Your child will inevitably start wondering about a sleepover experience. Most likely, if under 5 years old, they aren’t quite ready for this event. Sometimes, perhaps you’re not quite ready for it.
A sleep-under is the perfect solution that involves all of the fun, all of the cute moments, and none of the stress. It’s a fun, easy, and budget-friendly activity to schedule.
What is a sleep under?
A sleep-under is a sleepover party without the actual sleepover. This is the perfect option for toddlers who are still too young to stay overnight. Kids get to enjoy all the things that make slumber parties so fun, like cozy pajamas, yummy food, and giggles with friends. Parents get to avoid hosting an all-night party, and no one will be woken up by the dreaded “can you pick me up” call.
What is the time frame if I host a sleep under?
Typically, a sleep-under is short and sweet. You’ll want to plan for a 3-hour window, give or take. Have parents drop their kids off around 5 p.m. and pick them up at 8 p.m. when everyone is starting to fade. You can tweak this timeframe to be earlier for younger toddlers.
Jammies and Nap Mats 101
When sending out invitations, make it very clear that this is a slumber party. That means pajamas are mandatory. Yup, that means you too! What better way to really set the mood!?
Ask parents to bring any sleeping bags or , and their toddler’s favorite stuffed animal, doll, or toy. Clear a spot in your home for everyone to lay out their sleeping areas. This will typically be in front of the TV for movie watching later on.
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Movies, crafts, and games, oh my!
When it comes to activities and entertainment the limit is truly your imagination. Below are a few suggestions from the Urban Infant.
- Movies are a staple in any sleepover, pick an age-appropriate movie and have it on while the kids play, and work on crafts.
- To keep those hands busy and minds occupied, provide a craft like decorating sock puppets or pillowcases. This will be an adorably hilarious memento for everyone to look back on.
- Other fun sleep-under activities are singing karaoke, having a dance party, or playing hide-and-seek.
The “I’m hungry” solution.
You’re not trying to send everyone home with a bellyache and a sugar high, but you want to stay on-trend with the theme of the evening.
For a snack, all you have to do is pop some popcorn. Fill small paper popcorn boxes for each child and set them out beforehand so they're ready to go when the nibblers start reaching for something.
When you need something with a little more sustenance, we’ve just got one thing to say… breakfast for dinner! Think baked goods, French toast, pancakes, and waffles. Set out any toppings so the kids can be engaged and craft their own meal.
Goodnight, but not quite sweet dreams.
Just as the kids are starting to get droopy-eyed and overtired, parents will be showing up at your door ready for pick-up.
You’ll be sending everyone off with a personalized craft, a satisfied tummy, and some new budding friendships.