The Ultimate Sleepover Planning Guides: Best Sleepover Games for Tweens and Teens
If you have a tween or teen, expect to host a sleepover at some point. It’s a rite of passage for kids of this age group. But your child will tell you, sleepovers are not just about bringing a sleeping bag and pillow.
There have to be plenty of activities that are cool and age-appropriate. No one wants to be known for hosting a boring sleepover!
With that said, we have some slumber party ideas that are sure to be teen and tween approved. From activities to games, food, and themes, your child can host the ultimate sleepover party.
Related: 15 New Year's Eve Ideas for Teens (So They Can Party Too!)
Tips to Host a Fun Sleepover
Most likely, your child is not going to want you in the middle of the action during their sleepover. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t be involved in the planning process. You should be aware of all activities and games that are being planned so that they can also be parent-approved.
Since the children are going to be under your roof, you are responsible for them. With that in mind, here are some tips to help your child host a fun sleepover.
- Set a guest list. As the sleepover hosts, you want to have an idea of how many kids to expect. You want to have enough space, food, and activities for everyone.
- Make sure your child plans and goes over ideas with you. You can give your input and make sure everything is age appropriate.
- Be sure everyone brings a sleeping bag, pillow, and blankets if you don’t plan on supplying them.
- Have everyone come in comfy clothes or PJs they don’t mind moving around in. After all, it is a sleepover party!
- Ask about food allergies so there is nothing dangerous on the menu for your guests.
- Don’t plan on being part of the party yourself. (Sorry mom and dad, tweens need some privacy)
- Have an established pickup time in the morning if you don’t want guests staying until whenever they want.
It’s also a good idea to go over any ground rules with your child before guests arrive and the sleepover begins. While you don’t want to be the “mean parent”, there need to be some rules so your child and guests know what is and is not allowed inside your home.
Sleepover Food Ideas for a Fun Party Menu
Delicious food can complete and complement the sleepover party. Teens and tweens have healthy appetites, so be sure to have plenty of food on hand.
Here are staples you can never go wrong with for your child’s next slumber party.
Besides the basics, you can also give your food ideas a theme. Here are some ideas:
Have all the fixings for a great taco bar.... cheese, tomato, lettuce, guacamole, we think you get the idea!
Buy pizzas and have a variety for the guests or let the kids make their own. Many parents opt to buy pizza because it’s easier and less messy.
Make several different types of pasta that the kids can choose from for an extraordinary pasta party.
Depending on the weather, you can go BBQ style with hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.
This is always a hit. Different types of frostings, sprinkles, M&Ms, and other toppings can make for some interesting creations!
You can’t go wrong with a sundae bar either. Kids (and adults) of all ages love to create their signature ice cream sundaes.
Creative Sleepover Theme Ideas for Tweens and Teens
Now that we have the sleepover tips and food covered, it’s time to kick into theme mode. Some kids don’t want a theme because they think it’s “corny”, but others love a good party theme to tie everything in. If your child falls into the second group, here are some theme ideas to consider:
Just as the name suggests, everything is done backward. Guests wear their clothes backward, balloons can be hung backward, serve dessert, and then the main course. You get the idea!
Swap your regular lightbulbs out for blacklight light bulbs and let the party begin! Ask everyone to wear white or neon colors so they bask in the glow.
3. Hawaiian Luau Sleepover
No matter the weather where you live, everyone can enjoy a good tropical theme. Parrot decorations, tikis, flowers, and more can make your child’s Hawaiian sleepover one to remember.
Sports theme parties can be fun if your child is really into sports. If their friends are too, you can have everyone wear their favorite jersey and you can have some competitions throughout the night.
15 Sleepover Activities & Games for Tweens & Teens
When it comes to sleepover ideas for tweens and teens, be sure to help your child plan games and activities that everyone will enjoy. It’s not kind to choose activities that some kids can’t participate in or have no desire to do.
Here’s a few fun indoor and outdoor sleepover games and activities teens will have a blast doing!
1. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are good ideas for kids of all ages. The list of items doesn’t have to be hard to find. You can put a theme around your scavenger hunt or just have random items. Decide if it’s every tween or teen for themselves or if you’re going to have teams. Be sure to have a prize for the winner! You don’t want to do all that work for nothing!
2. Play M.A.S.H.
Classic slumber party game alert! Many parents probably played this game when they were younger. M.A.S.H. which stands for mansion, apartment, shack, or house, is a fun game where kids can see their dreams come true...all on paper (at least for now). There are plenty of online printable worksheets like this one that you can print out to make things easier.
3. Tin Foil and Toilet Paper Fashion Show
Chances are you’ve played a similar game at a bridal shower. This game may be for the tween group and not for teens. Here’s how it works:
Each girl gets sheets of aluminum foil or toilet paper to create their unique design. Have styling tools like ribbons, thread, bows, and whatever else you want to add. Allow girls to live their best fashionista lives with this fun slumber party activity. At the end, have a fashion show so everyone can show off their designs.
4. Truth or Dare
Truth or dare is another classic sleepover game. Players sit in a circle with a bottle placed horizontally downward. One person spins the bottle and the person it points at has to choose whether they want to speak the truth or take a challenge. This is a fun group game to play when you have a good number of kids.
5. Spa Night
It’s makeover time! Spa activities like facials, manicures, and pedicures are often slumber party staples. The girls can make their own facial packs or you can buy ones at the store. Set up stations around the house where they can go from one to the other to get each of the services offered!
6. Have a Pillow Fight
Pillow fights are another sleepover staple. You may want to invest in a few cheap pillows for the big brawl! You can tie in a theme to this activity by having the girls decorate pillowcases or sleep masks once the pillow fight is over. Both make great party favors and will also serve as a fun activity.
7. Host a Dance Party
Did somebody say dance party? A dance party has teen or tween pajama party written all over it. Make sure your child makes a killer playlist and don’t forget the Bluetooth speakers and party lights. They can have a competition or even play dance charades or see who can make up the funniest dance. Whatever they choose, they're bound to have a lot of fun.
8. Take the Party Outside!
If the weather is great or you just live in a naturally warm climate, move the party outside. Once you do, an entirely new world of activities opens up for your child and their friends. They can camp outside, have a bonfire, make smores...we think you get the idea.
When it comes to outdoor party games, they can do water balloons, sack races, and more! They can also play a game of capture the flag.
Buy a set of glow-in-the-dark flags for extra fun. There are just as many outdoor slumber party ideas as there are ones for indoors. There’s a good chance that the kids will even come up with some of their own slumber party ideas for the outdoors, but it’s good to have a few things already planned.
9. Teen Movie Night Marathon Sleepover
Have your child and friends choose several of their favorite movies for a movie night marathon. They may also choose to binge-watch some of their favorite TV shows.
10. Video Game Tournament
Many kids enjoy just playing video games together. If your group falls into that category, let them have fun and play!
11. Photo Booth
Grab some props and set up a photo booth. Teen girls often love this idea to take selfies together and dress up in a sleepover photo booth.
12. Spin the Nail Polish
The spin the nail polish game is easy to set up. Put a different bottle of nail polish in a separate box on a piece of cardboard. Set up a spinner in the middle. Have each girl spin. The color they land on is the color they have to paint their nails. This game may be better suited for younger girls.
13. Get Creative & Crafty
If you have a crafty group of kids, a trip to the craft store is definitely needed. Grab a bunch of different crafts they can do together. They may like to make bracelets, decorate mirrors, or do other fun activities that let them show off their creativity.
14. Talent Show Time
Every child picks a talent to show off for the slumber party talent show. If there are a couple of shy kids in the group, they can be the judges. You can provide some small prizes for first and second place to encourage kids to step up their game!
15. Teen Bakeoff
If your child and their friends love baking, why not have a bake-off? This may require some supervision (and cleanup) on your part, so be sure to think this one through!
But, if you decide to do it, the kids will definitely have a great time showing off their skills. It’s best to have each child bring the ingredients they need to make their creation.
Remember, fun is always on the to-do list when it comes to planning an #awesomesleepover.
And if you’re the sleepover guest rather than the host, make sure you have everything you need with our Sleepover Packing Checklist!
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Kristina is a freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She is a former television news producer with 20 years of writing experience.