Mama. Who signed you up to host a sleepover? What starts as a fun idea, always comes with so much anxiety. You have to think about allergies, bed times, screen time policies and worrisome behaviors. Suddenly you’ve gone from, “Sure! Invite Madison and Emma over” to “Oh, crap, I have to host and entertain a large group of teens.” Annnnnd now you’re breathing into a paper bag.
Gasp a few more times and then put the bag down. First, remember how lucky you are. Your kid has friends who want to spend the night and you have earned the trust of those kids’ parents. Bonus: In this scenario, it’s finally safe to have people at your house, again. Yaaay! Second, poke around. It’s easy to think you need to take this slumber party alone. But, it’s just not true. We’ve done the legwork multiple times, so we know what you need and we have plenty of ideas to help. For instance, here are some insanely fun games to play at a sleepover. Your little host or hostess and their guests will love all of these.
1. Flashlight Tag
This is just like regular tag except you play it outside in the dark with flashlights. If “It” shines their beam of light on you, you’re out.
2. Two Truths And A Lie
This is such a fun game for your guests to use to bond and spill secrets. The concept is simple: Each person takes turns sharing two truths and one lie about themselves. Everyone else has to guess which is the lie. Encourage your kids to think of ways to be sneaky. (Ex: You’re known for your yellow car, but your favorite color is green. Saying, “My favorite color is yellow” might be assumed true, when it’s actually a lie.)
3. Truth Or Dare/Dance
You know how to play truth or dare already, of course. However, what if you’re worried about your tweens getting into too much trouble? Or what if you’re a fraidy cat? “Truth Or Dance” is a much more low-key, introvert-friendly version. Instead of choosing a dare, you have to do a dance someone else makes up for you.
4. Would You Rather…
Similar to “This Or That,” this game is just an excellent way for your guests to share (when they start explaining your choices, you always hear good stories), learn and bond.
5. Never Have I Ever
Start with ten fingers (or ten pieces of candy) and go around the room listing things you’ve never done but someone else might have. If they’ve done it, they put a finger down. (Or eat a piece of candy, etc.)
Similar to Hide and Seek, but Sardines is played with one person hiding and everyone else seeking. Each time a hunter finds the hider, they must join in and hide with them. The last person to find the rest of the group is the next “it.” It’s called sardines because you usually end up smooshed into cramped spaces together.
When was the last time you made a MASH board out of notebook paper? These days, you can actually find MASH printables. But, really all you need is pen and paper. Your kids will love designing their future… even if it ends up being awful.
8. Blind Makeovers
Blind makeovers can go two ways. The first could be that you take turns making over guests, but they can’t see until you’re done. The other option is to blindfold the person doing someone else’s make-up.
9. Spotlight Charades
Like regular Charades… but in the dark and with a flashlight. It’s a little harder and a lot more fun.
10. Spin The Nail Polish
Make or use another game’s spinner. Place nail polish bottles on each of the spinner’s wedges. Let guests take turns spinning to find out how they’ll paint their nails.
11. Minute To Win It Games
Got a minute? Then you have time for any of these games.
12. Musical Sleeping Bags
This is just like musical chairs, except you play with your guests sleeping bags — When the music stops, players must get all the way into the sleeping bag.
13. Ball of Questions
Similar to playing Would You Rather or Truth or Dare, the idea is simply to get your guests talking. Find a big old ball (or, if you’re an overachiever, buy a new one that matches your color scheme) and use a marker to fill it with questions. Your guests can take turns tossing it back and forth. Whether their left pointer finger lands when they catch the ball, they have to answer that question. (There’s no real rule on what finger to use, of course. So, adjust as necessary.)
14. Sleeping Bag Sack Race
Remember doing sack races during field day? Try it with slippy sleeping bags.
15. Sleeping Beauty
Have one guest lay down and pretend to be asleep. Without touching her, all guests must try to “wake” sleeping beauty.
16. Hot potato — Selfie Edition
Set a timer on your cell phone and start passing it between guests. Each time someone gets the phone, they must stop and pretend to take a selfie. The person holding the cellphone when they time goes off must actually take a selfie.
17. Superhero Game
Do you have a group of superhero lovers who want all things Avengers, Wonder Woman, or Batman? Why not have a superhero dress up game/mask decorating. Set up a station with glue, supplies, and all the blank masks the kids could possibly want. Buy some cloth by the yard that can function as the cape to fully set the mood. All this can be the cocktail hour for the main event, popcorn and viewing of the group’s superhero movie of choice.
18. Decorate Your Own Pillowcase
This is in the same vein as decorating a mask but gives the partygoers a bigger surface area to put their own special flair on a their very own pillowcase. Use cloth specific markers and paints for better and more vibrant results.
19. Found Objects Fashion Show
You know the toilet paper bridal gowns women have made at every single bridal shower since the beginning of time? Yeah. Do that. However, open it up a little. Let the girls raid your fabric stash or linen closet. Give them access to your pantry, too. Let the hallway be your catwalk and soundtrack the game with some dramatic techno music. Whomever comes up with the wildest, silliest or straight-up best outfit is the winner.
20. Name That TikTok Meme
Chances are if your kid is approaching the tween years they are as obsessed with all things TikTok as the rest of America so why not turn that love into a game. Many a meme and trend has been borne of the social media app and a guessing game of the TikTok song or meme will have your guests hooting and hollering in no time. Use this guide to the app’s most famous memes as a guide and have the host (we’re assuming your child) decide on the most fun format (songs, dances, or verbal memes) to test for.