Sleepovers don't have to be stressful!
Preparing for a sleepover can seem like a daunting task. After all, you're the adult host of a horde of kids who just know it's going to be a great night full of fun and games! It doesn't have to be as complicated as you might think, however.Follow these easy steps for a stress-free, last-minute sleepover.
1. Lay out rules! It's your home, and you're the adult. Make sure your guests know the routine, what time is lights-out, and whether or not you allow certain video games or movies in your home. In my house, for example, we don't allow any phone calls after 9 p.m., sleepovers or not. We make sure everyone knows this ahead of time. Set boundaries, be firm about it, and you'll all be able to enjoy your evening that much better.
2. Make sure each parent has your contact info and you have theirs before kids are left in your care. You never know when someone will forget their medicine or need a goodnight from mom, and it's inevitable that if someone's going to get a scraped knee, it'll happen when they're at your house. At least, that's how it happens at mine.
3. Tell parents when to pick up their kids, even if they live down the street. If you have older children, make it clear what time everyone has to head home, or you'll have campers sleeping in and hanging out all day.
4. Do a quick health check if anyone has food allergies or other medical concerns that might need to be addressed. Find out from parents if certain foods (such as sodas or chocolate milk) are allowed, and whether their children can have the snacks and meals you've selected for the evening.
5. If you have pets, let parents know. Some kids are allergic or frightened of certain animals, and this could ruin what ought to be an enjoyable sleepover.
6. Keep lots of healthy snacks and meals on hand. Keep a variety of drinks, too. Use disposable cups and plates to keep the clutter down to a minimum -- it keeps you out of the kitchen and gives you more time for fun! Assign each child a single cup for the evening and write their name on it.
7. If you're renting movies, choose more than one title yourself (with input from your kids) and then allow your guests to decide for themselves which of these they want to watch. This way you each have a say in what's viewed. Rent movies on-demand so you don't have to take five kids to a movie-rental kiosk.
8. It's also a good idea to have some inexpensive toothbrushes on hand in case someone forgets theirs. If you save little sample packages of soap and shampoo, add them to a small box or container you keep on hand for the same reason.
Most importantly, don't sweat it! Decide ahead of time what the game plan is going to be and let it unfold comfortably and naturally, but stick to your house rules. You'll be the hero of the evening and everyone's sure to have a great time.Content by Kimberly Morgan.