How to Plan a Sleepover Party

Teenage girls at slumber party
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Teens love sleepover parties. They're a fun time that allows a bunch of friends to sleep over at one teen's home, though they really don't get very much sleep. Instead, they party, play games, and talk all night. And why not? 

While you might host the occasional impromptu sleepover for your teen, they're also a lot of fun to plan. Sleepovers are great for a birthday, school vacation, or after-prom party and planning one is pretty easy. With a few tips, you can ensure all the teens have a great time while staying safe.


When your teen sends out the invitations to their sleepover party be sure to include what your guests will need to bring, such as a pillow, sleeping bag, flashlight, etc. They can even ask their guests to come in their pajamas.

The invite is also an opportunity to get some help from their friends. You can ask them to contribute to the food by bringing soda, candy, or chips to share. If your teen and their friends enjoy having sleepovers often, this is a good way to even out the expense for all of the families.

On the invitations, ask for the parents to respond if their teen has any food allergies, other allergies (such as pets or scents), dietary restrictions, medications, mobility challenges, or sensory challenges so you can be prepared.

The Sleepover Space

Hold the sleepover in a large area of the house, like your family room, to allow plenty of space for the teens to stretch out. This also isolates the party from the rest of your family, so no one feels like they're intruding. Be sure to put supplies in the room to clean up any spills that may happen. Let them know where it is if they need it.

You can also make a deal with your teen that it's their responsibility to clean up and that you expect it to be done about an hour after the party is over. If you like, you could try suggesting that their friends help out with some of the clean-up before they leave the party. Make a game out it and offer a prize.

Entertainment and Activities

It's fun to pick a party theme. Game nights, video competitions, and spa-like activities are all wonderful for teen sleepover parties. Even movie marathons—like watching all the Star Wars movies in order—can be a fun activity. Get your teen's input to determine what might work best.

While some teens enjoy really scary and horror type flicks, remind your teen that not everyone likes that genre. Allow teens to talk all night if they want, but set quiet hours so the rest of the house can get some rest. You'll want to be on the lookout for teen party crashers, too.

Set an alarm so you can get up and check things out every once in a while.

Food and Drinks

Pizza and popcorn are essential sleepover foods. They're easy to make at home or you can order delivery and pop some popcorn in the microwave to make it even easier for you.

You can also offer an exotic mocktail drink that the teens can make. Smoothies are a fun option. You can supply all the ingredients and a variety of fruit and let the teens play around with the blender to create their own custom blends. Cut up some fruit garnishes and add a drink umbrella to give it a sophisticated feel.

Provide a breakfast bar with fruit and bagels in the morning. Teens who are tired or who are getting ready for their day might not always want to sit down and eat a big breakfast.

Be aware of any food allergies of the teens present. Serve only what everyone is able to eat. If a teen is on a special diet, ask their parents to help provide food or give you a list of what their teen is allowed to eat.


Follow all of the rules that you would set for any type of teen party. For instance, you would not allow any alcohol or drugs to be brought into your home, nor would you allow someone who has been drinking or who is high to attend the sleepover.

You will also want the teens to know that you will be checking in on them periodically in case they need anything. This will keep them from doing something that may get them into trouble—like sneaking out.

Same-sex sleepover parties tend to take their own pace and parents do not need to hover as much as when your teen is throwing a coed party. Do pop in every once in a while and count heads to be sure everyone is still present.

All night co-ed sleepover parties are not uncommon for teenagers as they are included in events like prom and graduation nights. They do need to be chaperoned very well by a responsible group of parents. This is not the type of sleepover party that one parent can handle alone.

A Word From Verywell

Sleepovers are a tradition for many teens and an opportunity to make great memories. Include your teen in the planning and build off these ideas to create a fun party.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kray J, Schmitt H, Lorenz C, Ferdinand NK. The influence of different kinds of incentives on decision-making and cognitive control in adolescent development: A review of behavioral and neuroscientific studies. Front Psychol. 2018;9:768. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00768

  2. Martin GN. (Why) do you like scary movies? A review of the empirical research on psychological responses to horror films. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2298. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02298

  3. Gupta RS, Warren CM, Smith BM, et al. The public health impact of parent-reported childhood food allergies in the United States. Pediatrics. 2018;142(6) doi:10.1542/peds.2018-1235

By Denise Witmer
Denise Witmer is a freelance writer and mother of three children, who has authored several books and countless articles on parenting teens since 1997.