Slumber Party Suggestions
August 29, 2008 3:17 PM   Subscribe

So our daughters are throwing a slumber party tomorrow night and I am looking for ideas for food and activities for the girls. We are looking at 10-15 girls, ages 5-10. Feel free to include any other advice that you feel is pertinent.
posted by B(oYo)BIES to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
That's a pretty wide age range, so be sure to have a variety of activities that can apply to older or younger attendees!
posted by rhizome at 3:48 PM on August 29, 2008

Pizza is pretty standard party food for a reason: it's cheap, easy and pretty universally liked. I still remember the birthday party where my friend's mom made individual pizza crusts for everyone and we got to top them ourselves. It was fun and delicious and I got as much pepperoni as I wanted which was a big deal when I was 10. Ordering out also works but be sure to get at least one cheese. Popcorn with a variety of toppings is a good evening snack, especially if you're watching movies.
The older girls will probably entertain themselves but it would be good to have on hand a few (funny, PG-rated) movies and some uncomplicated board games. Charades and pictionary are also fun for that age. Prepare slips of paper with good topics and put them in a hat for the girls to pick. If you have a yard, encourage them to play outside until it gets too dark.
If the girls are crafty, go to the craft store and get some party favor type item for them to decorate like canvas tote bags, wooden jewelry boxes or piggy banks. Possibly organize a scavenger hunt to find them first.
At bedtime, there will probably be 1-2 girls who are tired early/homesick, especially with your age range. Set aside a bedroom as a "quiet room" starting around 9:30 or 10:00 where they can go to sleep while everyone else is still up. Make sure everyone knows where the bathroom is and can get to it in the middle of the night without stepping on someone.
/advice from attending and hosting more sleepovers than I can count
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:49 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Pizza for sure - if you want it to be an activity, then go for the individual crusts with lots of everything to choose. Otherwise just get a couple of big pizzas, and make sure that at least one is just cheese.

Do it yourself ice cream sundaes are a big hit. Get lots of different flavors of ice cream, toppings, sprinkles, and several cans of spray whipped cream. Big fun!

Treasure hunts with lots of prizes can be fun. If you're into video games, Dance Dance Revolution was a big hit when my girls were that age, and it's pretty cheap, as you can use a primitive playstation. I heard reports that Karioke is lots of fun too. If you want to go crazy, those blow-up jumping places are very cool. Videos can be a hit also, just make sure that you get something that's not too scary.
posted by jasper411 at 3:57 PM on August 29, 2008

Mini pizzas they can top themselves for the toaster oven, make your own sundaes, and the usual chips and pretzels for snacking.

Dress-up stuff for a "fashion show," some craft like beadwork or making "gimp" bracelets/lanyards, and a couple of movies.

It's been a long time, but these are the things I remember enjoying at sleepovers when I was a girl.

Oh, and with that many little girls there are bound to be one or two who end up out in the cold -- keep an eye out for that. Once or twice that was me, but a well-placed parental word took care of the problem. :-)
posted by chihiro at 4:00 PM on August 29, 2008

Damn, I left the computer to chase my 4-year-old and now I've echoed everyone else. Sorry!
posted by chihiro at 4:01 PM on August 29, 2008

I am a vetern mom of hundreds of sleepovers. I was up until 2 am this morning with the latest. It is still going on, I can't put the baby down and I am getting loopy so please forgive my typos.
Do you have a theme? You don't HAVE to have one, it just makes it easier if you do (ie Hawaiian, pirates, back to school, girly goth etc). Be VERY aware of food allergies and intolerances. Be hyper-viligant if you have any in your group. Food: pizza is the standby, can they make their own pizzas? I also like fajitas they can assemble. Or a BBQ cook-out. Crepes? A sundae bar with LOTS of toppings for dessert. Try to have them eat outside to minimize the spilled food inside. Drinks with lids or tetra packs with straws. Expect spills, have towels ready. Have sliced fruit and veggies on hand to munch on. Have a pile of dress up clotes - especially your old club wear. Henna tattoos/mehndi is always popular with my girls. Make a photobooth corner (print out photos at home or run up to nearest instant printout place so they can have photos as asap). Do scrapbooking with the photos and notions you can get from the dollar shop (again, themes help you here). Mellow them out at the end of the night with a NON-scarey film. Yeah, hard on the older ones but you kinda have to cater toi the littler ones. If you can do a sheet and projector faux drive-in in the backyard they will love it (and again, it keeps the popcorn mess outside). Stay out of the way, but within earshot so they learn social skills without any situation becoming bullying. Pancakes are the easiest to make for breakfast the next morning (again with different syrups/toppings/fresh fruit).
Oh-uh, my girls are using my video-camera to film a movie of themselves (that I then burn to DVD-r for each to take home). Sounds like someone is giving an Oscar-worthy performance. Gotta go tone down the drama.
If you want to post a theme I can riff off it if you would like. I have some excellent resources.
posted by saucysault at 4:12 PM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

I assume you'll be serving breakfast too. If the girls have been up late, you might not be up for making a huge batch of pancakes, waffles, eggs, etc.

A cereal bar (a la Cereality) could be a great option. Have several types of cereal, yogurt, milk, sliced fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and whatever else you could imagine putting on cereal. The girls can make their own creations, you won't have to worry too much about cooking and you'll have a minimum of dishes to wash in the morning.
posted by annaramma at 4:17 PM on August 29, 2008

Any good slumber parties I ever attended as a child involved make-up, pizza and staying up ridiculously late. (However late 5-10 year old can stay up.)

Maybe the girls could make their own pizza?

Cheap-o beauty supplies can be had at any dollar store, and seeing everyone with their mud masks on (better yet, Google for some homemade ones)will be picture worthy, then have an adult or the older girls help the little ones with their make-up. Perhaps a group photo with everyone all done up.

You could go rent a movie for when the little people finally *do* get tired. Setting up a giant cushiony, pillowy, blankety area in the LR, with some popcorn and drinks was always great.

I would also recommend stringing up a strand of white x-mas lights in this room, making it both more festive, and creating a soft light for little people who are scared of the dark.

Hope this was helpful, and have fun!
posted by Grlnxtdr at 4:22 PM on August 29, 2008

Henna tattoos/mehndi is always popular with my girls.

This is one thing I'd shy away from - not only is there a problem with the black henna (many people get allergic reactions), some people have bad skin reactions to the regular stuff too. Also I don't know if the parents of these girls will be thrilled with long-lasting tattoos on their kids.
posted by agregoli at 6:10 PM on August 29, 2008

make cupcakes together & let them decorate with icing & candy? (buy white pre-made icing, spoon into ziploc bags, add a few drops of colouring or chocolate syrup & smoosh to mix, then snip a corner and you have instant, cheap piping bags)

buy several bags of large marshmallows. AFTER-DARK MARSHMALLOW FIGHT! it's really fun and marshmallows don't hurt when they hit you. you can do stuff like play music while they fight and when the music stops they have to "freeze" (good way to keep them from getting too rowdy, by building a "stop" mechanism into the game).

to quiet them down at bedtime, you could blindfold them and do a tasting game. sit them in a circle, all blindfolded, and have each kid hold out a hand. put a small edible thing on each hand (again, be aware of any allergies) and then 1-2-3, they all eat & and try to guess what the food is. repeat for 15 minutes or so until they're kind of quiet, then lower the lights to "pre-bedtime" levels before you unblindfold them the blindfolds will calm them down, easing the transition from "run around and be hyper" to "stay still and be quiet".
foods to try for this game:
raisins, chocolate chips, blueberries, tiny cubes of cheese, apple, banana, carrot, or other produce, a little dab of ketchup, mayo, mustard, jam, yogurt, icing, or chocolate sauce, a teeny smidge of toothpaste, various flavours of potato chips, etc.

videptaping them is a FANTASTIC idea. hook up the camera to your TV so they can all watch as you tape. maybe try a talkshow format, sit them in two chairs, and let one of the older kids announce the show (welcome back to the katie gray show! our special guest today is jennifer lee!") then you interview them, or have them interview each other. "tell us about your hobbies, jennifer!" - this goes over really well with kids of all ages.

have fun!
posted by twistofrhyme at 6:11 PM on August 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

Previously, about a sleepover for 11-year-olds, and some suggestions if you decide to go with saucysalt's non-scary movie idea.
posted by mediareport at 7:15 PM on August 29, 2008

Paper bag skits - Divide the girls into groups, or let them divide themselves (making sure everyone gets into a group fairly quickly). One option is to have them line by age and then count off so each group has some older and some younger kids. (5 year olds can do skits, at least if they have ever seen them but they tend to be very, very short. Mixed ages gives you more interesting results)
Give each group a bag with some random items to use as props. (Each bag can be different or similar, whichever is easier.) Each group has make up a skit using all of the props (and the bag if you want.) and everyone in the group has do something but it doesn't have to be a speaking part. With older girls you might have to have a max time limit. You can also videotape the skits so they can all watch themselves again.
posted by metahawk at 7:51 PM on August 29, 2008

if you can get your hands on a wii, the multi player games are lots of fun—the girls can take turns playing various games together or against each other. tennis & bowling on wii sports, mario party and boom blox are a lot of fun and up to four people can play at a time.
posted by lia at 9:25 PM on August 29, 2008

videptaping them is a FANTASTIC idea.

Oooh, yes. Do this. I'm 29, but at my parents house for the weekend. This comment just reminded me to scour the house for a tape that I know exists of me and my grade school friends dancing around like idiots to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack at one of my grade-school sleepovers. I'M NOT KIDDING. Do this. Except maybe with a different soundtrack. (why aren't there any current movies sort-of appropriate for 8 year olds set in the 80s? I mean, I was obsessed with DD in the late 80s, which took place in the 60s, and can we talk about how I love that music? Get ON IT, Hollywood!)

Also, I love that almost everyone said pizza. It's the universal language. Not love, not laughter. Pizza. Yum.
posted by AlisonM at 9:55 PM on August 29, 2008

When I was having slumber parties, we provisioned ourselves with the four Cs:

carbonated and

This usually translated to chips, Skittles, Coke, and Hershey's Miniatures. Granted, that was high school and 3-5 girls - that much sugar might be a bad idea for your crowd.
posted by timepiece at 12:30 PM on August 30, 2008

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