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Sleepover, slumber party or pajama party, whatever you call it, it's always a blast! Sleepover invitations are great to give all the party details - what to bring - what you'll do - what time to pickup the kids.

A word that conjures hours of games, giggles and late-night movies to children, but mostly worrisome questions for parents. Is my child old enough? Is a sleepover safe? Will anyone sleep? If I host, what do I need to know first? Thankfully, Circle of Moms members who are old hands at sleepovers have shared plenty of tips for first-timers.

What's the right age to start sleepovers? “ It depends on their maturity ," says Barbara S. "My daughter has been sleeping over since she was 6 but my boys ages 5 and 6 are not ready to sleep over at their friend’s houses yet.” While many Circle of Moms members started letting their children attend sleepovers at around the ages of 6 to 8, several moms shared that their children started sleeping over at the houses of close family friends as young as age 4.

It seems like a given, but it's worth saying: Make sure you know and trust the parents hosting the sleepover. As Tish T. shares: “At 10, we still don't sleepover somewhere unless I know everyone and have all the info on what is going to go on....a little protective, maybe. I would rather err on the side of caution .” Allie M. expresses a similar view: "You have to step back for a moment and look at where your child wants to sleep, do you trust this family, do they do things that you mirror yourself...would you worry about what is being talked about? How do the parents treat their children?"

If you're the parent hosting, be prepared to tell other parents the full plan for the evening. Circle of Moms members also advise getting parents' mobile numbers in case of emergencies and checking whether any of the guests are sleepover newbies. As Meredith T. advises: “ Find out if the other ones have had sleepovers or not …my 10 year-old had a sleepover party and we had to deliver a 10 year-old child home because she wanted her own bed.”

While some parents believe coed sleepovers are fine for very young children, most argue that both boys and girls just shouldn't be sleeping over together. As Tracy H. shared: "Co-ed sleep overs are inappropriate...even at young ages." For a little girl's birthday, she suggests inviting "all friends for the party, then have the boys leave at night ."

When you're hosting your first sleepover, keep it small. “I would underestimate how many you can handle ,” cautions Jen G. “Six little girls doesn't sound so bad in broad daylight, but when they are wide awake at midnight that's a LOT.”

Carol C. agrees: “All I can say is, think small ! Three friends would be the max I would consider for sleeping over. One is easy, two is tough because they can easily exclude the third person. Three is probably good to feel like a party.”

Wondering how much you should be around to help lead games and crafts? Many Circle of Moms members suggest letting your child's wishes guide you. As Sharron S. explained: "Give them enough space to where they feel they are in control, with your daughter being the ‘leader’ so to speak. You should ask her if she wants you to be involved or if she wants to take charge herself.” Donna H. concurs: “Your daughter probably has some expectation of what she wants."

Sleepover , noun: Also known as a "slumber party" in some locales, if multiple participants are included. A social gathering intended to entertain and promote interpersonal bonding among those involved. Primarily enjoyed by children and teens; greatly feared by many adults. Somewhat of a contradiction in terms, as very little sleep actually occurs during the event.

For the uninitiated parent, it's downright intimidating to have other people's children to entertain, feed, put to bed (good luck with that), and wake up to the next morning. The successful slumber-party organizer will anticipate multiple challenges and be well prepared to face the highly energetic participants. Should you decide to accept this mission, here's what you'll need to know:

First, decide if this will be a one-on-one sleepover or a team event. Can your child entertain several guests over an extended time period? If he still struggles during singleton playdates, delay the group challenge a bit longer. Start with just one guest. Later, advance to three invitees, which is plenty tough. Especially brave parents can slowly work their way up to eight to ten children. Aim for an even number of participants for team activities and to prevent the "odd kid out" syndrome. Ideally, sleepover guests will be comfortable staying away from home overnight, which may occur as early as age 6 but more commonly around age 8 or 9.

If possible, invite children for sleepovers only after observing their behavior at a daytime playdate, says Adam Nelson, a Richmond, VA, dad of two daughters and a slumber-party veteran. "If a child is a 'wild one' on a playdate, she will likely be wild at a sleepover, too," he notes.

Saturdays are considered the prime night for sleepovers, as young guests may have engaged in tiring sporting events earlier in the day (thus promoting the possibility of actual sleep). However, also consider Friday night: Challengers will be worn-out from a full day of school (another aid to sleep) and will have both Saturday and Sunday to recover from the overnight event. Plus, churchgoing families may require their kids to attend religious services earlyish on Sunday morning—thus thwarting plans for later wakeup (yours and theirs).

Warn other family members of the impending event and arm them well. Rent special movies for siblings or corral a close friend to take them on an outing for a portion of the big night. Do not even think of having your partner take them out; you will need all hands on deck at home. Later in the evening, consider special dispensation for younger children to "sleep over" in your bedroom (on the floor in sleeping bags) if they feel left out of the action. Best bet: Just get 'em outta the way. Ask a relative to take younger siblings for a sleepover of their own so they're completely removed from the scene. At least some family members may get a bit of sleep.

Less-than-healthy snacks are expected and encouraged at sleepovers. Offer easy-to-vacuum-up foods like popcorn, chips, and pretzels. If you must, round out your snack bar with fruit and cheese cubes (but don't expect anyone to actually eat them). The next morning, you may have visions of a hearty pancake or omelet breakfast they'll go home bragging about, but trust us: You're just going to want to get them out the door. Stick to the quick stuff—cereal, muffins, bagels, frozen waffles—served on paper plates, of course.

If you've got a group, post the "house rules" on paper in clear, friendly (but firm) language for the kids to read, suggests mom Penny Warner of Danville, CA, the author of Slumber Parties: 25 Fun-Filled Party Themes . (If you're hosting only a friend or two, however, a verbal rundown is probably enough.) Some good guidelines:

Maybe this makes me a bad parent, but I hate those parties. As we’re driving to them, I always have an internal debate on how short a time I can get away with staying. Two hours? One hour? I’m not above bribing the girl to get her to leave early.

When you send an invite for an adult party, you never get 100% acceptance. But what didn’t dawn on us before sending the invite was this: we were offering up a FREE NIGHT OF BABYSITTING. Of course everyone was going to accept.

She didn’t like the movie Brave , she didn’t want strawberry cupcakes (which happened to be the best I’ve ever tasted), the wood floor was too slippery, she didn’t like the dress she was wearing, someone called her a crybaby (imagine my shock), she didn’t want to go to bed, she wanted to sleep next to so-and-so but still wanted to be in the middle of the bed – and on and on and on .

A handful of the girls got a kick out of running up and down our stairs. I kept an eye on them every now and then to make sure everyone had mastered the art of stairs, and they seemed fine. But as the night went on, their crazy meter spiked.

At one point, I was standing at the top of the stairs, watching a procession of girls run down the stairs. One particularly rambunctious girl lost her footing and started tumbling head first down the stairs.

Picture me, 7 months pregnant , standing at the top of the stairs, trying to maneuver a cheap baby gate closed. You know, one of those baby gates that won’t close until you pull it out from the wall, and then it closes perfectly – but the minute you put it back in position, it gets stuck with the bar halfway up.

So just as she’s starting to head down the stairs after the baby gate, I pick her up under her armpits and carry her to the next room – even though I’m not exactly supposed to be dead-lifting 40 lbs at the moment.

Here’s what hit me later, after the adrenaline dissipated: Generally, kids listen to direct requests from adults they don’t know very well – even BETTER than when they’re with their parents. This wasn’t the first instance that night that Drusilla disobeyed a direct, clear order. If she didn’t listen to us at all, I hope that doesn’t mean she NEVER listens to her parents.


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Age
Make sure your child is old enough to handle a slumber party before agreeing to host one. Sleepovers are most popular for kids eight to 14. If your child is younger than eight, she and her friends may not be ready to spend the night away from home. One mom whose first-grader desperately wanted a sleepover hosted a pajama party instead; all the guests came in their PJs, played games, and were picked up by 8 p.m.! When you do decide that your child is ready, keep the guest list short at your first slumber party so the guests don't get overwhelmed. Two or three guests are enough the first time; sleepover veterans can handle more.

Timing
It's best to have parents drop guests off late in the day. If kids spend too much time together, they may start bickering. While many slumber parties include dinner, you can certainly ask guests to show up for dessert instead. Be sure also to arrange a specific pick-up time the next morning to avoid having parents drop in throughout the day.

Activities
Although most preteens will keep themselves entertained, it's a good idea to plan a few activities. Some parents like to do one major activity outside the home such as going to the movies, bowling or swimming. Not only does this add structure to the event, it should also make guests tired enough that they actually sleep!

Crafts
Crafts aren't a requirement, but you can certainly incorporate them if your child and his friends enjoy making things. Consider buying inexpensive pillow cases and letting the kids decorate them with fabric pens for a super slumber souvenir. (Slip a piece of cardboard inside when decorating to keep the ink from seeping through to the other side.)

Food
Junk food at slumber parties is a time-honored tradition, but don't go overboard. It's fine to have some chips, and birthday cake is a must — but supplement these with fruits or a veggie platter so you don't end up with a party full of tummy aches. Offer bottled water or juice instead of soda with caffeine or you'll never get to sleep. Slumber party guests are old enough to make their own food so consider planning a kitchen activity. Make-your-own-bars (pizza, tacos, sundaes) work well for this age group.

Rules
If you're clear about the rules (no leaving the house, no crank calls, no unsupervised cooking) from the outset, you should be able to remain behind the scenes (there if needed, but not hovering).

There’s still time- CANCEL THIS PARTY RIGHT NOW if your child is under the age of 10 years old. I’ll be quite honest—the first half of my eight-year-old’s sleepover party was delightful, harmonious, and memorable. Sure, have the kids bring their jammies, sleeping bags, pillows, and stuffed animals. Let them eat popcorn and watch movies on the floor. But get their asses out of there before bedtime. It’s not worth it. Do not under any circumstances allow the children to “slumber” at your home.

You might think I’m awfully un-fun and anti-sleepover. Not at all! I think a one-on-one sleepover is great fun for third graders. But a party? Hell no. Save that shit for middle school, when pretty much everything sucks anyway, and spare yourself the drama and hassle.

**So what do  you  think? Am I being too negative about sleepover parties for third graders? Am I a giant, whiney wuss? When do you think kids should have sleepovers with more than one friend ? And do you have a sleepover horror story?

All I can think of is how my mom let me have them all the time. She was a saint. Their is no way I ever want to do this! At least I only have one girl and I don’t think boys really do sleepovers – do they???
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For all that is holy: I have just read this Blog twice and have laughed so hard that tears are running down my face. Here are my favorite phrases from the Blog:
“Cancel right now. You don’t need to read further.”
*Send their ass home ASAP
*They’ll be dropping like flies”
*What the everlasting F*ck have we done?

Now what is interesting is that I actually witnessed the entire party – from euphoric beginning to abysmal end. I came upstairs from my “haven” at 11 PM to find my granddaughter sitting on my daughter’s lap sobbing because everyone was “dropping like flies.” I went back to my room, texted my son for comfort, and did not fall asleep for almost two hours after, as I was so upset about my granddaughter’s sadness. So, why do I laugh, you ask? Time heals bad memories…………………

Having three girls, I’ve done the sleepover thing many times. My advice: Don’t fool yourself into thinking anyone is going to actually sleep – including you! Have some wine, yes, but also stock up on your favorite coffee for the next day!

Another idea – My hubby travels a lot for work and, therefore, accrues a lot of hotel/airline points. My December baby wanted a pool party last year, but, of course couldn’t have one outdoors in December. (Her 2 sisters are summer babies and she find this exceptionally unfair.) So, using my hubs’ points, we booked a hotel party sleepover. 2 adjoining rooms – 1 for me & 1 for them. It was great! Still no sleep, but also no clean up for me!!!!! We jumped in the pool, had pizza delivered, watched movies, etc. She wants to do it again this year!
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When you're a kid, one of the most fun and exciting things you can do is to host a sleepover. The hard part is making a plan and ironing out all the details. Once your friends arrive, as long as you have some fun ideas up your sleeve, you'll be on your way to having a fun and unforgettable night. If you want to know how to host a sleepover, see Step 1 to get started.

Has your child been asking you to host a sleep over party for some time and you’ve finally decided to have one? From having the right amount of bed linen to making sure you don’t embarrass your little one by serving celery and carrot slices for snacks, we’ve got some important tips no parent should miss:

Even though your child may protest, it’s a good idea to have only one guest over for their first slumber party. Having a large number of young children between the ages of 6-9 years old away from home for only the first or second time can end in disaster, so first, ask your child to have one person over, with the promise that if everything goes well and everyone is well behaved, they can have more friends stay over next time.

One really important thing to keep in mind is that sleep overs are all about kids having fun. So while it’s a good idea to make wholesome, healthy meals for child, when it comes to impressing friends, steamed chicken and vegies just won’t cut it. Treat your child and their guest by having pizza and ice cream. Make popcorn for them if they decide to watch a movie. Just make sure they don’t have too much sugar close to bed time otherwise they won’t sleep.

Keeping them entertained is relatively easy. After they have had some free play time in the yard or in their playroom it will be time for dinner. After dinner, you can give them some more time for free play or plan a fun activity like bracelet making before settling down for the evening to watch a movie.

Simply put, we all know that kids try to stay up at least until midnight when on a sleep over. Try to talk with your child beforehand to compromise on a suitable sleep time and double check they stick to it. Also consider where they will be sleeping. If you have a comfortable fold out bed, or blow up mattress, sheets, pillows and doona , it will be so comfortable that after all that play it will most likely be difficult for them to stay awake once their head hits the pillow!

The key to being able to host a great sleep over party for your child is reliant on the fact that you can remember yourself what it was like when you were kid, and how exciting it was to stay at your friends place overnight. That, coupled with the list of tips above should provide you with just the right amount of inspiration to ensure your child’s first every sleep over party is a real success.

Alicia DiFabio, Psy.D. is a freelance writer with a doctorate in psychology. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines, psychology journals and professional sourcebooks. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and four girl...

To sleep over or not to sleep over — that is the question. Unfortunately there is no “right answer” and opinions on the subject are varied and subjective. This leaves many parents feeling conflicted and anxious about their decision.

When my third-grade daughter received her very first invitation to a sleepover birthday party, I had no idea what to do. My long-held rule was no sleepovers until age 12. Yet I found myself wavering, debating whether to say yes since so many of her good friends were spending the night. I have since learned that many mothers allow their children to attend sleepovers, sometimes as young as age five. However, there are equally as many mothers who stand firm with their “no sleepovers” rule. Searching the internet yields no clear answers on the “best” or “most appropriate” time to say yes to a sleepover — only a wide array of strong opinions.

Parents who have misgivings about sleepover parties cite many concerns. Some fears center around the possibility of poor supervision, molestation by an older male in the home, handguns in the house and potential bullying. Other concerns are less dramatic — but probably more realistic — such as sleep deprivation or concern that your child might get homesick and upset at 2:00 a.m.

Know your child: What might be an easy night for some children might not be for others. Children who have occasional anxiety, are dependent upon routine, get shy or homesick easily or have difficulty with bedtime at home may have more challenges with spending the night away.

Knowing the hosts: One of the most critical deciding factors for many parents is how well they know the hosting family. The level of friendship between the two families involved seems to increase confidence and comfort level with the type of discipline, supervision and attentiveness that will be given to your child.

Personal values: Another factor is our own personality and parenting lens. Our sense of fear and anxiety, how we were raised, our value system and our philosophies on child-rearing all shape our parenting decisions. When it comes to sleeping over, we should neither apologize for our own decisions nor judge another person for theirs.

Some may ask, why sleep over at all? Bonds of friendship can often be strengthened during sleepover parties. Allowing your child to experience a new situation and a change in routine helps to promote flexibility and confidence. In addition, sleepovers can offer your child opportunities to enhance their social skills and gain independence which enhances self-esteem.

5/17/2014  · Manustatud video  · DisneyCarToys Sofia The First and Peppa Pig slumber party sleepover at Peppa Pig's doll house. Sofia The First brings over her "Sofia and …

6/6/2013  · Manustatud video  · In this song, Sofia is taught how to fit in to the perfect slumber party ! For more fun and games from all of your favourite shows, head over to:

 

 

 

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