We all know how important it is to have quality family time together, but sometimes it’s challenging trying to decide what to do that everyone will enjoy. A family slumber party is the perfect solution! You can tailor activities to your children’s ages and preferences. You don’t have to spend a dime if you don’t want to. You don’t have to pack things up and go anywhere or deal with crowds or traffic or anything. It really couldn’t get any easier and it’s guaranteed to be fun and create memories that last a lifetime. Getting excited for an at-home adventure? Here’s how to have a family slumber party!
Step 1: Brainstorm ideas.
Present the idea to everyone in the family and ask each person to share ideas of what they’d like to do. Watch movies? Which ones? Play games? Which ones? What kind of food and snacks should you have? Where in the house should the party take place? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
You probably already have family movie nights in your home, but instead of retiring to your individual beds after the show is over, hunker down where you are. If your family room has a hide-a-bed, pull the bed out and have everyone pile on to watch and sleep together. Otherwise, make a giant family bed on a sectional or on the floor with plenty of pillows and plush (like Cloud b’s Snug Rugs and Poufs!). Enjoy your movie, or movies, with plenty of popcorn and time the viewing to end about 30-60 minutes before bed to give your children a chance to wind-down. For the last bit of time, read movie-related books together. Check your local library in advance to get a fun stack of Disney family movie readers.
The sky’s the limit with this one! Choose any theme you’d like – travel, sports, fictional characters, whatever your whole family can agree on (or schedule enough slumber parties that each family member gets to choose a theme for each one). Make theme-related decorations and snacks and find theme-related activities that would work well for a slumber party.
The Great Outdoors Indoors
Even if you aren’t a fan of real camping, pretend camping can be a blast. Choose a room in your house where you can clear a large, open space. Put up a tent or build a big fort and fill it with your sleeping bags, bedding, and pillows. Get creative with your indoor-outdoor space:
Place houseplants around the perimeter of your “campground” to create a faux-forest. Similarly, you can use relevant children’s toys as wildlife and bugs (put your child in charge of this fun task).
If you have a fireplace, you could make indoor s’mores and sit around the fire. If you don’t, make s’mores in the oven and build a faux-fire using white twinkle lights — or even a few candles. (Of course, take every safety precaution any time you have children around fire or candles!)
Set-up your sleeping space and have everyone get into jammies. Pick all of your favorite board games and decide which order you’ll play them in. Start with any that are active or silly and move your way into more thoughtful, quiet options. Then your kids won’t be all wound up right before bedtime. Play by flashlight or candlelight to make it a little more special. Bump up the fun by:
Having small prizes for game winners (or, perhaps one prize for each child at the end of the night for being good sports).
Step 2: Get prepared.
Depending on what activities and snacks you choose, you might need to make a shopping list to stock up on supplies before the big night. Depending on your family dynamics, you may want to create a “schedule of events.” For example, if your children didn’t agree on what games should be played, you could spend an hour each playing a game of their individual choosing. In advance of the evening, flip a coin to see who’s game will be played first.
Step 3: Have fun!
Move furniture, make messes (in moderation), and enjoy the memory-making! Since it’s a special night, feel free to break bedtime routines and let your children stay up a little later. Or, if you have very small children who need their routines and sleep, integrate them into the slumber party plans. If your child goes to sleep far earlier than you, consider putting him to bed in the slumber party space, sneaking away until you’re ready for bed, and then laying down next to him when you’re ready. Whatever you do, imagination, snacks, giggles, and cuddles are all required!
Have you ever done anything like this? Share your fun family slumber party ideas in the comments!