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As a mom of 10 and 12-year-olds, “slumber party” and “sleepover” are a big part of our vocabulary these days! Overnights are especially popular for birthday celebrations around this age, but they can also be held anytime just for fun – or to celebrate summer or a favorite holiday. 

Slumber Party Prep

The specifics of any sleepover will vary based on the age of the kids and the size of the group, but there are a couple of things you can ALWAYS do in advance to make hosting easier:

  1. Activity Ideas List: Even if you have some special activities planned, there’s a LOT of time to fill at a sleepover. No one wants to hear the dreaded “I’m bored”...especially not a tired parent! It’s a great idea to have a “go-to” list of activities ready that your child & their friends can refer to as needed. This list can include special activities, but should also be filled with easy things they can do on their own at any time, like board games, movies, and charades (see lots more ideas below!).
  2. House Rules Chat: Talk with your child about the house rules before the sleepover or slumber party starts. This can prevent so much frustration for both of you! For example: Are certain areas of the house off-limits, even during hide-and-seek games? What time do all electronics need to be turned off? What time is “lights out”? If they acknowledge and understand your guidelines ahead of time, things will run much more smoothly during the party.

Cute & Cozy Decor

Gather up those cozy blankets, because slumber parties are the perfect time to use ALL of ‘em! And some festive, colorful throw pillows are all you need to liven up the couch or main hangout area. String lights, glow-in-the-dark stars, and playful light-up decor are super cute for slumber parties as well.

If your party has a specific theme – such as indoor camping, spa, or movie night (3 of the top themes for slumber parties), you can definitely tailor your decorations to match that theme. It’s also perfectly fine to keep things simple, though, with piles of pillows, blankets, and some sparkly lights!

fully view of DIY movie snack stand on counter

Sleepover Snacks

No slumber party is complete without awesome SNACKS! This is one of the first things my girls always ask about, not to mention the most popular “station” at all of our sleepovers.

 I like to set out a wide variety of sweet & savory treats so the snack setup feels special and has something for everyone. Individually wrapped fun-size treats are always a hit – like REESE’S White Creme Peanut Butter Cups and HERSHEY’S Snack Size Chocolate Bars. And for fans of fruit-flavored candy, include things like JOLLY RANCHER Gummies and TWIZZLERS Twists.

For savory snacks, stick with easy, kid-friendly options like chips, crackers, and string cheese. Can’t forget the POPCORN, of course! It’s a must-have for movie time AND perfect for mixing with chocolate-y favorites like WHOPPERS Malted Milk Balls and HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Drops.

(Download my Midnight Munchies Snack Station Sign here!)

Cute DIY slumber party decor

Slumber Party Activities

I mentioned the importance of having a “go-to” list of easy slumber party activities above. (Seriously, this is such a life saver!) It’s also fun to plan one or two special activities though. Night-time-inspired games or crafts – like Sleep Mask Decorating or making Glow in the Dark Slime – are always great options. They work well at small “just for fun” sleepovers OR at larger slumber parties, regardless of theme.  

As far as the other activities go, here are some ideas to get you started on your own “go-to” list:

  • Movie Time (with specific options)
  • Play Board Games, Cards, or Video Games
  • Hide and Seek, Charades, or Heads Up
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Play Music & Dance Around
  • Make up a Dance or Funny Video
  • Do Challenges
  • Tell Spooky Stories with Flashlights
  • Snacks!
  • Watch a Competition Show (baking, singing, etc)
  • Make a Dessert or Bake Something (if age-appropriate)

(Download my slumber-party-themed Let’s Get Crafty Sign and 5x7 Activity Signs here!)

DIY slumber party activities (create your own donut toppings)

A Sweet Send-Off

After the kids wake up, treat them to a fun breakfast before they head home. Use festive plates and napkins to make it feel special. Serve tried-and-true favorites like pancakes & eggs,or let them get creative with a DIY Donut Bar! For this, you’ll need glazed or unfrosted donuts, frosting, and an assortment of toppings, including HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Chips, HEATH BITS ‘O’ BRICKLE Toffee Bits, and HERSHEY’S Cinnamon Chips

Make sure to include a variety of colors and textures in your topping options… this makes it easier for guests to get creative with their donuts. Sometimes they’re (almost) too pretty to eat!

I hope these ideas make it easier for you to host a fun-filled slumber party for any occasion. Happy celebrating! 

Jennifer Sbranti headshot
Jennifer Sbranti
Graphic Designer and Creative Events Stylist
Jennifer Sbranti
Graphic Designer and Creative Events Stylist

Jennifer Sbranti is a mom of 2 and the founder of Hostess with the Mostess (HWTM), a creative lifestyle brand established in 2006. Her graphic design work and party ideas have been featured in media outlets such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, Real Simple, and more. Through HWTM, Sbranti shares inspiring ways to *bring the fun* to special occasions and everyday moments.URLs