What do you want to do for your birthday? Odds are, if you’ve got a child over the age of 9 or 10, you’re going to hear “a sleepover” as the answer. And, if this is the case, you’re going to need to prepare for a night of madness!
Sleepovers are so much fun for the kids but also quite draining for you (and for them, to be honest). But while it is a lot of work and preparation, sleepovers can actually be quite affordable (compared to some play centres, for example).
Most importantly, children love having their besties over, not just for a play, but for an entire night – and brekkie too! This is such a treat for them and most likely not something that happens all the time.
So, with that being said, if you’re looking for some fun sleepover ideas to keep them entertained all day (and night), we’ve got 27 things to try.
Most of these are a bit girly, but that’s simply because I have a daughter who is at a sleepover age and a lot of these sleepover activities come from things I’ve done in the past with her.
Please, feel free to share any more sleepover ideas you have in the comments below.
Feeding the troops
Let’s start with the food. Keep it simple and let them get involved as much as you can.
1. DIY pizzas
Easy peasy and it will keep them busy for a good 15/20 minutes. You will need to do the prep work (toppings in various bowls – tomatoes, capsicum, mushrooms, ham, pineapple, pepperoni, cheese), tomato sauce on the counter, and get the oven ready, but they should be able to spread the sauce and add the toppings they like.
Keep it simple by buying pre-made bases – ain’t no mum got time to make their own pizza bases!
2. Cupcake (or cookie) decorating
Another easy activity for them to do is decorate their own cupcakes or, even easier, biscuits! Check out these 10 easy biscuit ideas. You supply the bickies (found in the cookie aisle), and the toppings and they do the rest.
3. Snack caddies
Okay, dinner done, dessert sorted. Not it’s time for the lollies! We love the Snack Caddy idea, using art caddies (you can get them at Kmart for $3). Add popcorn, some lollies, and maybe a juice box each and you’re good to go! Each child has their very own snack station to last them through the movie and nightly activities.
4. Pancake station
For the morning, your best bet is an epic pancake station where, again, the kids can choose what toppings they want. Dice up plenty of fruits, yoghurt, cream, butter, Nutella, jam and maple syrup (make sure it’s Canadian Maple Syrup) and, a bit of bacon on the side.
A yummy and nutritious (okay, sort of nutritious) meal to start their day and send them on their way! See how to make it here.
Get crafty with some sleepover activities to get their creative juices flowing. What’s great about these sleepover ideas is that they can keep whatever they make!
5. DIY Activity Kits
There are TONS of activity kits available that are great for sleepovers including Nail Kits, Slime Kits, Bath Bomb Kits, and Friendship Bracelet Kits.
These are generally around $15 per kit and will easily keep them entertained for an hour or so. Another cool thing about these kits is that they will be able to go home with a little souvenir from the party.
6. Make their own slime
If you’d prefer to make your own, we have a great slime recipe right here – unicorn slime!
7. Pillow decorating
Another really cute project is to purchase white pillowcases and get the kids to decorate each pillowcase using markers. If you don’t want to do pillowcases, you can also buy some white T-shirts.
Perhaps suggest they all sign their names to commemorate the party.
8. Colouring-In Challenge
This is something I bought on a whim for my daughter’s party in case they got bored and it turned out to be their favourite activity. Get one of those mega colour scrolls (Kmart – $3.25) and set it up on a table with heaps of markers.
See if the children can get it fully coloured by morning.
9. A Painting Party
Paint-by-Numbers are also great for creative kids and fun for sleepovers. Again, you can pick up canvases and scrolls, ready to paint, at Kmart or Kaiser Craft.
10. Rock painting
Stick to the painting theme by going to a nearby creek, collecting some rocks before the party, washing them and having them ready to paint. Sharpies are good for rock painting as are these Paint Markets from Kmart ($8).
11. A trip to the spa
Nails, hair, massage. Tick. Tick. Tick. Set up several spa stations where the ladies can paint their nails, braid their hair (bonus points if you can muster up some hair chalk) and give foot rubs.
Tie-dye kits are pretty common these days but you can also get your own dye from any craft store and set up a tie-dye station outside. You’ll need something white to dye, several elastics and overnight to let the dye do its thing – a good activity for the afternoon so the matching tie-dye shirts (or bags or scrunchies or eye masks or whatever) are ready for the morning.
13. Can’t decide? Try an activity jar
Simply write out a few activity suggestions on popsicle sticks (or pieces of cardboard), place them into a jar and get the birthday boy or girl to pull out a suggestion. Easy peasy!
Get them amped up
We know – a bunch of screaming children isn’t always great for our heads but it’s not an epic sleepover without at least ONE loud activity that encourages plenty of laughter!
A timeless classic! YouTube is full of free Karaoke videos too. Have the earphones ready.
15. Talent show
Put their talents to the test and let them take a makeshift stage in the living room. What will they showcase? Magic tricks? Jokes? Acrobatic moves? Hacky sack? Rubix cube mastery? Burping the alphabet? The sky’s the limit!
16. Dance contest
If the kids would prefer to work as a team, get them to make up a play or choreograph a dance. I’m sure they will have no problems finding a TikTok dance to follow.
17. Charades or Pictionary
Both of these games are easy to play and set up. All you need to do is place a bunch of ideas on pieces of paper, put them in a hat and let the children choose what to act out or draw. If you happen to have a Charades or Pictionary game, even better!
Take the crazy outdoors with these fun sleepover ideas – perfect for the backyard or nearby park.
18. Bubble painting
From Hello Wonderful, this activity is strictly for outdoors but it’s a great one for team bonding and makes a lovely keepsake for the birthday child!
Gather your bottles from the recycling bin, make up a bubble mixture and get busy. I can’t help but think this would be an awesome opportunity for giant canvas artwork.
19. Treasure hunt
This is a favourite at sleepovers with my daughter and her friends. Design a treasure hunt using clues (I use basic addition, subtraction and multiplication equations to spell out a word of where the next clue is hidden).
- 5×3 =15. 15=M
- 4×4=16. 16=A
- 6×2=12 12=I
- 9×9= 81. 81=L
- 10×5=50. 50=B
- 12×3= 36. 36=O
- 10×7= 70. 70=X
- Answer? MAILBOX.
At the end of the treasure hunt, the kids will find a small bag of lollies or a little treat, or even an activity to do. My daughter likes maths so it works for her but you don’t have to use maths – that’s just one of many ideas!
20. Slip ‘n slide
Another fun one. Simply add water and dish soap and watch them go! We have an AirTrax (image below) which is basically the greatest toy in the entire world for any tumbling/gymnasts out there, but it also doubles as a fun slip ‘n slide. However, any tarp will do.
21. Trampoline statues
There are tons of games you can play on a trampoline but a fun one for kids of all ages is Trampoline Statues where they must remain as still as possible when the music stops.
Of course, basic wrestling matches are also a huge hit!
22. Walkie Talkie Hide and Seek
This is another one my kids love. If you have walkie talkies (and kids old enough to explore the neighbourhood a bit), then split them into two teams. One team hides, one team hunts, using the walkie talkies to give clues as to where they could be.
23. Laser Tag
Another massively popular sleepover activity is laser tag. Laser Tag in a Box can supply all the products for this if you don’t have the equipment.
Finally, we get to the end of the evening. Dinner done. Cake dusted. Time to CHILL OUT and pray these kids go to bed at a decent hour.
24. Get Sleepy in a Teepee
The best way to make sure that happens? Set up a sleep space that SCREAMS comfy. Little sleepy teepees are so popular these days and plenty of companies supply all the equipment you need, including the teepees, bedding and bedside tables.
However, I know mums who have pulled their own sleepy tent party off on the cheap using products from Kmart.
25. Face masks before bed
This is an easy wind-down sleepover activity. Pick up some face masks and cucumbers, put on the calming music and let them relax with their masks on.
26. Predict their futures
Another cool activity to do is to predict their futures. There are a few ways to do this – you can do it through a deck of cards (here is an easy explanation).
For an even easier way that the kids can do themselves, predict the future using the various suits. We used to play that each suit meant something different. Spades represent challenging tasks or events coming in the future. Hearts are about feelings, family, home, love, and relationships. Clubs represent positive things that are coming in the near future. Diamonds are all about money and finance.
So if you got 10 diamonds, that means you’ll be rich.
You can also use Tarot Cards if you happen to have them.
27. And, of course, end with a movie!
Finding a movie everyone agrees on can be tricky so have three or four options ready to go and then get them to decide. This saves the constant Netlfix scrolling and inevitable wasted 45 minutes of precious movie-time.
Well, that’s a wrap! 27 sleepover ideas for kids. We hope our sleepover ideas will help you when planning and prepping the perfect sleepover party!
Share any other ideas you have with us below – we would love to hear (and see them) if you have photos.
What to read next
Be sure to also check out our party section for TONS of birthday party ideas.