Left to their own devices, children at slumber parties tend to get tired and cranky. Keep the pace upbeat and fun by scheduling fun sleepover games and activities. Instead of planning competitive games, set the stage for silliness, enjoyment and participation with creative slumber party games. As the evening progresses, change the pace from more active games to quieter, soothing activities that help the children wind down.
Slumber party games range from traditional board games, such as Sorry, to open-ended activities, such as sing-alongs and talent shows. Older children enjoy scarier or more adventurous games, such as Flashlight Tag in the backyard, or sitting around the Ouija board, asking questions. Younger children appreciate simple games, such as Uno or Hot Potato, or open-ended activities, like building blanket forts.
Unlike traditional party games, slumber party games often feature elements of silliness or surprise. Pillow fights or clown-style makeovers fit the bill. Older children enjoy games involving music, singing or dance. In Sing Down, the leader names a topic and every player must sing a lyric of a song, pertaining to the topic. In Freeze Dance, someone plays music while everyone dances. When the music stops, everyone must freeze. In Baby I Love You, a leader tries to get players to smile by doing silly antics. The players must respond, “Baby, I love you, but you just can’t make me smile,” without smiling or laughing.
Watch children carefully as the evening progresses. Some games, like charades, tend to hold their attention longer than others. As children start arguing over rules or other trivial matters, change the pace with a cooperative activity, such as building a tower of pillows, or seeing how many balloons the group can keep up in the air at one time. In general, slumber party games run from 15 to 20 minutes.
Integrate cooking games and activities into your slumber party for delicious fun. Have children build towers with whipped cream and cookies, or decorate cupcakes with crushed cookies, miniature marshmallows and gummy worms. Other simple cooking activities include making individual bagel pizzas and roasting marshmallows for s’mores.
As your sleepover party guests tire, they may get more hyperactive. Rather than wait for children to pass out, try a calming game such as Operator, in which children whisper a message around a circle and report the final message to the group. Dramatic play, such as dress-up and storytelling, also mellows children.
- cupcakes image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com