The Sleepover

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Sleepovers rule. One of my favorite things to do for – and with – my kids, it’s also something that I’ve never outgrown even though I’m now in my fourth decade of life. Nothing is more fun to me than when one of my girlfriends (or two, or three, or more!) makes the trek to see us in Northern Virginia with plans to stay overnight. There’s just a different feel to the evening when you know that you can talk all night long if you choose – or even go to bed early if you like because you still have the next morning to spend together.

We moved to this area just shy of three years ago, which put me a mere 35 minute drive from my doorstep to my sister’s, which has turned out to be a really fabulous thing. We rarely get together without having a sleepover. Her front porch is the perfect place to crack open a bottle of wine or two and talk the night away as only sisters can do. I treasure these nights and I can’t help but think of my own two daughters and wonder if they, too, will find themselves sitting together on one of their front porches in the years to come. I sure hope so.

But for now they’re still in that magical stage of life where everything is still about make believe and the thrill of staying up past bedtime. Whenever my husband travels my girls sleep with me in our room. It’s exciting for them and takes away some of the sadness of Daddy being gone, replacing it with the fun of making beds together on the floor in front of the television, deciding which special movie they’ll choose and the chance to whisper to each other while they fall asleep (while I pretend not to notice). When they wake up in the morning they crawl into my bed and it’s snuggles all around.

And then, of course, there’s the more traditional sleepover with their friends. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Electrolux, I was asked to host a sleepover to support Kelly Ripa’s Virtual Sleepover and provide some tips for how to pull it off without pulling your hair out. It was a fun challenge and the girls had a blast! Now through October 12th you can visit Kelly’s Virtual Sleepover and just for clicking “Join” Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Here are some fun things we did to make our sleepover extra fun – and easy on Mom & Dad!

  • We ordered this face painting kit through Amazon. The original plan was for me to paint their faces but they ended up painting each others instead! They had so much fun and it gave them the chance to be creative in a way they’d never been before. And the best part is that they barely put a dent in the amount of paint and sparkles so we’ll have this for many sleepovers to come.
  • We made “healthy” homemade popsicles using my new Zoku  popsicle maker. I love that I can just add juice and it freezes within seven minutes. Our favorite was a smoothie popsicle – vanilla yogurt, frozen fruit and a splash of oj (and milk if needed) blended until smooth then frozen. Healthy and the girls loved making their own popsicles! If you don’t like the fairly hefty price tag of the Zoku, have the kids make them using paper cups & popsicle sticks as soon as they arrive so they’ll be ready after dinner.
  • Another craft was making t-shirts with these fabric markers. Each girl brought a plain white t-shirt (new or just an old one they wanted to give new life) and they spent an hour drawing and coloring right on their shirts! They even added the date and all their names so they could have something to remind them of their fun sleepover.
  • We’re sticklers for a consistent bedtime at our house but sleepovers are the exception to that rule. We make one BIG bed in front of the television in the living room then order a fun kids movie that they all agree on. We do this at the start of their normal bedtime – this way they feel excited that a movie is just starting when they’d normally be going to bed and we also avoid the dreaded “It’s time for bed” warning. The kids know that they’re now to stay in their bed and they’re almost always asleep by the time the movie ends!
  • I never cook unless it’s for breakfast. The night before the kids are typically too excited to eat much of anything so we almost always order a pizza and serve some apples, grapes or pears with it. The next morning they’re pretty tired out and more likely to sit for a longer period. I like to serve Nana’s Oatmeal Pancakes (always a hit!) with some fresh fruit and orange juice. The kids all love it and it gives them renewed energy to play the rest of the morning!

What are some of your best sleepover tips? I’d love to hear them!

Cheers,