feel left out.
- Plan some healthy food for breakfast in the morning. Juice, bagels, toast, cereal, and fresh fruit are great options. After feasting on junk food the night before, the teen party goers will be ready for some real food once they wake up.
- Set a time for the party to end; don't just assume that once everyone is awake, dressed, and fed that they'll be heading home. Make sure that arrangements have been made for all of the attendees to be picked up and taken home.
Remember - the idea here is for your teen and their guests to have fun. Try to relax and enjoy the fact that your son or daughter is creating memories with their friends that will last them a lifetime.