Maybe we're crazy, but my husband and I recently let 20 third-grade girls move into our house for an over-night slumber party. We spent lots of energy on the party but very little money. The best part: my daughter and her classmates had a great time.
Here are my TOP 10 Tips for Great Slumber Party
1. Play a movie: Pick out a parent-approved, kid-friendly movie from either the library or the rental store. Or show a movie from your own collection. We saved money by showing a film (Babe) that we already owned. The girls were reading Charlotte's Web in school and "Babe" --a movie about a pig--was a big hit at the party.
2. Play Bingo: The girls enjoyed rounds of bingo. We had a spirited competition, with the girls picking and calling out the numbers.
3. Low-cost arts & craft project. We took digital photos of the girls, then downloaded and printed out the photos. Using low-cost art supplies from a craft store, the girls made and decorated picture frames. Our party goers enjoyed every step of the process, especially the picture posing phase.
4. Let them bake the cake: Pushed for time, we didn't bake the birthday cake in advance. Instead, measuring, mixing and baking became a party activity that the girls enjoyed.
5. Offer fireworks: On the gated roof of our apartment building, my husband offered a mini-fireworks show with the girls at a safe distance. They enjoyed the color and smoke. This activity worked because we followed all safety procedures, with lots of adult supervision.
6. Do Yoga. A few meditative poses and stretches were great for chilling out a room full of high-energy and party-happy girls. They thought it was fun and I pretended to be a yoga teacher.
7. Skip the pizza and serve pasta: It would have cost over $75 to serve pizza and fries to over 20 girls on a Saturday night. Our homemade baked ziti and fries cost less than $7 for the entire party. And the girls loved the food. We had a plain-pasta option for those who were allergic to dairy products.
8. Keep breakfast simple: We just served cereal and milk. At another sleepover, we offered strawberries, waffles and whipped cream for breakfast.
9. Curtail party hours: Our guests arrived Saturday evening, with a Sunday @ 11 am pickup time. By ending the party before lunch, we limited the amount of meals that we had to serve. We were tapped out after serving Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast.
10. Constant adult supervision: For safety and security, my husband and I have a rule. One of us stays awake until the last child is asleep. And one of us, gets up when the first child wakes up. My husband took the late shift and I woke up around 6:30 am when the first kid was up. We didn't get much sleep, but we felt secure about the safety of our guests.
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