I still remember my very first slumber party. I had six friends over for my thirteenth birthday. I don’t know how my mother didn’t go out of her mind. Six just barely teenage girls giggling, laughing and chattering away until all hours of the night. She handled it beautifully though – as my mother handled most things I threw at her. Since that time, though, things have definitely changed.
Let Your Daughter Control the Guest List
You are not always going to agree with all of the children your daughter spends time with. Sometimes other girls will come into her life that don’t really seem to be a great influence on her. You might already have that friend in mind as you read this. Her slumber party is not a time to raise these issues. Let her invite whomever she wants. Take her party as an opportunity to get to know her friends. That friend who seems like trouble might surprise you. Let your daughter decide who comes to her party. If you have concerns, raise them after the other girls have gone home.
Help Choose Age Appropriate Entertainment
While your daughter may only be interested in family friendly entertainment (not very likely, but a possibility), not all of her friends will be. If you offer them plenty of choices, they will be much less likely to seek out naughty activities. Games are always a great option. Games get the girls talking and laughing. They also keep them busy. Nothing keeps a group of teenage girls busy like a little friendly competition. If you’re planning a party on a budget, you can either buy prizes for games from a discount store. Prizes also don’t have to be material things. You could award the winner by allowing to choose the first movie or the next game.
Great Slumber Party Games:
- Who’s Who
- We Need Some Light
- One Word Story
Who’s Who is an excellent game to play when the party first starts. It’s a great icebreaker and sets a fun and entertaining tone for the rest of the night. Have the girls write down a fun fact about themselves – their favorite singer, movies or something like that – and put their name on the paper. Collect the papers when the girls are done and put them in a hat. Draw the papers out one at a time, reading each fact out loud. Have the girls guess who wrote the fact. For every correct guess, give one point. The girl with the most points at the end of the game wins.
We Need Some Light can get a bit messy, but it’s also a lot of fun. Plan some activities that will be difficult to do in the dark. Use your imagination, but remember, the girls won’t be able to see (hence the challenge) so make sure you only choose safe activities. Have the girls try to pour liquid from one container to another, write down their favorite singer’s name on a piece of paper or paint a picture of a flower or a smiley face. If you have anything involving paint, make sure you choose paint that won’t stain clothing.
One Word Story is one of my favorite slumber party games. Sit the girls in a circle and ask your daughter by start a story by saying one word. The girl to her left adds to the story by saying another word. Continue on this way until the story is complete. There is no winner or loser in this one, but it is a ton of fun. It’s great for older kids as well as younger kids.
Because a gaggle of teenage girls isn’t likely going to sleep once the games are through, it’s a good idea to have a selection of movies to choose from. Renting movies at a store or online gets a little expensive so consider asking your friends to borrow movies. If you can’t find them, ask your favorite video store if they have any promotions or discounts on multiple rentals. If you go to a smaller, neighborhood store, you can almost always get some sort of deal. If there isn’t a smaller neighborhood store, look online for coupons or promotional offers.
It’s also important that you’re open to movie suggestions from your daughter, but always do your homework. If she has suggestions from her friends, watch the movie yourself or look online for feedback as to whether or not the movie will be age appropriate. For my first slumber party, my friends wanted my mother to rent Pretty Woman. I was not yet a teenager so Mom felt it would be inappropriate for our age group. I was upset, naturally, but guess what – I got over it and I still had a lot of fun.
If you haven’t seen a movie that the kids want to rent and you don’t have time to watch it, check out the ‘parents guide’ for the movie on The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) by clicking the link about halfway down the movie’s IMDB page. This will give you all the information you need to know. All the same, I have a few suggestions for great slumber party movies. I’ve linked to the IMDB parental guides for easy reference.
Great Slumber Party Movies for Younger Girls:
- The Princess Diaries
- Freaky Friday
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Ella Enchanted
- High School Musical
- Fly Away Home
- Charlotte’s Web
- Race to Witch Mountain
Great Slumber Party Movies for Older Girls (most have some mature content, but nothing inappropriate):
- 17 Again
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
- Mean Girls
- A Knight’s Tale
- The Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse)
- The Pirates of the Caribbean Series (At World’s End, The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest)
- The Harry Potter Series
- 13 Going on 30
- Save the Last Dance
Makeovers are always a popular option at slumber parties. One important tip for makeovers, however, is to make sure your provide makeup sponges if the girls will be using makeup or during manicures. You can also supply fingernail decals (stickers that can be placed either on bare nails or over dry polish) to make fingernail painting more fun. With younger girls, it’s important to make sure you supervise makeovers and do any hair curling/straightening to avoid injuries.
For your older girls, makeovers are still popular, but consider adding facials, manicures and pedicures to the list. You can buy manicure sets at discount stores that are often just as good as the more expensive department store versions. Want to be the coolest Mom on the block? Put aside your pride and let the girls make you over. Let them dress you up, put makeup on you and do your hair. Just be sure no scissors are involved!
Fashion shows are a lot of fun for younger girls as well. You can often find all manner of interesting clothes at thrift shops or used clothing stores. Look for fun hats and shoes and throw everything into a trunk or a few bags and let the kids have fun shorting through everything and making up their outfits. Then have them put on a fashion show for each other. Make sure you wash any second hand clothing before you begin though. Check with the parents of the other girls as well about allergies to certain laundry soaps. You don’t want any of your party guests breaking out in a rash. This activity goes great with makeovers. You can also give the girls sheets, ribbons or ties and challenge them to make ‘gowns’ and use those for the activity if a trip to a thrift store isn’t in your budget.
There are many creative activities you can offer the girls at your party, regardless of the age group. Often times, department stores will have discount craft sets that you can purchase but make sure you keep in mind the number of guests you intend to have. Check the label on the box to find out what’s included. You can pick up any extra materials you’ll need at a discount store or a crafting store. The great thing about crafting activities is that at the end, your guests will have something they made themselves that they can take home with them.
Crafting Ideas for Younger Girls’ Slumber Parties:
- Beaded jewelry
- Beaded keychains
- Pipe Cleaner or Pom-Pom animals
- Modeling clay figures
- Drawings or paintings
Crafting Ideas for Older Girls’ Slumber Parties:
- Decorate flip flops
- Decorate hats
- Beaded or knotted jewelry
- Decorate diaries or keepsake boxes
- Decorate t-shirts, tank tops or shorts
If you can’t find crafting kits for the option you want, head to your local discount store. You can often find flip flops, baseball caps, beads, boxes and just about anything else you need. For clothing items to decorate, you can pick up fabric paint at a discount store as well as any embellishments like beads or stones you want to offer the kids and pick up the actual clothing at a thrift store, an outlet store or a surplus store. If you have time, you can also often order bulk, plain clothing items online at a fairly inexpensive price.
Ordering pizza is always a great option, but consider doing something a little more fun for your daughter’s slumber party. Consider making your own pizza. You can buy pizza dough at your local supermarket and often in any size. If you only have a few guests attending, buy 9” pizzas and give each girl the chance to make their own pizza. This is a pretty expensive option as you should have a variety of toppings to choose from, but it’s also a lot of fun. If you have a little extra money to play with, this is a great option.
If you’re looking for a less expensive option, consider making pizza bagels instead. You’ll save money on buying pizza dough as bagels are a lot less expensive, but they’re every bit as delicious as a traditional pizza. You’ll still need to buy the toppings, but don’t go overboard. Only buy what you think you’ll need.
Making pizza bagels is pretty easy. I would recommend lightly toasting the bagels in the oven before you begin adding the toppings. Spread the sauce on the bagels first and then they’re ready for the girls to add the toppings. Once everyone is done, put their bagels in the over again and bake at 400° F for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese as melted.
Not all kids are interested in pizza. Remember, this is your child’s party. If she doesn’t like pizza, there are several other options out there. If the weather’s warm, consider having a barbecue with hamburgers and hotdogs. If the weather isn’t warm, you can hamburgers or hot dogs inside, sliders or nachos. Sliders are delicious tiny little hamburgers that are sure to please the girls at your party.
Nachos are another unique dinner or snack option that will surely make your daughter’s party stand out. The great thing about serving nachos is that they’re very versatile. You can either serve them on their own for dinner, serve them along with hot dogs, hamburgers, sliders or pizza or you can serve them later in the evening for a snack during the movies. It’s entirely up to you. You can ask the girls to choose their own toppings or just serve the nachos with a dip.
Baking a cake is great. Everyone loves cake at a birthday party. In addition to cake, though, you can also give the girls a chance to make their own sundaes. Offer various candies and syrups for toppings and just let them have fun. Stores like Bulk Barn offer candy in bulk so you can offer a variety without breaking the bank.
If you’re looking for something a little different, consider offering your girls the chance to decorate their own cupcakes or even cookies. Deserts offer plenty of options. If you choose to have the girls decorate cookies or cupcakes, make sure the cupcakes are fresh but that you’ve allowed them to cool before getting the girls to attempt to frost them. If you don’t allow them to cool, you’re going to have a love of crumbling cupcakes.
The most important thing to remember about the food you make is to check with the parents of all of your party guests to find out if any of them have any special dietary needs. You don’t want to serve something one of the guests is allergic too. Keep in mind any special requirements when choosing your menu. There are plenty of options out there, so don’t be afraid that you don’t be able to find something to make if someone has an allergy.
It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s very much worth it. Your daughter will have a great time, you’ll get to know her friends and you’ll have the chance to bond with her throughout the planning process. Never lose sight of the fact that it is her party. Let her have a little say in everything, but also never lose sight of the fact that you are her mother. You need to be present at the party but don’t be suffocating.
Check in but let the girls have their space if it’s clear they don’t want you around. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you. It just means she wants to have her space. Trust her to be responsible, but don’t leave her totally unsupervised. While your daughter may be sugar, spice and everything nice, there’s a good chance that someone at the party won’t be, so make sure you keep an eye on things.
Finally, make sure you have lots of activities ready to go if the girls get bored, but run your ideas by your daughter first. If she doesn’t want to play games, don’t force her to. Just make sure you have everything ready in case she changes her mind. Teenage girls want to be independent and have fun. Let her have the chance to do that, but don’t be surprised if she comes to you for a little help if her friends get bored.