Sleepovers make a great party theme where all friends can come together at someone's place and have a blast all night long. Though it is great fun for the guests and the teenage host, it sure does call for a lot of work for parents who have to arrange the party to perfection!
There are certain important factors that you have to pay attention to when it comes to the arrangements; after all, you're hosting no normal party but a teen party! Remember, whatever happens in this gathering would be the talk of your kid's friends circle for the next couple of days. So, it's more about his/her reputation and image than just a normal party. No, we are not trying to scare you; it's just that being a teen isn't easy, and you would surely know that! Fret not, we have a bunch of interesting ideas to make your kid's sleepover an absolute hit.
Ideas for Planning the Perfect Slumber Party for 13 Year Olds
The one thing that most parents fail to understand, is the fact that kids these days are way more mature than the past generations. Therefore, the party would need more than just hot dogs, pizzas, and a couple of board games or movies. These days, the word 'party' sounds incomplete without the word 'theme'. It is based on a particular theme that one decides on the other components of the party―invitations, menu, setting, attire, activities, games, and so on. You may or may not choose to keep a specific theme, but make sure to include the elements that your kid and his/her friends would enjoy. For this, it is highly essential to include your son/daughter in the planning and let him/her take the final call; after all, who would understand what needs to be done better than the host? The following are some suggestions that may serve you well.
It all begins with the invitations! They sort of set the whole event in motion in a way. While there are ready-made invitations easily available in the market, and all you have to do is just fill in the details, it would be interesting to come up with something totally 'slumber-like' when it comes to crafting your very personalized invites. You can make some mini pillows, or sleeping bags, or pajamas, using old unwanted fabrics and stuff them up with cotton. Place the invitations inside these mini accessories.
What would you write? Instead of following a boring, plain-old format, you can do something offbeat. For instance, along with including the address and telephone number of the venue (extremely important information) you can also draw a map of your house. You can either do it in an old vintage style, or you can go totally techie and modern about it. An interesting addition would be to mark your door with a special sign, like how they did in the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. You don't have to scratch your door, but you can always place a temporary sign made of cardboard or paper, so that your guests identify it as 'the' place to meet.
It is the food that sets the mood, doesn't it? Ensure that you take a note of the fact if any of the children invited have any food restrictions or allergies. Also, mention in the invitation that food will be served for dinner and breakfast, the next morning. Ask your kid for tips. If pizzas are what will suffice as the main item, then that's an easy road. However, many parents have issues with their children eating outside food. In that case, you'll have to ensure that you come up with some lip-smacking menu that includes all the favorites of the group. Hot dogs, French fries, chips and dips, cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, mac and cheese, rice krispies, etc., are some of the all-time favorites.
To make the menu more 'sleepover-ish', you can make some snacks in the shape of pillows, or pajamas. You can also make some pastries and cover them up with icing that makes them look like blankets or sleeping bags. If at all there is a theme for the sleepover party, then you can decorate the food items based on that theme. It may seem like a lot of work, but considering the smiles that you see when your guests pounce on these delicious delights, it will be well worth the effort!
Activities and Games
The most crucial aspect of any slumber party is planning the activities to make the gathering worthwhile. This would depend on a number of factors including, the number of kids that are likely to come (usually 5-7 are easy to manage), whether it's an all-boys or all-girls party, or a coed gathering (yes, that happens)!
✪ For teenage girls who are very interested in makeup and beauty care, having a spa or beauty-treatment-themed party will be a great idea. You can get facial masks, lotions, scrubs, and such other beauty products which are not very expensive. Or, you can also make them at home. You can also buy some pedicure and manicure sets, nail polishes, glitters, hair clips, etc., and let the girls enjoy by trying out different looks on themselves, as well as on each other. Buy some disposable cameras so that they can capture each other's photographs after the makeover. Although, it would be wise to inform the parents about the makeover theme beforehand, as not everyone is okay with it.
✪ You can organize a fashion show by sparing some old fabrics/clothes to the girls and asking them to come up with unique outfit ideas. The host and the adults of the house can be the judge. If there are a lot of girls, they can be teamed in pairs of two, where one becomes the designer and the other is the model. A ramp walk can be arranged to give a whole fashion-event-like feel to the activity. Also arrange for some small gifts or treats for the winning team.
✪ A twist to the traditional makeover activity would be to organize a blind makeover activity. The rules are simple. Take number draws to determine the order. Number one gets to do the makeup of number two, while the former is being blindfolded, then number two does the same to number three, and so on. Sure it's going to turn out amazingly funny. This is one activity that needs to have a camera to keep the memories captured forever!
✪ Spin the Bottle, or, Truth or Dare, is one game, that adds to the excitement of a slumber party, be it for girls or boys. Let your kid decide the questions and dares in the game. Although, make it very clear to him/her that the game shouldn't involve anything unacceptable. During the game, everyone should sit in a circle and a bottle should be spun at the center. The person on which the mouth of the bottle points at, has to do some task or reveal a secret about himself/herself.
✪ Treasure hunt is perhaps one of the most popular activities among one and all, be it children or adults! You can organize it either indoors or outdoors (in the backyard), or include both indoors and outdoors. Divide the girls/boys into teams, or, let them play individually. Give them a series of clues indicating the items they need to find. This game becomes all the more fun in the night, when everyone takes hold of their flashlights in the dark and looks for things hidden outdoors.
✪ Let's include food in one of the activities. 13-year-old kids are capable enough to use the kitchen, right? Why not indulge them in some cooking activity? Ready the kitchen with some ingredients that can be used to cook some easy recipes. Let each of them―or each team―stir up their chef instincts and prepare some delicious dishes. Again, if you wish, all the dishes can be judged by you and the winning team/person gets the title of 'The Sleepover Master Chef'!
✪ Another exciting game to play would be 'The Secret Index Card'. Every kid should write a secret about himself/herself in a piece of paper without writing his/her name. These papers should be put in a bowl or hat and, each one should take turns and read them out. While one person reads, the others should guess who the secret belongs to. This game will surely be a hit among teenagers. However, it will be all the more enjoyable when there are many guests (at least more than 8-10), rather than a small group.
✪ One of the best sleepover activity for thirteen-year-old boys would be to arrange a campfire at your backyard. Here, they can have fun activities such as mimicking their favorite stars, playing dumb charades, and even telling each other ghost stories and jokes. Also, remember that no campfire is complete without campfire food including roasted marshmallows, finger fries, hot dogs, etc. As boys love to indulge in sports, you can arrange for games such as soccer, basketball, bike racing, scavenger hunt, etc., for the first half of the sleepover party, before they have the indoor party.
The Final Say
The one thing about organizing such parties is that no matter how minimal the efforts be, they always turn out well if the people invited are really close to each other. If all who are invited are your kid's besties, even a jar of lemonade, popcorn, and a couple of pizzas would be enough. At the end of the day, all that matters is the bonding they share with each other. However, if the sleepover is organized with the purpose to allow your kid to bond in a new place with new friends, the aforementioned efforts will definitely prove to be fruitful. All the best.