Everything You Need To Know To Host A Sleepover

The time has finally come, my lil' guy is ready for epic sleepovers. He's been talking about having a sleepover with his best friend since they were four, but they never went through with it. That all changed three weeks ago when Ollie took the plunge and stayed the night next door at his best friend's house. I couldn't believe he made it. I stayed up all night waiting for the call to get him. It never came. What did come was the next morning when the two boys were already planning a sleepover at our house. 

Y'all, who knew the idea of having a sleepover could cause so much angst?! Where would they sleep? What would they do all night? Do I plan activities? What do I feed them? Do I make them go to sleep? Do I just let them be crazy all night and try to not lose my mind? 

Thankfully, a little Q&A with other parents, online research and a new super comfy Gel Foam Bed gave me all the confidence needed to host an epic sleepover. Here's how it's done...

1. Pick Your Poison

The first thing you have to ask yourself, what kind of sleepover do you want to host? Do you want to be an all-out overachiever and plan an extravagant night of fun? Or do you want to be easy-breezy go with the flow? Or somewhere in the middle. Before you answer, I want to give you fair warning... If you go wild with a super themed party complete with out-of-this-world themed snacks, that is where you are setting the bar for all sleepovers to follow.

Whether you are an over-achiever or a go-with-the-flow parent, below are some great, and easy enough, ideas to help you host an epic sleepover.

DIY Pizza + Movie Marathon

Stuff the idea of ordering three pizzas with a multitude of toppings, halved on each pizza, to please everyone. Buy premade pizza rounds or dough and let everyone make their own pizza. Another great twist on the movie night popcorn is offering a popcorn topping and mix-in buffet. Again easy and crowd-pleasing!

Indoor Camping + Scavenger Hunt

This is a great idea during those cold winter months. Pitch the tent and throw in loads of pillows, blankets and fairy lights. A fun way to wear down the little ones is make up a fun scavenger hunt. Have stations with small puzzles and videos that hold the clues to the next stop. It fills the time and keeps their brains churning. 

Ultra-Girly Get Together + Mask Tye-Dye DIY

A pamper party with fun crafts is always a winner. Think: Mask tye-dye party or paint Kindness Rocks. BONUS: When the rocks are dry take a late-night neighborhood stroll to hide the rocks.

Backyard Camping + Glow-In-The-Dark Games

I LOVE the idea of blowing up a backyard pool and turning it into a cloud of pillows and blankets for a night under the stars. Keep the backyard party going with glow-in-the-dark ring toss, egg hunt, water bottle bowling and DIY faux firefly jars!

Themed Throwdown

If you feel up for the challenge, head to the party supply store and go theme crazy. Consider everything down to the pajamas and slippers. While it may kill you to go all out, your slumber party could end up being the event-of-the-year! 

Think: LEGO, Superheros, Pirates, Princess...

2. Games For The Win

Don't have the budget or time to pull together an extravagant planned sleepover? Then make sure you have a few games ready to fill the lulls in the night. Or better yet, make it a game night and keep them guessing on what's next with timed events hidden inside balloons!

There are LOADS of fun games to play at sleepovers all over the internet. Here are a few of my favs...

  • Would You Rather IRL: Make up a Would You Rather game with real-life choices! Think: Eat Sardines or clean up dog poop. (Get the kids to do all the stuff you don't want too! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!)
  • Hide & Seek: Speaking of sardines, have the kids try the new fun twist on Hide & Seek called Sardines.


  • Bob for Apples: It's one of the oldest party games because it NEVER GETS OLD! 
  • Keep, Pass, Eat: Even without Covid-19, it's best to use wrapped/sealed pieces of candy for this one.

  • And of course, video games. But that's a given. 

3. Snacks or Die.

Don't depend on only your pantry or the pizza dude to feed the crew. Make sure you have snacks, meals, and drinks planned. But before you head to the store, call the parents to see if you should be aware of any food allergies or forbidden foods. I have a friend who will not let her child have anything with certain food dyes. Making the call also opens the line of communication between you and the parents. 

Two of my favorite easy snack ideas were the all-night cereal bar and premade snack kit.

This little snack kit is perfect for containing spills and keeping everyone organized. 

**Whether or not you want to set up a food bar or have snacks on hand, make sure they are easily accessible and as low on sugar as possible.

4. The Sleep Spot

Being that it's a sleepover, you're gonna need a solid sleeping arrangement. After all, there is a point where sleeping should commence. Even if it's when the birds start chirping. 

This was one of my biggest concerns. Ollie has nowhere near enough room for two sleeping bags to fit on the open floor space in his room. I knew it was time to finally put a trundle bed under his open bunk bed space. He'd been using the space as a 24/7 fort, or really, the place he would stuff everything when I told him to clean his room. 

I was able to secure the Miranda gel foam bed-in-a-box mattress from Sound Sleep Solutions and was BLOWN AWAY! It's INSANE what can be done with a mattress these days. And it was SO LIGHTWEIGHT! I could carry it up the stairs by myself! In the words of my mother, "That mattress is far superior to any mattress I've ever bought." 

All Sound Sleep Solutions mattresses are made in the USA and they have been rated #1 by Better Homes and Gardens! As a bonus, the box is huge so the fun for the kids is really endless. It's possible my son was just as excited about the box as the mattress.

Y'all, if you've bought a cheap box bed in the past, and have lost all hope for them, I'm here to tell you all hope is not lost. I wholly recommend checking out Sound Sleep Solutions' Gel Foam Beds. Currently, (8/20) the company is offering a $350 off summer sale - that's basically 40% off the mattress! If you're reading this post after the sale has ended, no worries, use CODE: Firsttimemomanddad at checkout to get $350 off!

Click the image below to see full specs...

*I worked with Gel Foam Bed in the creation of the article. All opinions are my own. No affiliate links were used within this post.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com