Summer is just around the corner and that means sleepover season is upon us! Spending the night at a friends house is an unspoken right of passage for our youngsters. They can be scary and exciting all at the same time, but the great ones will go down in history (or at least our hearts). After the jump, pick up some tips on hosting the best sleep over ever, which will of course earn you the award of "Best Parent Ever!" Check For Allergies - If you're planning in advance, a quick phone call to parents is a great way to clear up any confusion. You don't want to plan a pizza party and have someone have a gluten allergy or do hamburgers and have a vegetarian spending the night! Also double check on latex allergies in the case there might be balloons on site!
Be Cheery - It sounds simple, but once 10, 6 year olds pour into your living room, the pressure will be on to make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible. The more friendly and care free you are, the easier it will be for a little one who might have wet the bed to come to you without being scared.
Plan Activities - Even though the thought of coordinating events or arts and crafts seems like it could be a bit over the top, it's a great way for little ones to pass the time without thinking about missing home. Keeping them wrapped up in an activity keeps their minds busy as well as their hands! It can even be something as simple as playing Chubby Bunny with several bags of marshmallows (and a camera!) or board games.
Have Supplies - Make sure to have flashlights or glow sticks on hand for little ones who might not be yet used to sleeping in a new place. Have healthy snacks and beverages that won't keep them up until all hours of the night (although they'll try anyway). Having a few towels or even an empty washing machine in case someone has an accident is a great way to be prepared.
Information Cards - When parents drop off their kids, make sure to give them a piece of paper or card with your name, phone number, morning pick up time and any other details they might need. This will save you the hassle of fielding the same questions over and over again and will give the parents peace of mind that you're prepared and ready for a fun night of giggling and scary stories! Make sure to ask if someone different will be picking them up in the morning so there is no confusion.
Create A Sleeping Space - It could be a blanket fort in the living room or your child's bedroom, but making the space where they will be sleeping ahead of time will help curb nervousness once everyone starts getting sleepy. Lay out your childs sleeping bag and pillow and ask others to do the same when they first arrive. That way they have a safe spot for their own things while they are staying.
Have Fun! - Your night could entail watching movies, braiding hair and doing makeup, or maybe you'll be having water balloon fights and ghost stories, but no matter what activities you have up your sleeve, make sure to enjoy the time you spend with your kids. Before you know it, they'll be past the sleep over age and onto the "Sleep over age" and that's a post that... well we're just not even going to go there! Don't forget to photograph the memories as they happen. Email photos to parents or send the kids home with a cd of photos that you took while they were there, it's a great way to remember how much fun everyone had!
What's your favorite sleepover tip?
Leave us a comment below and let us know!
(Image via liquidlibrary)