Arouse interest in your sleepover party with invitations featuring designs that include pillows, sleeping bags, curlers, teddy bears, and diaries.
Use streamers, garlands, balloons, and a Happy Birthday sign to decorate the room that partygoers will be sleeping in. Arrange their sleeping bags in a circular starburst pattern, so that everyone’s heads are facing in towards the center of the circle. This makes it easier for guests to talk the night away! Make the room cozy by placing lots of plush toys around the room. For an element of drama and surprise, paste glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling -- and you’ll find guests asking for "lights out!"
The extended length of a sleepover party means there’s plenty of time for lots of fun activities. Set up a large pail of water and have partygoers bob for apples. Turn up the CD player and hold a dance contest; or turn down the CD player and have a karaoke contest. Before bedtime is beauty time, when hair gets curled and nail polish goes on. When lights go out, suggest your giggling guests tell ghost stories -- hopefully they won’t be able to keep their eyes open for much longer!
This party not only calls for the usual assortment of late-night snacks -- potato chips and dip, pretzels, popcorn, and corn chips and salsa -- but you’ll also need to prepare breakfast for this crowd. To make your life easier, get guests involved in preparing their own breakfast: put out on the kitchen table an assortment of cereals, breads, bagels, fruit, butter, cream cheese, milk, and juices, and let them help themselves to a healthful breakfast.
Bake a rectangular cake to decorate as a pillow. For a fun look, use frosting and icing tubes to re-create the colors or pattern found on the birthday child’s actual pillow or sleeping bag.
Send partygoers home the next day with a plain white sleeping bag that’s filled with a variety of candies and treats, then tied at the top with a decorative ribbon.
Match your thank-you notes to your invitation, or choose a complementary design. Teach your child good manners by having her sign her own name to each note. Also, don’t forget to mention what the gift was that you’re thanking the person for -- and how much your child enjoyed it!