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From late-night ghost stories to sharing secrets that would win us friends for life, some of our best memories were created at sleepovers. If your little one has got a birthday or a special occasion coming up, here’s how to throw them the ultimate sleepover.

The Setting

If you’ve been thinking lines of sleeping bags on a bedroom floor then, stop. The modern-day sleepover is all about creating a magical atmosphere that needs to be fun, cosy, and private. Whether you want to opt for play tents, over bed caves, playhouses, or wigwams, or just deck the room out in cushions, throws, and beanbags, the idea is to create a comfy and conspiratorial den just perfect for sharing late night secrets.

The Activities

While older children might want to be left to their own devices, it’s a good idea to have at least a few activities and games set up just in case.

If you’re planning a party for little girls, bear in mind that there’s nothing they love more than pretending to be grown ups. Organise a mini spa where they can give each other manicures or set up a station packed with natural ingredients for making homemade face masks. If you’ve got a bunch of rowdy boys, give them plenty of games to play to keep them entertained. Set them up with a multiplayer game on a games console, organise a game of sardines, or set up a mini olympics to tire them out before bedtime.

It can also be loads of fun to encourage kids to get crafty with a personalisation workshop. You can set up mini workshops to personalise PJs, pillowcases, eye masks, or anything else you like and then send your guests home with their very own personalised goodies. Expect major brownie points from fellow parents at the school gate.

The Food

You might have a whole bunch of snacks in mind but it’s important to remember to feed your guests a healthy dinner and breakfast too! Snacks are fine but make sure to balance them out with meals that are tasty and nutritious so no one goes to sleep feeling queasy.

That being said, a midnight snack is an immutable sleepover tradition and must be acknowledged; think hot chocolates, marshmallows, and other cosy treats.

Things to Consider

Don’t forget to check with the other parents if any of the children visiting have any allergies, whether that’s to food, pets, or anything else you have in your home. It might be that one child is allergic to certain detergents and needs to bring their own bedding. Better to check now than have to make a panicked late night phone call!

If you’re hosting very young children, also bear in mind that they may not have attended a sleepover before and might be nervous. Make sure you leave nightlights in the room or encourage them to bring any toys or comforters that will help them to feel at home.

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