First Big Sleepover at Our House

Updated on February 14, 2011
S.P. asks from Saint Paul, MN
12 answers

My daughter is nine and half, and we are celebrating her half birthday (since we didn't celebrate her birthday) with a sleepover next week. She has invited 10 girls, between the ages of 8 and 11. They are arriving late in the afternoon (4 pm) and leaving in the late morning.
I realize I'm *WAY* behind on this, but we only recently moved into a house where she could invite people over - let alone *10* people over. So, I just can't imagine what we are going to do. Obviously, I will provide lots of food, snacks, and movies. But, what else am I supposed to do as the host mom???? If she was older, I would just plan on leaving them alone. But, they are much younger than I was when I started having sleepovers.
I googled it and got suggestions about make-up and nail polish, but that's not really who we are. I can go buy some, but it's expensive and I don't necessarily want to wear it after 11 children dug their germy little hands in it. :)
Any good ideas?!?!?!

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So What Happened?

Party is in full swing - and they are doing great. They've been playing Twister, playing dress-up (with make-up - no one has dug into the nail polish yet), and eating like crazy people. Now they are decorating t-shirts with fabric markers, and googly eyes. We have our movies picked out, too. Thank you for all the fabulous ideas!

Featured Answers



answers from Eugene on

When my dd has multi friends stay the night they like to do skits or dance routines. Sometimes she writes the skits ahead of time and they act them out, while video taping scene by scene.

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answers from New York on

I agree with putting out board and card games. You can let them alone to a point and keep checking in a few times an hour.
Also you may want to talk to your daughter ahead on some ground rules and a reasonable lights out time. I was in Girl Scouts for years (lots of overnights and camping trips) and was a camp counselor. Usually it takes around 30 minutes to an hour to get quiet after lights out so factor that in to the lights out time. At summer camp I went around to each tent and talked to all the kids at bedtime and made sure they were tucked in. In scouts we had rules about not teasing and not leaving anyone out (you might want to include no pranks). If you mention those rules (or whatever your house rules are) nicely at the beginning it may be easier to keep things fun (and the girls will have an easier time stopping it themselves if things start getting mean). It may be worth having a plan for what to do if one kid is getting disruptive. Mom was out GS leader and she said if anyone was being loud or disruptive they slept in the leader's tent. She only had to do it once in 3 years with the same troop. Anyway, what I said may apply more if you are leading a group than for a one night sleep over but I figured I'd mention it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would most likely not have them arrive so early, That's nearly 7-8 hours of waking time to entertain them. I suggest you bake cookies or cakes, try some new recipe for dinner and let them help cook it, cut up veggies or some other simple thing. Let them have fun cleaning the kitchen too.

I would do an activity that gets the whole group doing something together or in small groups. Maybe a game like Pictionary or some other game that 2 teams can compete.

If it were me I'd give more privacy. I have a baby monitor in the hallway and I can hear everything in both kids rooms on it. My daughter was coming over and causing some problems and we put cameras and baby monitors around where they wouldn't be noticed but we could have proof of her actions on the hard drive of the computer from the cameras. She was on drugs and didn't act very nice very often.

Anyway, with a baby monitor you could keep track of the conversations and discreetly intervene if talk got out of control Just by walking in and saying "How is everyone doing?" can turn the conversation around, especially if it keeps happening every few minutes if needed.



answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like the invitations are already out, but I think you will find that 10 guests is a lot. I have boys which may be different, but for sleepovers I usually limit them to no more than 5-6 guests. It can get pretty crazy! You might also want to shorten the time period for the party. Maybe have them arrive about dinner time and leave the next morning after breakfast? I planned a girl sleepover once and having a craft project went over big. Something they can bring home with them is a hit. You can find inexpensive kits and things at Michael's or another craft store. You can decorate flip flops (if you can find them this time of year) or t-shirts ($4-5 at Michael's). I usually supervise the food and get the movies going and then give them some space. I check back periodically if I hear something or just to spot check. I give them a "lights out" time, but have found I have difficulty enforcing it because I fall asleep before they do! Boys like to play video games, but that might be too many kids for that. There is always a kid or two who gets tired or wants some space so you might want to provide books or or quiet activities for that. There's also usually one or two who bounce off the walls and keep everyone else awake! Set your rules about where they can and can not have food and drinks, but expect the rules to be broken if the food and drink is left out. I learned the hard way to not leave food out if you don't want it eaten or showing up somewhere inappropriate (ground into the carpet or something.......). Once again, I'm speaking from experience with boys, maybe girls are neater. Good luck!



answers from Iowa City on

We've decorated pillowcases or night shirts (adult t-shirts) with fabric markers and that way they leave with a souvenir from the party. Get 2-3 age appropriate movies. Over-estimate the amount of food that will be consumed. At our last sleepover, we did "make your own pizzas" with home made dough and they had fun with that. Then they were hungry for snacks around 9 pm with the movie, then the movie was over, everyone was wide awake and they were hungry again! There are some fun journals/quiz books we found at the bookstore and they took turns asking each other all kinds of odd, age appropriate questions. We also found a slumber party focused mad-libs that was fun. I had the girls take pictures during the evening and then I uploaded them and had them printed and ready before the girls left. I should have come up with a little scrapbook idea for them to work on in the morning.

Our group stayed up late (1 am) and was up with the dawn around 6 am. They were tired, hungry, and a little grumpy with each other by then. I was ready for everyone to leave by 9 am, but we didn't have pick up until 10 am, so they listened to music and played Wii games. It's a lot of work, but creates so many fun memories.



answers from Minneapolis on

Having them help with food is always good, homemade mini pizzas is usually a hit and for the movie flavored microwave popcorn. Also a game that we play and my 13 year old son even enjoys and will participate is some called table topics conversation starters. The kids really get to know one another and everyone will participate. You should be able to pull up questions online too. I have a sister in college who thought this was great when we met her boyfriend for the first time! Look for the questions for kids or preteens. Also how about making /decorating pillow cases. Either have everyone bring one to decorate or pick up a bunch for them to decorate as there goodie bag since at that age goodie bags are hard! Good luck and have fun!



answers from Rochester on

I would have some fun art projects for them to complete that could double as a party favor. My DD had a sleepover last fall and we decorated flip flops. Buy some scrapbooking flowers, ribbon, bling, and a pair of cheap flip flops for each girl...and they can design their own. Or, have scrapbooking stuff on hand for them to create scrapbook pages or mini albums.



answers from Lincoln on

First you are very brave - 11 kids is well wow!

Second, if you want makeup and nail polish, go for the wet and wild line or the clearance rack. Chances are after 10 kids finish with it not much will be left anyway.

There are kits you can get at the party store or you could just let them do their hair (buy them hairspray and give them a hairdryer).

Either that or you could take your daughter to the store and let her choose a game or something that will amuse them.

Good Luck



answers from Rapid City on

I wouldn't do makeup with that age either, they put too much in their looks and needing makeup in their teen years, why start it earlier. Jewelery making would be a lot of fun at this age and it is not to expensive if you get some beads and such from a craft store or walmart. With that many girls you may have some conflicts. So you will want to keep an eye on them but not to close of an eye.



answers from Las Vegas on

Okay, not leaving them alone in the house is fine, but yes you need to give them space. Find something to do in another room. Girls are girls. nixs the makeup thing. Put some board games out in clear view, cards too. Twister, jenga, pictionary ect.. You could put some hair stuff out, curles, brushes, hair pieces. Let them be girls. They will have so much more fun without you under foot.. When they want something they will ask. Peek in on them from time to time and ask if they need anything. You will do just great. Have an asprin and a cold glass of water ready for yourself in the morning. How fun... : )



answers from Chicago on

my daughter had lots of sleepovers. our schedule usually went something like this. arrive at our house about 6. hang out till about 7 when i would have either pizza's or tacos or sloppy joes for them for dinner. then they would play games and watch movies. then bedtime. set a time ahead of time for the bedtime. it is not negotiable lol. lights out. you will have whispering and giggling etc for a good hour after that but still set the time. in the morning have breakfast and a pick up time set up. I usually said 10ish. have the girls bring their own pillows and sleeping bags or blankets. board games are good but usually only have 4 to 6 players so be prepared and have some games that they can play in teams. the nail polish thing is not bad if you go to the dollar tree or dollar general. get the cheapie 99cent stuff they will have a blast with that. nix the makeup stuff someone will always get hurt feelings about that.



answers from New York on

At this age if all the girls know each other you can kind of leave them on their own as for what they'd like to do. I suggest having some music available. They can dance or sing, whatever. Just like them hang out and be girls.

If you'd like it to be more structured, you can come up with an activity or two. Maybe a craft project or a game (Uno is good because they can all play, or set up a scavenger hunt).

Movie suggestion... narrow it down to 2 or 3 for the girls to pick from. Too many choices and they spend an hour just deciding what to watch.

If you have any house rules or specific rules, let them all know what is to be expected.

Have fun!

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