An invitation to the first sleepover is perhaps one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking events in the life of any child. A weekend sleepover with a group of friends holds promises of party games and activities, delicious snacks and treats, and sometimes the chance to stay up much later than usual due to the circumstances. But it also means staying in an unfamiliar environment without mom or dad around. A kids’ sleepover may be the first time your little one sleeps away from home and away from his or her parents, which can lead to tension, agitation, and even a ruined evening.
So, don’t let a lack of preparation ruin your child’s first sleepover. Instead, try these simple tips to prepare kids for sleepovers to ensure your little one has a blast during his or her first night away from home.
Talk to Your Child About the Sleepover
One of the best ways to prepare children for sleepovers is by sitting down with your little one and asking about his feelings or thoughts about the occasion. This is the perfect opportunity to gauge his interest in the sleepover, and determine whether or not you think he is ready.
If your child seems apprehensive and even uninterested, it may be best to postpone sleepovers for a while until she seems ready. If your child is interested, but has questions or even fears, this is the right time to speak to her and provide any answers, helping her become calm and ready for the event.
Try a Mock Sleepover at Your House
A sleepover is often difficult for some children because it delivers a complete change in routine from their normal schedule. Your child may normally go to bed at 8 every night after having a bath, a couple stories read to him, and even cuddling with you for a while. At the sleepover you won’t be there to read stories, tuck in, or bring glasses of water. These changes in routine can make it difficult for a child to enjoy himself.
You can help plan for this change in routine, however, by trying a mock sleepover at your house the weekend (or even a few days) before. To do so, gather up a few sleeping bags and pillows, and set up camp outside of the bedroom (this could be in the living room, in the basement, or somewhere else), and have everyone put their sleeping arrangements together. Then, have your child stay up a bit later than usual with the family, and play games and try other activities together. This may help your child anticipate and adjust to a change in routine; while your little one is still in the comfort of her home and around her parents. She will be better prepared for any upcoming stress during the real event.
Come Up with a Plan
Does your child still have anxieties about the sleepover? Is he still worrying about all of the possibilities that could arise away from home? One of the best ways to calm his fears is by coming up with a contingency plan beforehand. For example, let your child know that you are only one phone call away if he needs anything; hopefully your little one can make it through the night, but he will also know that you’re ready and waiting to help if need be.
Send Your Child with Toys and Games
Finally, an easy and exciting way to help your child prepare for a kids’ sleepover is by sending her along with some exciting toys and games. For example, you can have your child show up at the sleepover with the Wilderness Lantern, which is perfect for some outside exploration and can double as a nightlight. Or, you can help ensure your kid is the life of the party by sending along the Perfect Nail Markers Mega Set, an excellent sleepover activity. The party-goers can paint their nails in beautiful patterns with this fun toy.
Prepare Children for Sleepovers with These Steps
Are you getting ready to send your child to his very first sleepover this week? If so, don’t hesitate to utilize these simple ideas to make sure that he is ready for everything away from home.