My second-grader was recently invited to his first sleepover birthday party. I knew he was going to have the time of his life when I dropped him off and within seconds he was tossed a football, ran off to join his buddies, and left me holding the sleeping bag, pillow and gift. The next 17 hours – from 5pm Saturday until 10am Sunday – were so “awesome” and “sweet” that my son has since been counting down the months until he can have his own sleepover birthday party.
A frequently asked question is how old a child should be for his/her first sleepover. Gerald Deskin, Ph.D., a California-based psychologist and coauthor of The Parent’s Handbook recommends answering the four questions below about your child:
- Does he ask to sleep over at a friend’s?
- Can he spend 4 hours with a friend without fighting or missing you?
- Can he get ready for bed on his own?
- Has he had successful sleepovers at a relative’s house?
If the answer is yes to all 4 questions, you can say yes to the sleepover.
Hosting a sleepover party certainly requires more prep work than the traditional 2 hour dropoff-games-gifts-cake-pickup event. The parents of my son’s friend did an amazing job and made it look effortless, so I took the following pointers for when I’m up for slumber party hosting duties.
- Keep the invitee list manageable; 6-8 guests is a good number.
- Get a contact number from each child’s parent at dropoff.
- Announce the menu in the birthday party invitation, especially if a guest has known allergies.
- Make arrangements for siblings to stay with a relative or friend, they will surely get a better night’s sleep without whispering kids in the next room.
- Allow age-appropriate movies and snacks but specify a bedtime and stick to it (knowing that it will likely be at least 1/2 hour before the kids actually sleep!)
One final note. Due to the “special” factor of a sleepover, it really isn’t necessary to worry about party themes and such. However, my son came home with the most perfect goodie bag for the event – a homemade sports-themed pillowcase filled with books. I have big shoes to fill when my son turns 9!
See our selection of fantastic birthday party invitations available at LookLoveSend.com – there’s something for all ages.