Guest Post: Fun Activities for a Girls’ Sleepover

Girls Sleepovers: Positive Activities

If you’re like me and have a pre-teen daughter you know that sleepovers are inevitable. They’re going to happen whether you want them to or not. Which, why wouldn’t you want them to happen? They’re a wonderful bonding experience for your daughter and her friends (I’m just gonna write like everyone has just one daughter).

However, in my experience, it’s important to make sure that the time spent before they go to sleep (which is always a little later than it should be) is spent productively. If it were up to my husband, he would have them go rake leaves, clean out the gutters, or mow the lawn. But I don’t mean put them to work. Make the sleepover more than just a chance for your daughter and her friends to hang out, make it an occasion to remember with fun, bonding activities.

Here are a couple of activities that I’ve organized for my daughter’s numerous sleepovers that have had great success (I only wish I had thought to take pictures):

1) Board Game Night!

Okay, whoa, whoa, before you completely dismiss the idea of a “boring” board game night, hear me out. And really, a board game night is appropriate for a family night, boys sleep over, or any kind of family or friends gathering.

Board games are a great way to teach and enforce good behavior for children. Interested now? I bet you are. Think about it: board games force the players to be patient and take turns, focus, follow strict rules to the letter, problem solve, and think creatively.

Now, I don’t suggest games like Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble- too boring for children (and most adults, too). There are a lot of games that aren’t the classics that are really exciting and different. More importantly, the board games that I’m about to suggest are fun for everyone in the family. Board games are a family investment (family game night anyone?).

Here are my family’s favorite board games:

  • Ticket to Ride: building railroads across America.
  • Settlers of Catan: building settlements on the fictional island of Catan.
  • Forbidden Island: cooperative treasure hunting game. Get off the island before it sinks! Either everyone wins or everyone loses.
  • Alhambra: build the biggest and most diverse palace using tiles.

2) Jewelry Making!

Unlike board games, a jewelry making party is specifically geared towards girls. Most sites will suggest making paper bead bracelets or necklaces, but I would suggest making real metal jewelry that will last the rest of the girls’ lives.

This activity boosts creativity and hand-eye coordination. They also have lasting value after the sleepover ends because the girls will be able to wear the jewelry, show it off at school, or give it as a gift (maybe even for Mother’s Day, yay!).

There are some great jewelry pliers that you can get that can help with the jewelry making process that don’t leave dents or mars, which is especially useful for working with wire. Jewelry making supplies can be purchased at your local craft/fabric store, usually.

Here are some of my favorite jewelry creations:

  • Friendship bracelets: after they’ve been made, your daughter and her friends can trade amongst themselves.
  • Dangly earrings: mostly because I’ve found that my daughter and her friends think they’re fun to wear.
  • Necklaces: they’re the easiest to make really.
  • Anklets: I suppose they could be friendship anklets, but just normal decorated anklets will do.

Exercising Through Videogames

This is one of my favorites because girls usually don’t play videogames as much as boys, but they love the interactive games that get you moving. Fortunately, there are a lot of systems that offer a lot of different exercise-related games: Wii Games, Xbox Kinect, Playstation Move, etc.

Dance games work out the best when I’ve organized sleep overs. The girls can compete to get the best scores, or dance together in some of the newer games. They’re moving and having fun and getting exhausted. There are few things better than that during a sleepover.

When I asked a couple of my girlfriends what they did during sleepovers there was a recurring answer of “ate LOTS of ice cream.” Eating ice cream at a sleepover is not a bad thing, but if the girls exercise before they eat “LOTS” of ice cream, they’ll be all the better for it.

As you’ve probably determined, none of these activities take all night, so mix and match! I hope that these suggestions for activities help you out when organizing your daughter’s next sleepover! If you have any other suggestions, leave a comment below!

About the Author:

Claire ThomasMy name’s Claire. I’m a writer, crafter, and mother (and a little bit of geek).I have two fabulous daughters who are always getting themselves in trouble. When I’m not making my own jewelry, I go to see slam poetry at the local Nebraska coffee shops.


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A Family Outing: Norfolk Botanical Gardens

With temperatures unusually high this summer, finding a way to get outside, stay active, and beat the heat has proven challenging for us. But we’ve found one solution! Besides its 150+ acres of gardens and shaded woods, Norfolk Botanical Gardens boasts a three-acre children’s garden called World of Wonders: A Children’s Adventure Garden. Our favorite part of WOW? The splash pad!

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emegburg's Splash Pad album on Photobucket

The building pictured below contains bathrooms and Exploration Station, while the blue tent (called a Yurt) holds several curtained and paneled changing areas along with an infant changing station.

 photo Yurtcollage_zps322dee5f.jpg Besides the splash pad, there are the passport gardens, a treehouse with slide, play houses, paths to walk (the Trade Route), exploration station, and other fun and educational activities for kids. Click HERE to see a map of WOW and what it has to offer.

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Behind WOW is  playground of sorts. There’s a tree house nearby in the shade and in the clearing, a giant pile of sand complete with a slide and plastic cannon. Large, plastic chairs for the adults are lined up under a canopy to block the sun.

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The rest of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens are gorgeous! Fountains, flowers, pools, luscious grass, shaded woods and waterways…it’s a lovely place to walk, and most of the pathways are paved and perfect for strollers.

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There’s also an airport overlook on the property, near the visitors center. Climb the little hill next to the Norfolk International Airport and watch planes take off and land! If you get tired, hop on their free “train” (it’s basically a golf cart pulling other carts) that cycles around the gardens. They also have pontoon boats that travel the waterways, but that tour is not included with regular admission (so we haven’t tried it yet).

Norfolk Botanical Gardens hosts a myriad of programs for adults, families, and kids. Some are included with admission; others require an additional fee. They even have events for home schoolers.

Ticket Info:

As of July 2013, tickets are: adults- $11, active duty military and seniors- $10, children ages three to 18- $9, children two and under with parent or guardian- free. A family membership for one year is $85. This membership admits six people- adults, children, or a combination. Members receive discounts to the gift shop and cafe; reduced or free admission to reciprocal botanical gardens; magazine subscription; and discounted rates on classes, camps, and workshops.

Visit the Norfolk Botanical Gardens website to learn more.

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Compensated Pink

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