10 Free Slumber Party Activities to Keep Kids Entertained
After persistent begging and promises of good behavior, you’ve finally relented and said yes to a slumber party. Now comes the stress of trying to figure out how you’re going to keep all those young minds occupied.
If you’ve hosted a slumber party before, you know it takes a lot of planning and energy. And while some kids are easier to please than others, having a few free slumber party activities up your sleeve is always a wise move.
But fear not. We’ve racked our collective brains as parents and come up with ten tried and tested things to do at a slumber party. Or if you’re packing your child off to a friend’s house, read our guide on what to pack for a sleepover.
1. Indoor Camping
Kicking off with a textbook slumber party activity, indoor camping is bound to make any sleepover a roaring success. After all, if there’s one thing kids love, it’s building a fort.
It’s the perfect way to ensure all the children, including your own, are involved and having fun. At the risk of making it competitive, you can split them into teams. The first team to build a sturdy tent wins!
All you need are some bed sheets, a few chairs, duvet covers and a bunch of pillows. You could also add old cardboard boxes and means to decorate so that each group can deck out their den. Whatever you use, it’s a guaranteed win.
Karaoke is the remedy to a slumber party that needs an injection of fun. The beauty of this slumber party game is its ability to be both silly yet stimulating. It's a great outlet for releasing emotions, particularly handy if kids have a falling out. It can also give confidence to some children who are more introverted. Okay, but what if you don’t have a microphone and karaoke game?
Not to worry. Youtube has millions of kid-friendly instrumental tracks with the lyrics at the bottom of the video. Just hook it up to your TV and speakers, and watch your kids have a blast.
3. Dance Contest
Similar to karaoke, dance contests can provide the spark to a boring slumber party.
All you need to do is load up Spotify and create a playlist of their favorite hits. Kids are pretty fearless, so when it comes to dancing, they love to showcase their skills and impress their friends.
If your family already has a particular penchant for moonwalking, you might have a dance mat lying around for the kids to battle it out on a games console.
And if your slumber party has exceptionally energetic children, a dance contest will be sure to tire them out before bed.
4. Shadow Puppets
Kids love animals and making shapes, so a game of spotlight charades could be just the slumber party activity the doctor ordered.
Shadow puppets isn’t a particularly sophisticated activity. All you need is a safe light source (such as a flashlight), a white sheet to hang, a dark room, and some willing children.
The child doing the shadow puppet must stand beside the lit part of the white sheet. They think of an animal, make a shape with their hand, and encourage the other children to guess what animal it is.
5. The Flour Game
If your slumber party attendees have nerves of steel, the flour game could be an absolute winner (as long as you're fine with a little bit of mess!).
Fill a largish teacup with flour and pack it down firmly. Put a plate on top, then flip it upside down. Carefully remove the cup to reveal your “flour cake”, then put a small piece of candy, such as an M&M, on the top in the middle.
Using a blunt plastic knife, each child needs to take it in turns to cut away a small section of the flour cake. Each child will slowly shave off a portion of the flour cake, until someone eventually knocks off the candy. The forfeit for doing this is having to pick up the candy with your teeth.
6. Truth Or Dare
A certain slumber party favorite with young teens, truth or dare takes sleepover socializing to the next level. Embarrassment and laughs are sure to ensue as kids ask each other to spill secrets or do something wacky. Setting ground rules is always a good idea to ensure topics and dares are age appropriate.
It’s important to consider how old your party guests are, as this game could be less suitable for young children. If children are at the right age though, Truth Or Dare is the perfect situation to create some funny memories.
7. Scavenger Hunt
For slumber party guests that fancy themselves as budding young detectives, scavenger hunts will put their investigative skills to the test.
Make a list then hide several objects in and around your house. From stuffed-teddies to socks, the kids will make their way around the house trying to find all the hidden objects on the list. The winner is the person with the most hidden objects!
8. The Chocolate Game
We all remember this from elementary school. The chocolate game is wild, and a great demonstration of children’s commitment to eating chocolate. Of course, be sure of any food allergies before suggesting this game, both for safety reasons as well as not excluding anyone from participating in fun slumber party activities like this one!
Find wearable objects around the house, the wackier the better, and place them next to miniature-sized unopened bars of chocolate on a table. The kids then take turns to roll a dice.
When they roll a specific number, say the number six, they must put on all items of clothing next to the chocolate bars. If you’ve been crafty, you’ll have selected clothes like gloves and goggles that make it difficult to perform tasks. Once they’re wearing all items of clothing, the children have a chance to unwrap a piece of chocolate to eat. If you can find other tasty yet healthy snacks to choose from that are wrapped even better!
However, if someone else then rolls a six, the player has to stop and give the same clothes to the new player and they take over the turn. If nobody rolls the same number, then the next child in order goes after the original player gets a chance at unwrapping a piece of chocolate.
9. Balloon pop countdown
As far as slumber party activities go, this one’s a great way to maintain your sleepover schedule.
All you need are some balloons stuck to a door entrance with scheduled activity times written on them. Let’s say, for example, you plan to play the chocolate game at 5:00 pm. When the time rolls around, let one of the children pop the 5:00 o’clock balloon to signal the start of the activity.
10. Musical Sleeping Bags
Last but not least, musical sleeping bags is an enjoyable interpretation of the vintage slumber party game musical chairs.
Put on a classic song, pause it at a random point, and watch the mayhem unfold as kids scramble to slip into a sleeping bag. Be careful to watch out the children don’t bang heads or bruise any body parts by keeping a close eye on play to manage competitive behavior as the kids try to beat out their friends.