Sleepovers are great, fun social opportunities for your kids to get their little tribe together. Getting the kids together is the easy part, but you’ll need some cool sleepover ideas to keep everyone occupied.
So . . .what can you do at a sleepover at night?
What do 13 year olds do at sleepovers?
And, is it different from what do 10 year olds do at sleepovers?
(And, what age is appropriate for a slumber party?)
Sleepover activities are important for your slumber party because it keeps the kids from getting into trouble and keeps them occupied until they’re ready to pass out!
But, before we get to the fantastic list of sleepover ideas and themes . . .
What is the difference between a sleepover and slumber party?
Sleepovers / slumber parties are also sometimes called a pajama party. A sleepover is anytime your child has anyone spend the night. A slumber party is when your child has more than one person spend the night. However, sleepover and slumber party are often used interchangeably for people sleeping over at another person’s house.
DON’T MISS THE AWESOME SLEEPOVER FOOD IDEAS LATER IN THE POST!
SO . . .
How do you plan a pajama party?
- Pick a date.
- Decide on a theme. (Get your kids involved on the theme!)
- Make a list of games your kid wants to play.
- Decide on the number of kids and who is invited. (Keep it to 10 or below to save your sanity.)
- Create the food menu.
- Make invites. (Don’t forget to put exactly what’s happening–like will they get breakfast–and what they need to bring–like sleeping bags.)
- Ask about food allergies.
- Be clear about the slumber party rules. (No mobile phones during certain hours, etc.)
- Make sure parents have direct contact numbers for you.
- Verify day after pick-up time with parents.
- Have “extras” in case someone forgets something—extra blankets, pillows, toothbrushes, etc.
- Get lots of rest the day before (and go lean on the sugar for the kids so they don’t crash the day of the party!).
What time should slumber party start?
Start your sleepover later, anytime between 5-7 p.m. (depending on if you want to feed them dinner or not). You definitely want to start past lunch so that you don’t have to feed a bunch of hungry kids two meals (lunch and dinner), snacks, and then breakfast the next morning. On the invitation, be clear about what time pick-up is the next morning. We usually do 11 a.m. because that gives the kids a little time to sleep in, wake up, eat breakfast, and get their stuff together.
Always put an end time on your sleepover invitations! If you don’t, you’ll find yourself with kids still hanging around at 4 p.m. the following day!
Time may seem like a silly bit of information to include, but it’s easy to forget . . . until you’re in the middle of a bunch of 10-year-olds and you realize you have 14 more hours of this to go!
Ready for the party stuff?
Here are great sleepover ideas that can be adapted for your group’s age.
These are fun summer sleepover ideas (or pajama party themes for any time or reason)!
We even got creative with pajama party theme names that your guests will enjoying seeing on the invitations.
DON’T MISS THE SLEEPOVER FOOD AND SLEEPOVER GAME IDEAS AFTER THIS SECTION!
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14 Creative Sleepover Ideas for Kids
Sleepover Ideas #1: Trampoline Tent Takeover
This is one of my FAVORITE ideas because, until recently, I had NO IDEA that you could get trampoline tents!
If you have a trampoline, then you MUST transform it into a Trampoline Tent Takeover Sleepover—especially if you are thinking of doing a backyard campout sleepover.
I also like this idea because it gets the kids up and off the damp (possibly cold) ground
The tents are measured by size (and sometimes type) of trampoline, so be sure that you order the one that fits your specific trampoline!
You can also do some fun camping-like things for this sleepover like campfire, campfire stories, hotdogs, and s’mores.
Check out our S’more Bar idea later in the post!
Sleepover Ideas #2: Indoor Blanket Fort
If you can’t (or don’t want) to do the outdoor trampoline tent slumber party, then how about an indoor blanket fort sleepover?
The best part about this sleepover is that the kids get to build the fort together (which is part of the fun)!
You can use blankets, sheets, cushions, and chairs that you have at home OR you can grab a fun blanket fort kit!
It’s up to you (just don’t micromanage!).
Try these for your blanket fort sleepover:
If you want to skip the blankets, you can do this amazing 30-second inflatable air fort!
Sleepover Ideas #3: Sleepy TeePee
A teepee tent is a fun sleepover theme because I have not yet met one kid who didn’t love a teepee tent when they saw one!
Fill it with blankets and pillows and they’re ready to go for the pajama party fun!
Because of the size of the teepee tents, these work best for small sleepovers (two kids per teepee).
And, don’t forget to get the teepee tent twinkle lights!
Not only do they look cool, but they will help if little ones are afraid of the dark.
Sleepover Ideas #4: Movie-ZZZZZZZ (Movie Night)
(Sorry, I tried to do something with movie and ZZZZZ for sleep and that’s the best I could do . . .)
A movie night sleepover is awesome because it naturally lends itself to a slumber party theme—chilling out with sleeping bags in front of the TV, watching movies, and then falling asleep.
However, it doesn’t have to be boring. You can spice up your Movie-ZZZZ Sleepover (I should just stop with that, right?) with:
- Movie selfie wall
- Movie night party supplies (like theme napkins, plates, etc.)
- Movie reel cupcake/appetizer holder
You can ask everyone to dress as their favorite movie star or movie character and use a red carpet runner for a “Red Carpet” photo experience!
You’ll also need some great family-friendly movies!
Don’t be afraid to go old-school for some movies the kids may not have seen!
- Lego Movie 1 and Lego Movie 2
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Mary Poppins
- Honey I Shrunk the Kids
- The Secret Life of Pets
Don’t miss our Popcorn Bar idea later in this post!
Sleepover Ideas #5: Dance and Doze
Who doesn’t love a good dance party?
(I know we do!)
A couple of years ago we transformed our little home classroom area into a Dance Party Rave Sleepover and it was a HUGE hit.
It tired all the kids out so that when it was time for sleeping they conked out ASAP!
Here’s what we did:
We let our daughter pick out a music playlist and played that.
And, we also kept the room dark, turned on a disco ball, and let them dance away with light-up rings, finger lights, glasses, and glow sticks, glow bracelets, and glow balloons.
(The light up balloons were a huge hit, so don’t forget those. We didn’t put helium in them. We just put them all over the floor in the “dance room” and they had a blast!)
Here’s what we used for our dance party sleepover theme:
- Metallic curtain backdrop
- Dance hanging decorations
- Light-up wearables (a MUST for dancing in the dark!)
- Light-up balloons
- Disco ball light (we got this one and had a lot of fun with it!)
- Light-up glow rings
Sleepover Ideas #6: Rock-n-Rest
If you don’t want to do a whole dance rave sleepover but still want to stick with a rock (or music) theme, do a Rock-n-Rest Sleepover.
For this sleepover theme you center everything around rocking out—starting with a karaoke machine!
Here’s what you need for a Rock-n-Rest Sleepover:
- Karaoke machine (with microphones)
- Music CDs or playlist (check your karaoke machine requirements)
- Rock-n-roll decorations
- Inflatable rock star pack
- Rock record streamers
- Music notes supplies
- Music note balloons
- And these for yourself… (wink)
Sleepover Ideas #7: Slime & Slumber
Alright, you knew it was coming: A SLIME SLEEPOVER.
I mean, slime is THE THING for kids right now, so how could we leave it out?
(And, it makes a fun, hands-on sleepover theme!)
For your party, you can set up a slime make-n-play station with different kinds and types of slime (and floam!) and let them slime out until their little hearts (and hands) are exhausted.
The key to a successful slime party is to have a range of different colors and accessories (dude. yes. slime has accessories.) that the kids can add to the slime.
(Bonus parent points if you go for a couple of different slime types/recipes and kits!)
Here’s what you’ll need for a slime slumber party:
- Plastic table cover (I like the roll because you can customize it to fit your needs and easily roll out more if you need it.)
- Hand wipes
- Paper plates (for containing the mess)
- Plastic jars with lids
- Craft sticks
- Slime ingredients (see recipe below)
- Slime accessories
- Unicorn Slime Kit
- Crunchy Slime Kit
- 1 gallon of school glue (white or clear)
- Elmer’s Magical Liquid
- Craft sticks
- Plastic jars with lids
- Craft glitter (we like this set because they’re glitter shakers, which can cut down on total glitter explosion)
- Food Coloring
- Measure and pour 4 ounces of glue into each 8 ounce plastic jar.
- Let your party goers add the glitter and food coloring they want to their jars.
- Stir with craft sticks.
- Add 1/4 cup of Elmer’s Magical Liquid to the glue in each jar. (This is what “activates” the glue into slime.) DON’T ADD THE ACTIVATOR UNTIL THEY’VE ADDED THE FOOD COLORING AND GLITTER!
Sleepover Ideas #8: Snooze You Lose (Game Night)
Game nights are such a fun (and affordable!) slumber party theme because you can use the games you already have on hand.
Also, the kids can float between games and eliminates the chance of getting bored.
If you need board game ideas, check out our three part board game series recommended by 42 parents. Start with Part 1 here.
If you want to kick up your board game night a notch, have a dress up board game party. (We have a CLUE game dress up party in our future, I’m sure of it.)
Here’s what you’ll need for a game night sleepover party:
- Group board games (be sure to have games that meet the number of your guests)
- Board game table cloth
- Monopoly Welcome Poster
- Monopoly cut-out decorations
- Big foam dice
- Scrabble tiles (for crafts, decorations or game play)
- Super jumbo playing cards
Sleepover Ideas #9: Craft & Crash
If you have a crafty kid, then a Crafts & Crash sleepover theme is perfect for your family!
With this slumber party, you create different craft stations that the kid can move between during the party.
You can decide if you want a theme (like unicorns) or you just want to do a bunch of different kinds of crafts.
Here are some fun craft party ideas for groups:
- DIY craft party hats
- Mini sand art
- Rainbow scratch animals or dinosaurs
- Mini art sets (and these cute mini easels for tiny art creation!)
- Slime craft kit
- DIY bracelets
Sleepover Ideas #10: Pizza & PJs
Pizza and PJs is a fun pajama party them, especially if you have a kids who loves to cook.
The key to a fun Pizza and PJs slumber party is the DIY pizza time.
Give the kids an assortment of toppings and sauce and let them create their own pizza.
Also, don’t forget to provide things for dessert pizzas as well as traditional pizzas!
Then, have movie time while they eat their pizza creations.
Here are fun items for a Pizza & PJs sleepover:
- Chef hats
- Kids’ aprons
- Pizza tablecloth
- Pizza party banner
- Pizza party photo props
- Pizza balloons
- Pizza plates and napkins
- Gummy pizza packs
Sleepover Ideas #11: Sleeping Beauty Sleepover
Sleeping Beauty is a fantastic sleepover party theme (for obvious reasons).
You can make this is a princess spa treatment and movie-watching party!
Here are Sleeping Beauty Sleepover ideas:
- Sleeping Beauty movie
- DIY decorate sleep masks
- Spa favors party pack
- DIY princess tiara craft kits
- Orbeez Soothing Spa (these are super popular—at least that’s what my kid says!) with extra water beads
- Create your own spa (bath soap, lotions, lip balms, etc.)
- Sleepover Party board game
If you’re doing this pajama party theme, you’ll definitely also want to include a nice sleeping beauty slumber area.
Sleepover Ideas #12: Fiesta and Siesta
Fiesta means a celebration and siesta means rest or nap.
So, a Fiesta and Siesta theme means they party then sleep!
If your kid loves holidays like Cinco de Mayo or studying Mexico (or Taco Tuesday!), then this is the slumber party for him or her!
And, it is a fun and unique theme that you don’t see often as a pajama party theme (plus, TACO. BAR.).
For the fiesta part of the Fiesta and Siesta theme:
- Nacho and / or Taco Bar (see ideas under the Sleepover Food section below)
- Fiesta party backdrop for pics
- Papel Picado Banner
- Fiesta decorations
- Sombrero headbands and sombrero party hats
- Mexican serape table runner
- Inflatable sombrero for waters and other drinks
- Light-up cactus
- Taco pinata
Sleepover Ideas #13: Safari and Slumber
This is a fun outdoor activity, especially if you have younger kids and you want to burn off some energy before bedtime.
You can take them on a short hike at a nearby park or even create a backyard safari experience.
ALSO CHECK OUT:
And, if the weather fails you, don’t worry! Just move it indoors. The kids will have just as much fun! (And you’ll have an excuse to use these awesome hanging vines for decorations!)
For Safari and Slumber, you’ll need:
- Safari jungle photo prop
- Safari hats
- Safari table covering
- Animal masks
- These so you can make a nature craft
- Animal bubbles
- Safari animal favor bags
- Safari favor set
Sleepover Ideas #14: Scrap-n-Sleep
Scrapbooking is a fun sleepover idea because it’s crafty and kids can personalize something great that they get to take home at the end.
Just have each kid bring 3-5 pictures with them and then you provide all the scrapbooking items!
For a Scrap-n-Sleep theme, you need:
- Affordable pack of blank “scrapbooks”
- Fun puffy stickers
- Crafting scissors
- Fun card stock
- Glue sticks
- Regular markers (make sure they are finer tipped so they don’t bleed through pages) and glitter markers
Now that you have some sleepover ideas and themes, let’s take a look at sleepover game ideas if you need something more for your party . . .
Sleepover Games: Preschool
When having a preschool age sleepover (bless you), you want to keep the games simple.
Try games like:
- Balloon toss (or water balloon toss outside!)
- Pin the tail on (whatever your theme is)
Sleepover Games: Tweens
- Exploding Kittens (Trust me on this one, every time a group of tweens get together at my house this is one of the first games they play!)
- The Sleepover Party Game
- Googly Eyes
- Capture the Flag GLOW IN THE DARK version (WAY!)
Sleepover Games: Teens
We’ve also had a lot of fun with these group games that any age ranges can play (yes, even teens at our house have had fun with these!):
Sleepover Food Ideas
We have some bad news: You’re going to have to feed the kids at the slumber party.
And, we probably don’t have to tell you that kids can eat A. LOT.
One of the best ways you can provide food at a sleepover is to make a food bar where they can make their own creations!
Here are our favorite sleepover food ideas:
If you want to go light on dinner (like order pizza in) and then focus on breakfast, go big with a breakfast bar.
You can include:
- Bagels and toppings
- Scrambled eggs
- Pancakes and syrup
- Fresh fruit
- Milk (including things to make chocolate milk)
Cereal and Yogurt Bar
If you want to go for a lighter breakfast, do a cereal and yogurt bar with:
- Different cereal offerings
- Fruit toppings
- Regular milk, soy milk, and almond milk
Nacho and/or Taco Bar
For a nacho or taco bar you’ll need:
- Tortilla chips
- Soft and hard taco shells
- Chicken and beef meat filling
- Shredded cheese
- Taco sauce / salsa
Hotdog Bar and/or Hamburger Bar
For a hotdog and/or hamburger bar, you’ll need:
- Buns and rolls
- Ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo
- Shredded cheese
And anything else your kids normally like on their hamburgers and hotdogs.
Also, don’t forget about sides like chips and dips!
If you’re doing the Trampoline Tent Takeover slumber party, then you HAVE to do a S’mores Bar.
(Yes, it’s a requirement.)
For a DIY S’Mores Bar you’ll need:
- Graham crackers
- Big marshmallows (Those flat, campfire marshmallows are great!)
- Different flavor marshmallows (try SmashMallow! We love them!)
- Chocolate bars (and other flavor of chocolate bars like salted caramel!)
- Marshmallow roasting sticks
Hot Chocolate Bar
A hot chocolate bar is another fun one to do, especially if your sleepover is outside or you’re having a campfire.
We like to make up real hot chocolate beforehand (not the mix) and put it in a hot drink pump dispenser.
You’ll also need:
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate chips or shavings
- Crushed graham crackers
We like to offer up a variety of toppings in different shaker jars.
If you’re doing MovieZZZZZZ night (no, I won’t let it go!), then you definitely need a popcorn bar.
For your popcorn bar you’ll need:
- Cute popcorn containers
- Popcorn maker (this is our absolute favorite and we use it often!)
- Popcorn flavorings
- Different fun items to mix in like raisins, dried cranberries, M&Ms, sprinkles, Reeses Pieces (if no nut allergies), pretzels, Goldfish crackers, mini graham crackers, chocolate chips or anything else you think sounds good with popcorn!
(Yes, creating a popcorn bar really is this easy!)
Build Your Own Sundae Bar
Ice cream sundae bars are also super fun for sleepovers.
For your sundae bar you need:
- Different flavors of ice cream
- Sundae toppings (like chocolate, caramel, strawberry)
- Whipped cream
- Fresh fruit
- Chocolate chips
- Crushed cookies
Don’t forget ice cream sundae dishes! (I love these old school ones!)
We’ve given you a ton of great sleepover ideas, so have fun with them!
Have a great sleepover theme that we forgot?
Let us know in the comments so we can add it to the list!