Slumber Party Fun

popcornSlumber parties are popular because they have such a wide range of appeal. Kids love them for their birthdays, teens enjoy the social environment, and adults can benefit from a little youthful fun. Throwing one is a sure-fire way to extend the festivities into the wee hours of the night... until everyone succumbs to sleep.

If you've got the time, space, and a little creativity, you can host the ultimate sleepover. Of course, you don't need to wait for a special occasion. Some of the best parties are impromptu, with one common goal. Entertainment! The following tips will help you prep and plan for a slumber party to remember.

Party Themes and Activities

You may wonder what you're getting yourself into but if you keep the kids busy, time will fly as they stay occupied in their own little world. Consider the age of the guests and plan activities that appeal their age group. Try to send out invitations that match the party theme or games you will be playing. Regardless, make it clear on the invitations what activities the kids will be participating in. There may be an intuitive mom out there who can give you additional ideas or send along a game with their child.

A birthday theme is a no-brainer for those advancing another year. However, you can utilize a specific theme for a birthday party or a seasonal shindig that compliments the time of the year. Sometimes it's as simple as asking the guest-of-honor what they prefer, not quite so easy if it's a surprise party. You may already have a theme in mind, if not, here are some ideas for guests of all ages.

Pizza Pizzazz

Who doesn't like pizza? If you choose this theme, your menu is pre-planned. After deciding whether to serve homemade pizza or take-out, all you need to do is add some snacks for later on. The biggest dilemma here is deciding which pizza toppings will please your guests. The best bet is to mix it up. Children love all-cheese. Teens and adults will probably prefer meat toppings. You may want to nix fancy extras and stick with proven favorites such as pepperoni and hamburger.

If you want complete participation, let the guests add their own toppings on homemade pizzas. You will need some extra pizza pans and a variety of ingredients. Make sure that the kids are supervised and leave the oven duty to an adult.

Camping

Take the party out of the house by pitching a tent in your own backyard. Teens will love this idea because it gives them more space and some privacy for a late-night game of Truth or Dare. Given the extra freedom, some rules will need to be in place: perhaps no uninvited guests and no wandering.

Keep the environment outdoorsy with a picnic table (if possible) and a cook-out. Have an adult grill hamburgers and hot dogs for supper and provide plenty of chips for late-night snacks. (You can also grab some sticks and roast marshmallows on the grill. Better yet, make some s'mores.) After everyone's tummies are full, gather in a circle and tell campfire stories, sing folk songs or play a game of telephone.

Night at the Movies

Pick a movie genre and stick with it throughout the evening. Whether it's chick-flicks for the girls or action movies for the boys, continuity will keep the mood consistent. Print off tickets and schedules that show the movie titles and descriptions. Add some movie trivia or information about the actors for extra fun. Serve popcorn, candy, and soft drinks for a complete movie theatre experience.

Video Games

A video game fanatic will relish the thought of having friends over for some fierce competition. Treat them to a room of their own, munchies, soft drinks and let them have at it. You can further narrow down the theme by suggesting sports games, arcade, or strategy. Set up surround sound and extra seating if possible. Don't want dirty game pads? Provide some hand wipes for those who don't take the time to wash after eating chips.

Pillow Fight

Slumber party guests do anything but sleep and there's apt to be a little mischievous activity. A pillow fight often happens spontaneously so it's prudent to be somewhat prepared. Remove as many breakable items from the room as possible, before anyone arrives. You may not want to suggest a pillow fight but if one breaks out, you will need to tell the kids not to play rough and have anyone wearing glasses to remove them. Still, it's wise to keep the blows away from the head and limit the time period of play.