Did you enjoy sleepovers as a kid? I definitely did. Between birthday slumber parties and weekend sleepovers with my BFFs, I rarely spent a Friday or Saturday night alone from middle school through high school. Most of the time we just watched movies, played board games, painted our nails, and talked about boys, but birthday slumber parties were always a little more organized, with tons of fun activities I still remember to this day. Of course, there was always some sort of drama, and someone always ended up in tears, but by the time we rolled up our sleeping bags and headed home, we were already eagerly planning our next get-together.
Whether you’re allowing your little one to have his or her BFF stay the night for the first time, organizing a large slumber party to celebrate a holiday or birthday, or looking for virtual sleepover ideas, this post has tons of sleepover activities for kids to inspire you!
11 Sleepover Activities for Kids
Even though parents aren’t meant to be a huge part of a child’s sleepover, it’s helpful to have some sleepover activities for kids in your back pocket so you can keep everyone entertained and happy. This can be as simple as giving your child some ideas before the sleepover begins, to organizing specific crafts and games for everyone to participate in throughout the afternoon and evening. A combination of both is probably ideal, but try not to get too hung up on schedules and routines. Your number one priority is to ensure every child feels included and happy. If the kids aren’t interested in any of the activities you’ve planned, that’s totally fine! But having a few ideas to fall back on in the event someone feels homesick or a bout of teen drama erupts is always the best strategy!
1. TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE
If you’re hosting a sleepover with a larger group of kids and want an ice breaker to help get the party started and ensure everyone feels comfortable, this is a good one to try. Ask everyone to write down 2 personal truths and one lie about themselves, and then ask them to take turns sharing the items on their list while the rest of the group determines which item is the lie. This is often used as an ice breaker in school and business settings, and it’s a great way to lighten the mood and get everyone laughing.
2. SCAVENGER HUNT
This will require a bit of upfront work on your part, but it’s a great way to get kids to work collaboratively and it can be extremely fun and engaging! Divide the kids into teams of 2 or 3 and provide them with a set of clues to see who can work together to find all of the items the fastest. What I love most about scavenger hunts is that you can set them up inside or outside (or both!), making them a sleepover activity your kids can enjoy year-round. If you’re looking for scavenger hunt themes and ideas, we’ve written an entire post with indoor and outdoor options HERE.
3. MAKE TIE DYE SHIRTS
If your little ones are obsessed with all things tie dye like my daughter, tie dyeing is definitely something you should consider if you’re looking for sleepover activities for kids! With so many beautiful tie dye patterns to choose from, and tons of different DIY techniques you can try using materials you probably already have at home, this is a great activity you can enjoy with children of all ages. You can use nontoxic materials like food coloring and Kool Aid with younger kids, and experiment with more traditional techniques using traditional dye and bleach with older children, creating unique clothing your child and his or her friends will cherish forever. THIS POST has everything you need to know about tie dyeing, including fun patterns and easy techniques!
4. COOKING AND BAKING
If you’re looking for sleepover activities for kids, cooking and baking is always a fun option. Have the kids make their own sandwiches or pizza, setup an ice cream bar so they can make their own ice cream sundaes, bake a cake, decorate cupcakes…the possibilities are endless!
5. ORIGAMI CHALLENGE
If you’re looking for quiet sleepover activities for kids, origami is a fun idea to consider. You don’t even need real origami paper – you can just cut regular pieces of paper into squares. Origami.me has tons of easy origami instructions available for free, allowing kids to fold, giggle, and chat!
6. MINUTE TO WIN IT GAMES
If you sense your child and his or her friends getting bored and restless, why not organize a few ‘minute to win it’ games? You’ll want to plan these out ahead of time to ensure you have all of the supplies you’ll need on hand, but they offer a fun way to get kids moving and laughing. Scary Mommy has a great list to inspire you, which you can see HERE.
7. JEWELRY MAKING
From beaded bracelets, to washer necklaces, to earrings, to macrame friendship bracelets and more, jewelry making is probably one of my favorite sleepover activities for kids. It’s a great activity kids can enjoy together, allowing them to get creative and make a keepsake they will remember forever. If you’re looking for the best jewelry sets and projects for kids (and tutorials on how to make friendship bracelets), THIS POST has tons of great ideas to inspire you!
8. BOARD GAMES
A sleepover wouldn’t be complete without a few board games, am I right? Classics like Twister, Monopoly, and Scrabble come to mind, but there are lots of newer games that both younger and older kids will enjoy. Here are some of our favourites!
- Don’t Step in It. Kids are very obsessed with poop these days, and while you may not be a fan of the concept, your kids will likely think this is one of the best board games ever. I love that it can be played independently, but I think it’s safe to say your little one will enjoy this game more with their friends!
- Watch Ya Mouth. A friend of mine recently posted a photo of her and her family playing this game, and so many other friends of ours commented about how fun the game is that I had to buy it too. The idea is pretty self-explanatory – you put a funny tool in your mouth to keep your lips and jaw in a certain position, and then you have to draw cards and try to say silly phrases. It’s such a hoot! Also? There’s an adult version of Watch Ya Mouth. Tee hee. I can’t wait to try it!!!!
- HedBanz. If your kids have never played HedBanz, they’re in for a REAL treat. Not only is this game fun, the question and answer premise behind this game will also challenge everyone’s critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills.
- Who Tooted? I was on the fence about this one, but it ended up being one of the best games we’ve ever played as a family, making it another one of my favorite sleepover activities for kids! Players take turns pushing the button on the game board to make sounds, and must keep a straight face when it’s their turn to push the button.
9. TRUTH OR DARE
If you’re looking for sleepover activities for kids, Truth or Dare is an oldie but goodie! For those who need a refresher, Truth or Dare is an easy game you can enjoy at any age. The youngest person in the group chooses a player and asks them, ‘truth or dare?’ If the player chooses ‘truth’, they are asked to answer a question about themselves honestly. If they choose ‘dare’, they must do something silly, hard, or embarrassing. Once the question is answered, or the dare is completed, that person chooses the next victim, and the process continues until everyone has had a turn. If someone refuses to answer a question or complete a dare, they will be given a consequence, which is usually determined at the beginning of the game (i.e. say something embarrassing, eat something gross, etc.). THIS POST has tons of clean, kid-friendly truth or dare ideas!
10. SPA TREATMENTS
From face masks, to manicures, to pedicures, and more, tween and teen girls enjoy getting spa treatments with their friends as much as we do. If you have the budget, you can treat them to an afternoon at your local salon, or you can set them up with all the essentials at home and let them take turns painting each other’s nails while they gossip about their latest crushes.
11. STRAIGHT FACE
Another great idea for those who are looking for sleepover activities for kids is sure to get everyone laughing. Write a bunch of funny and embarrassing sentences on small pieces of paper, and then have players take turns picking them out of a hat and trying to read them out loud while keeping a straight face. It’s surprisingly hard to do and so much fun!
10 Virtual Sleepover Activities for Kids
If distance, sickness, or a global pandemic are preventing your child from enjoying a traditional sleepover with his or her friends, these virtual sleepover activities for kids may be of interest. While virtual sleepovers aren’t the same as traditional slumber parties, they still offer a fun and inexpensive way for kids to connect and have fun with their peers.
1. NEVER HAVE I EVER
Did you ever play Never Have I Ever in college? It’s such a fun way to get to know people on a more personal level, and while you probably played an R-rated version with your college buddies, lol, you can create a G-rated version for your kids to enjoy with their friends. To play this via Zoom or FaceTime, have your child write out a list of 10 or more statements ahead of time (examples: never have I ever eaten a bug, never have I ever eaten food off the floor, never have I ever been sent to the principal’s office). He or she will then ask everyone to hold their hands out in front of them, palms facing outwards, and will begin reading each item off the list. For each item a person has experienced, he or she must fold down a finger.
2. THE ALPHABET GAME
When I first started thinking about ideas to include in this list of virtual sleepover activities for kids, I kept remembering a drinking game we played in college called The Alphabet Game. To play, pick a category (i.e. fruits, vegetables, animals, countries, cities, etc.) and then one person starts by saying the name of something that falls within that category that starts with the letter A. The next person comes up with something within that category that starts with the letter B, and so on and so forth. The idea is to keep it going without pausing. The first person who can’t come up with a word is out, and you continue the game, and start new ones with new categories until you’re left with one winner!
3. WOULD YOU RATHER?
‘Would You Rather’ is another great idea if you’re looking for virtual sleepover activities for kids as it’s easy to setup and suitable for every age. To play this game, all you need to do is write out a list of questions with 2 scenarios, and then read them off while kids take turns telling their friends which scenario they prefer. You can make this easy for younger kids (Would you rather it be summer or winter? Would you rather eat cookies or cupcakes?) and more thought-provoking for older kids (Would you rather be able to fly or be able to breathe under water? Would you rather travel back in time or visit the future?). Once kids get the hang of this game, they can take turns coming up with their own questions!
4. VIRTUAL SCAVENGER HUNT
If you’re looking for virtual sleepover activities for kids that are a bit more engaging and interactive, one of the easiest things you can do is create a scavenger hunt. Parents can collaborate together and hide specific items around their respective houses, or you can keep it simple and write out a list of generic items for kids to find during their virtual sleepover. Send the list ahead of time (or share it via the screen sharing option on Zoom) and challenge the kids to see who can find all of the items the fastest!
Charades is another great way to get kids laughing, and it’s a really easy game kids can play on Zoom or FaceTime. Send the prompts to each guest ahead of time so they have time to practice!
6. 20 QUESTIONS
To play 20 Questions, one player thinks of a person, place, or thing, and the rest of the players ask 20 yes or no questions and attempt to figure out what it is. If a player guesses correctly after asking 20 questions, they earn a point and become ‘it’! If no one guesses, no one earns a point and someone else is randomly chosen to be ‘it’.
If you’re trying to organize a virtual sleepover for kids and have no idea how to keep everyone engaged and entertained as they are staring at each other online, why not organize a sing-a-long? You can take the lead with younger kids, and if you have tweens or teens, they can play their favorite tunes and sing together. Music can be such a powerful tool in boosting everyone’s spirits, and a great way to spend time together with friends.
8. WATCH MOVIES
Ask your child and his or her friends to choose a movie they all love (or have been dying to watch) and organize a virtual movie night! This will obviously work best with a smaller group of children, and if their parents are game, you can all work together to create a virtual sleepover in your respective living rooms. Get the kids into their jammies, pop some popcorn, and allow them to watch the movie and discuss it together online. Zoom only allows 40-minute meetings on their free plan, so you may want to use a different platform like FaceTime. Or, you can schedule regular 40-minute breaks during the movie for the kids to use the bathroom and get more snacks, and then set-up a new Zoom meeting.
9. MANIs AND PEDIs
If you’re trying to organize a virtual sleepover for your tween or teen girl, consider getting her closest girlfriends together for an online spa session. You and your child can create mini spa packages for each friend with essentials like a nail file, nail polish, and a face mask, and drop them into the mail boxes of each guest ahead of time. The kids can then gossip and listen to music online while painting their nails and giving their skin a little TLC.
10. PLAY ONLINE GAMES
If you’re hosting a virtual sleepover for a tween or teen boy, online gaming is a great option to consider. While your child is probably already playing games online with his or her friends, you can make it extra special by adding yummy treats, enabling them to see and talk to each other via Zoom, and you might even consider organizing some sort of challenge whereby players compete against each other, with 2 opponents going head-to-head for the championship title at the end of the day!
Whether you’re hosting a small or big slumber party for your child – or organizing a virtual sleepover – I hope these sleepover activities for kids help to make it memorable and fun!
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