Sleepover Strategies

Studio 5 Home and Family Specialist Sandra Phillips shares
sleepover strategies…that actually work!

Where’s the best place to sleep?

Really any place that is different, where parent’s can keep a fairly close eye on the girls—even a Tree house as long as it’s safely enclosed! If you have a tent, set it up in the back yard. A balcony or even inside in the family or living room (move furniture) are both fun slumber spots.

How many to invite?

For normal daytime parties you can generally plan on a number double your daughter’s age. But for her special slumber party night, cut that number in half. So if she’s ten, tell her she can invite five friends (round up if necessary)…so with your daughter, that makes six total. Try to keep the numbers even so no one is left without a “partner”.

What they should bring?

Have them each bring their own sleeping bag, pillow, flashlight and PJ’s.

When guests first arrive:

Each family has different guest expectations and house rules. So to keep things from getting crazy, take the little group on a mini-tour of the house. Show them what’s off limits, where the bathroom is, and if there’s any unusual family pet or house rules they need to follow. Don’t assume anything, or put the burden of their actions on your own daughter. Setting expectations is the parents call.


Do some fun, memorable activities like hair sessions, nails done, board games, writing letters, making jewelry or take-home crafts. After dark let them go exploring around the back yard with their flashlights on a scavenger or treasure hunt. Non-competitive games working toward a common goal are best. Computer games aren’t too great because only a couple of girls can play them.


Popcorn is good, veggies and dips, cut-up fruits on toothpicks and small-sized drinks (they only drink half a big can anyway). Put the drinks in ice chest in the area/room they are sleeping in so they feel more in control.


“Use your outside voices until 10 or 11, then it’s quiet time.” During quiet time put on a good video (that they have chosen themselves), and decelerate toward sleep time. First it’s “lights out,” then it’s “sounds down.” Eventually, whispering leads to sleeping. Rule: “No talking after 1 am” or whatever.

Next day:

Tell them the night before what will be served in the morning, and what time it will be served. Have the breakfast smells permeating throughout the house by the appointed hour, so the girls really feel like dragging themselves to breakfast!

GOAL: The whole point of a sleepover is to get pals together and have as much fun as possible. It will also build friendships and foster independence among our children and their friends.

Sandra Phillips is a regular contributor on Studio 5. She is a home specialist and inventor, and also the owner of Live-Right. For more information, visit

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