43 answers

8 Year Old's First Slumber Party

My youngest daugher is turning 8 tomorrow and we are having her first sleepover birthday party. A couple of the kids are not feeling ready for sleeping over so they will come for a couple of hours then go home. I am so unorganzied with this and while I have purchased party favors, ordered the cake, etc., I have not planned any activities. I thought the kids who sleep over could do hair, nail polish, the usual sleepover stuff but I want to make sure the kids who are not staying over go home feeling like they went to a party. Aside from the usual cake and ice cream, what games/activities can I plan for 8-10 year old girls? This is the first birthday she has had that she did not want to spend at Chuck E. Cheese and it's been many moons since my first daughter's slumber party days! Thanks for your quick responses, this mom is way behind!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks so much to all of you for your wonderful responses. The girls all had a great time. I had seven girls ranging from age 7 to age 11. We started with the goodie bags which had feather boas, tiaras, lip gloss, hair ties, etc. They got all "dolled up" and while some did a craft I took photos of each guest with the birthday girl all dressed in their finery. That was a lot of fun. For the craft, they decorated picture frames. Next was "Freeze Dance" where the last girl on the floor received a prize. My oldest daughter supervised this activity while I printed out the photos to attach to the frames. The gifts were opened, some free play time while I got the cake ready. After that, some girls made bracelets while others just ran around and played. <A favorite activity was chasing my 13 year old son around the house. He still doesn't "get" girls and was upset that they were chasing him because they don't like him. I had to explain that is what girls do when they like you. He still doesn't get it. :)> It was very fast-paced and hectic but so much more fun than Chuck E. Cheese's! I actually only had 3 for the sleep over and the rest had to go home by 9 to get up early for soccer, t-ball, etc. That worked out perfectly because they, of course, did not go to sleep until after 2 a.m.! I had settled them in by about 10:30 in their sleeping bags with a movie but they stayed up giggling for hours. This was a great introduction in to the "big girl world" for my daughter and I have a feeling that Chuck E. Cheese is now a thing of the past! For other moms planning a first sleep over, I think the karaoke idea is great and if I had thought of it I would have done that. They ended up playing American Idol during their free time. All in all, the party was a great success and I thank you all again for your responses.

Featured Answers

Sorry I am late with my reply - but for next year try a Kareoke (sic) machine! I think you will have done well tonight with what you planned. They just like to be together!

My neighbor just shared a great idea for a slumber party activity. She bought some inexpensive pillow cases and will have the girls decorate them with fabric makers. She had each girl's name embroidered on thei case, but I think it would be fun even without that.

Flashlights are always a hit with my kids, especially if it is dark outside and they can be in the backyard with freinds. A good old fashioned game of tag is always popular.

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Go to your local craft store. They can make a bag or picture frame. Take pictures of the girls as a group and then give each of them a copy. If you don't have a way to make 8 pictures right away, Then your daughter can give them out later as Thank-you's and a memory of that evening. Have a different color nail polish for each girl. Each one paints their color on one toe or nail of every other girl. The girls can decorate flip flops; use water ballons and beads you can find at a craft store and grab your $2.00 flip flops at Old Navy and it's ok if it's a little big, the girls will grow into them by summer. Hope that helps.

Sorry I am late with my reply - but for next year try a Kareoke (sic) machine! I think you will have done well tonight with what you planned. They just like to be together!

Hi the girls will love Karaoke, and I purchased pillow cases at wallmart and these fabric pens from Michaels that you could decorate with and the all did there own pillow cases. I bought my daugter a different color since she was the birthday girl. Just put some sort of cardboard in between. They should be dry in the morning as they aren't puff paint. Then when they were ready for bed they all got in there sleeping bags and then we played a game. We Called it Alli is a babe. Somone went out of the room and all the girls switched sleeping bags and the girl came back in the room and tride to figure out who was who with the girls trying to disquise there voice's while in the sleeping bag in the dark. Every girl does it and the one who guesses the most girls wins a prize. I gave a prize to the girl who one Karakoe also. But I made the girls put there heads down so they didn't feel pressured into voting for someone they didn't want to. The shyist girl one. She was awesome. These activities involve everyone. We woke up in the morning and they were playing Alli is a babe again. They had the greatest time. Hope this helps.

Hi L.- Even though you feel unorganized try planning the hair and nails while the other gals are ther too. Then they will feel like they were able to do the fun and cool stuff. You don't want them to feel left out when they here about it, just a suggestion. There are also a wide variety of board games that the girls can play. Also there is nothing better the watchin Encahnted and dressing up or doing the girly hair and nails then. Hope this helps. Good luck,

Hi L.,

You can always have the girls make pillow case...purchase white pillow cases and have the girls decorate them with either puff paint or fabric markers (the girls who are not staying over can make these as well). If you are going to do the nail polish and such after the girls who are not staying you can give them a little bag with nail polish, nail file, nail stickers to take home. Have fun! Y.

I have three children and I have found that doing a craft first thing kind of gets the group gathered and conversing. It also gives you something to send home with the kids along with the favor bag! You could do beading, painting a ceramic, sun catchers,ect. The local craft can inspire you. Once I bought cute little stuffed animals and let the kids decorate little t-shirts(from the infant dept.) with puffy paint and fabric markers. Ofcourse, a good movie with a bowl of popcorn &M&M's is always pleasing too. Good luck and have a lot of fun.

My daughter just attended a sleep over a few weeks ago and they went to a paint your own pottery place for about an hour and a half, back to the house for dinner of pizza, cake, presents, and a movie (High School Musical, of course). After the movie, Going Home girls left,the girls brushed teeth and tied up hair (all have long hair, I guess), had some flashlight time and off to bed they went. Okay, they were in the room where sleep was to happen and didn't, but they were in their zone talking, laughing, singing, etc. on their own. my daughter loved it.

pick up a couple of packs of water paints and paint brushes...let them all paint pics on each others faces. It washes off with a little soap and water and the kids have fun. Do the egg on the spoon across the room whoever makes it wins. (use hardboiled, less messy) There is the try to pop all of the balloons with your bottom, I do this at the end of the party so I don't have to. Buy a big poster boarda and have them decorate it with markers. This way she can keep it for memories. If you have a poloroid or digital camera take pics of each friend and she can add them around the outside of the board.


L., I have a 13yr old daughter and she loves to do karaoke and dance so maybe you can have a dance contest or karaoke contest! The girls loved it when my daughter had it at her party! Also they can do face painting on each other like flowers and butterflies, my daughter still loves doing that!! I hope this as been a help to you dont stress too much just let the girls have fun, they usually entertain themselves!! Good luck and God bless you

I remember my first slumber party. Charades was a fun game to play. Watch movies like you see in the movies. Its not easy to plan these kinda things. Tell scary stories, and doing the make-up bit as you suggested. I don't have a daughter so I am totally clueless. Living in a house full of girls was the only thing that happened for me.

Ask your daughter what kind of theme she wants . Make sure everything is safe . You probably shouldn't plan the party. Your daughter is gonna wanna plan for herself.You can give her some ideas and she can choose . Some fun theme ideas = , princess, chocolate , ANY candy, maybe her FAVORITE candy, fashion show, fairies,etc.

Hi L.,

A fun thing that little girls (well maybe not so little ones, too) love to do it a spa party. You can arrange little pedicures and manicures for the party that everyone attends. Then later that night you can have the ones that stay over get their hair done and even give them facials. Kind of like they get a little something special for the slumber party.

One thing I did for a friend's party was give them oatmeal facials. We just crushed up some oatmeal and mixed it with water and spread it on their faces. They loved it. You can also give them party favors like bags with a bottle of polish or some lip gloss or something like that in it. I'm sure they'll have a great time.

If you have a video camera, a fun idea is to divide them into groups and let each group create their own 5 minute commercial/ skit to tape.
Another fun idea is a treasure hunt to different locations all over the house. You could give the girls clues with a 'challenge' to perform before moving to the next clue. One of the challenges could be singing happy b-day, saying their abc's backwards, dancing to a particular song. THe prize could be a 'treasure chest' full of goody bags for each girl. The Easter bunny just tried this technique for his Easter baskets (for a 7 yr old) and it was a huge success. My niece had to look in her underwear drawer, the fridge, etc... her basket was left in the shower.
It's fun because everyone gets involved, everyone will walk away with a prize and it's not over in 5 minutes.
How about the girls get to decorate b-day crowns with glitter and 'jewels' from the craft store.

Hi L.! I've always found that while some parents throw parties with lots of activities, kids have just as much fun & sometimes more at parties with no big plan...
If that doesn't fly, how about freeze dance after cake? Put on some fun dance music and hit pause every so often, sometimes more & sometimes less. The kids that move after the music stops are out, the one that lasts the longest "wins". In my family we let the winner do the music controls...
Also, temporary tatoos are fun and easy. They can be purchased lots of different places & could be done before kids have to leave. Have fun!!!

One thing my daughter did and the girls had so much fun was "freeze dance" I would play the music and the girls would all dance and when I stopped it they would freeze! That seemed to be the hi-lite of my daughters party!

Good Luck!

There are some easy art projects you could get from places like Michaels. A foam door hanger, jewelry making projects etc. If they get to take something home that they made with their friends that might give them that party feeling.

My daughter's first slumber party was when she turned 9. She too had friends who left before bedtime. The girls who left stayed almost right up until bedtime. In the time they were there the girls painted each others nails, braided and curled each others hair, gave each other little mini facials. I had made pizza dough ahead of time (or you can pick some up as Trader Joe's) and seperated it into small individual balls one for each girl and set out sauce, cheese, and several toppings so each girl could make their own pizza. We also had time for a pinata and cake before the girls left. Each girl got a goody bag when they left either in the evening or the morning so that each person felt included. We even let the girls put on pj's and start a video so they didn't feel as though they were missing much because things seemed to be setteling down before they left. Good luck. Have fun.

Hi L.,
Freeze dance, put on some music and have the mute button handy. Beads, get a bunch, get out your muffin tin put them in to separate a little, and some stretchy string. Check out www.familyfun.com they have lots of game ideas for each age group. Have fun!

Get some beads and let them make their own necklaces,or little artificial flowers glued to hair clips or elastics. Then you could always incorporate food into an activity. Have them tops their own pizzas. Also, there is a game called Girl Talk. The latest version is Hannah Montana. Anyway, it is interactive and a good way to incorporate pillow talk (which the girls not staying for may appreciate feeling part of). It's a good way to have pillow talk and keeping it safe so girls don't end up with hurt feelings.

A few activities my daughter enjoyed with her friends at that age were: making custom hair ties or bracelets, fabric painting or tie dying t-shirts, and taking polaroid pictures & creating party favors or scrap book pages with them. I don't know about the toy stores in your town but my local store has many fun craft kits that are great for small parties. (Of course, at that age most kids are happy just to have a movie, desserts, and a gift bag!) Have fun! :-)

My daughter is turning 6 this year so I don't know if this idea will be a little young for your daughter or not. I am going to have a clue hunt - giving them one clue to start them off, which will lead them to the location of another clue in the house and so on until the eventually find the treasure. when I was young, the treasure was the cake (hidden in the oven, lol) but I have chosen my daughter's treasure to be an art project. She only has a few friends coming to I was going to buy little ceramic piggy banks for them to paint but if you just take a stroll through any craft aisle I'm sure you can find somehting that your girls will enjoy. Have a fun party!!

Bingo is always fun!


I have had a few slumber parties for my girls. What we have done in the past is some kind of themed art project. We watched High School Musical 2 and did the dance moves along with the movie. You can send them on a scavenger hunt around the house and yard. You can even do hair and make up with the girls that are leaving so that they can go home all made up. Then when some of the girls go home, the rest can have popcorn and watch a couple of movies as they slowly drift off to sleep.


Hi, L., I think that it's fun to make cookies that they can decorate and then bring home! Also, if you're into it, a really fun thing to do is make your own pizza dough, and get all the fixings (sauce, cheese, meat, vegies) and let everyone get a little hunk of dough, stretch it out, and then add the fixings that they like. I have a pizza stone in my oven, but if you don't, then any cookie pan will probably work. The only thing is that not all the pizzas can get get baked at the same time (oh well). Also, kudos on raising the grandchildren. I also am in that situation. 42 years old, raising a 3 and a 2 year old granddaughters. What makes is (fun, strange, weird) is that my youngest child is 1 year old. So my granddaughters uncle is younger than they are!

Flashlights are always a hit with my kids, especially if it is dark outside and they can be in the backyard with freinds. A good old fashioned game of tag is always popular.

L.: it's been many, many years since I've had a sleepover for my daughter, but here are a few suggestions that went over well: purchase plain head visors (the ones that keep the sun out of your eye) in bright colors, purchase rhinetones and glue, have the girls make their own creation out of the rhinestones on their visors; you can buy everything at Michael's Arts and Crafts. This keeps them busy and creative at the same time. You can buy a couple of bottles of glitter, if you dare, glitter can get messy. You can buy an inexpensive large tarp and lay it out in the patio or in a large room and have them work on top of the tarp. Take pictures of each of girls individually, or as a group, and you can send them home with their own creations and send them copies of the picture with a "thank you" note on back of the pic.

Have CD's of the hottest songs 8 year olds love to sing and have them perform individually or as groups. Girls can be such hams. Have little prizes for the best performances. Play musical chairs, an oldie but a goodie. Give a prize to the winner. Good luck and have fun!!!

We have found that those that get to sleep over get to watch a movie and eat popcorn and stay up late.
I would suggest to do a nail party for all the girls. They will love to have manicures and/or pedicures. Have some old fashioned games like duck duck goose, Pin the tail or crown on the head, drop clothes pins into a jar from a chair( it is harder then it seems).
My suggestion is to let the girls have fun. Play music, relax (yeah right) and enjoy the laughter.

Hi - one cheap/easy game is make teams of 3-4 girls, have one be the model and the others make a "gown" or costume using only toilet paper and dress the model. Give them 5 min to do this and then judge the best gown. A little prize to the winning team. Lots of giggles, easy fun.
Face painting to each other would also be another party activity. Use either regular water colors or Halloween type grease/makeup crayons. Just have lots of cold cream available if you use the grease crayons. Have fun!

Try going to a craft store and buying beads in bulk that they can make their own bracelets, necklaces, etc with. Always a hit with my girls (now 24, 21, 19 & 18)

Hello L.,
I'm so glad you asked this question before i had a chance too! My daughter will also be turning 8yrs old in May and we are having our 1st "Birthday Party" sleepover and i was thinking the same thing, so im just responding to say THANK YOU because this has giving me some great ideas for Emani's sleepover. Although i have more planning time then you do I hope your sleepover will be great:-) Just an heads up our theme is "Cheetah Girls" so of course the nails, hair, movie is already our plan A,BandC. Again I thank you even though you were here for the help you helped me a ton.


Hi L.,

Any craft store should sell canvas bags/purses etc. Get a whole bunch of beads,paint and accessories so that they can all decorate their own purse/bag. Girls love it! Good luck and hope that your daughter has a really fun party.


With 2 daughters we have had numberous sleepovers usually all the girls sleepover. Although when my daughter had a sleepover last year we had the same situation with some kids staying over night and some going home at bedtime. One thing I did was buy the materials at Michaels for foam picture frames with decorations. When all the kids had arrived we took a picture of them in PJs all together. We have a color printer, it doesn't print pictures well but it worked enough that you could see all the girls and printed a picture for each girl. We then let them decorate it to take home. That way they all had something to remember the party. The girls all love to dance. Just make a space turn on some music and let them dance and sing. You can make it a contest or game, but the girls at our party just wanted to dance. I left party food on the table so the could eat whenever they wanted. When the bedtime girls left we put on a movie, laid out a blanket, and made popcorn. The rest of the girls watched the movie, giggled and played until they finally went to sleep. One thing to remember to make it run smooth is to not give all activities at one. Let them start on one or two, like nails and hair and when they start to get too wild or arguing introduce the dancing, or food , or craft. Sometimes they don't go through all the activities and sometimes you will. A year later when I see some of the girls they still say they have their picturees and ask when the next sleepover will be. Good luck and be prepared for lots of giggling and laughing.

Create a quick scavenger hunt and hide the goodie party favors around your house and yard. Type out 5 clues and send them searching for fun.

We used to play this at evry party:

get a big dish/flat plate and place random objects on it, say 10 maybe 15. Give them 1 minute to look over the items and then cover them up, see how many the girls can write down.

Quater between the knees and walk about 7-10 feet and try to drop it into a wide mouth jar, sure to have laughs.

Good luck, hope these help.


Hello L.-
I suggest you visits the following wedsite for resources to figure out what activities you can do.







They have been very helpful to me. Also three other sugestions are:
Kareoke is usually a huge hit.
Hannah Montana & Highschool Musical are great sound tracks.

Hope this helps.

We did a slumber party for my twins 7th birthday. I don't think I'll do it again beucase they wouldn't go to sleep, but the rest of the party was lots of fun. We ate pizza and made our own sundaes. I scooped the ice cream for them into paper bowls, and got all kinds of toppings and they had a blast. We played twister, ate popcorn and watched a movie. good luck.

You could start the hair and nail stuff early - I don't know if you're against makeup (only for the party!) that young but of course they would like that kind of thing as well. (I remember when my daughter was about that age she had a party and they ended up putting makeup on my husband).
Over the years I have found that you really don't have to do a ton of planning if it's stressing you out too much, just the fact of them being all together having a party usually turns out to be party enough. Now my kids parties are planned at a moment's notice with little fuss -- I used to hire pirates and clowns and things.
How about music, karaoke is fun at that age, musical chairs and pinatas are always party favorites.

How about a karoke machine ? My daughter has an inexpensive one that we purchased at Target. At her slumber party they had thier own "American Idol" type sing off....Even the girls who were a lil embarased had a great time. My daughter would start to sing "silly" with them and then everyone seemed to relax & have fun. I also know they have an American Idol version for PS2 & those types of game consoles.
Include in the makeup & hair thing some outrageous dress up clothes. Maybe some of the other mom's might have things you can barrow along with maybe some thrift store clothes...A couple feather boa's, some high shoes..they could dress up like thier favortite singer "HANNAH MONTANA" style....maybe a couple silly wigs. If you barrow or get stuff from thrift stores it's not too expensive. Then they could have a sing off...give prize's to all the girls so they really feel like winners. You can have catagories like "silly-est song",best dress up,etc. if you have enough catagories everyone wins!!!!
My daughters was similar to this but I wish I had thought of prize's....
Good Luck....Have Fun....
Are you really raising your grandkids too? I just found out I will be a grandma by the end of the year....lil scared let me tell ya.....

A pinata is fun. You can stuff it with healthful treats, a little candy, and soft toys (balloons, cute hair ties stickers, temporary tatoos, etc. After we broke the pinata the children scrambled to pick everything up and put it in a huge bucket. Then we divided it up equally. Each girl can have a small paper bags that she decorated with stickers, marker pens, etc prior to the pinata. Have a great day!


I have a nine year old boy and at this age they like the svanger hunts around the neighborhood. Also nails,pedicure are always fun as well as karokee. Hve fun!

Lee M

My neighbor just shared a great idea for a slumber party activity. She bought some inexpensive pillow cases and will have the girls decorate them with fabric makers. She had each girl's name embroidered on thei case, but I think it would be fun even without that.

Any type of crafts that girls can do is the way to go. Not only will they have fun making their own jewelery, t-shirts, or window charms, they will have a memento of the fantastic party they went to. Also board games are always fun or the Scene-It collection, where you answer questions from a movie.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

great my 8 year old had the best slumber now im all into this she want more!!!!!

Hi! For my daughters first sleep over party, we made sock monkeys, decorated cardboard frames (for a picture of the party gang), and decorated cupcakes. Lots of fun and everybody got to take something home that they had made themselves, as well as the keepsake of a group photo of the occasion.

Good luck!
Party On...

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