Thursday 23 November 2017

How to make a sleepover work

Joanna Moorhead

Get your child to prepare the sleepover room ahead of her friends' arrival. If there are several children coming, ask them to bring sleeping bags, and get them to bed down on mattresses on the floor

For a big sleepover, get them to leave all their stuff in one room, and impress on them that they, not you, are responsible for making sure they take all their belongings home with them

Be especially wary, on a Friday-night sleepover, about left school clothes - this can lead to terrible traumas on the following Monday morning at 8am, when a lost pair of shoes/school skirt becomes a disaster of earth-shattering proportions. Get the children to pack their uniforms into their bags straight away when they change into their home clothes, which they'll want to do within five minutes of arriving at your house

Try to have some sort of structure. For example, tea followed by a wild half hour's play, followed by getting ready for bed, a bedtime DVD, then hot chocolate and then bed

Give them 30 minutes/an hour to giggle under the covers with their torches, and then give them a first warning. Ten minutes later, a second warning. If they're still chatting half an hour later, switch on the lights and threaten to take them all home. Silence should reign within the next ten minutes, provided you've sounded sufficiently stern

For breakfast, heat up a mountain of croissants and do a jug of watered-down orange or apple juice. Get them to load their own stuff into the dishwasher

Make sure the parents collect them by 10am the next morning. When the door closes behind the last child, give yourself a treat for having made it through...

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