Don’t lose sleep over slumber party

Don’t lose sleep over slumber party

Donna Erickson King Features Syndicate

Mention “sleepover” or “slumber party” to just about anyone, and memories of your own childhood are sure to abound. And now, as an adult with children of your own, it’s certain that sleepovers have once again become part of your life . . . but in a different way. Gone are the days of wreaking havoc at a friend’s house, raiding the refrigerator or putting makeup on the family dog. Now it’s your house at risk!

But hosting a party doesn’t have to be a parental nightmare. If your preteen wants to have new and old friends over now that school is in full swing, how do you host your child’s overnight adventure, keep your house intact and avoid being a “totally lame” parent at the same time? Here’s what has worked in our house, whether we’ve had a couple of my daughter’s out-of-town buddies from summer camp or my son’s entire basketball team.

Set ground rules

Anticipate the biggest two or three potential issues ahead of time and make those your rules for the night. For example, set specific “party zones” in the house so that the kids understand they won’t have run of the entire place.

We’re hungry!

It might only be minutes after the kids arrive when you hear this phrase, so why not make snack time part of the evening’s entertainment? Bake cookies, stir up lemonade and let them concoct their own dips for chips and crackers.

Keep ’em busy

Despite the term “sleepover,” sleep is usually the last thing on kids’ minds. Have some entertainment ready to go, such as an outdoor game, age-appropriate DVDs and a fun craft. If there is a common interest, encourage guests to bring their own sports gear. If your child loves scrapbooking, call the sleepover a “SCRAPOVER,” where guests share their supplies and creativity.

Making memories

Your efforts will pay off. Your child’s slumber parties can be as memorable to them as yours were to you, and you don’t have to lose any sleep over it. Well, not much, anyway.

Extra resources

— Enjoy classic sleepover, dare-style game fun with “Star Sisterz Collectable Charm Game” 2004 (, plus “Pajama Parties: Wacky Charades” and “Pajama Parties: Truth or Dare” (Workman Publishing).

— Keep a record of sleepover memories with “Sleepover Journal: A Light-Pen Diary” (Chronicle Books).

Write Donna with your questions and ideas at Donna’s latest book, “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families,” is available in bookstores nationwide. © Donna Erickson Dist. by King Features Syndicate

Copyright C 2004 Deseret News Publishing Co.

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