My daughter had her first sleepover over the weekend. Her daddy and brothers are away, so it was the perfect time to invite over some friends for a girls’ night– toddler style.
A friend from church who has two little girls (and a baby boy who did not attend) came over, pillows and blankets and special lovies in tow. All the girls were excited. It’s not everyday you get to have a playdate with friends…and then continue it over breakfast the next morning.
I was excited too. As mothers of small children, it can be so hard to find time to carry on conversations and build friendships. Typically play dates allow time for small talk–which is riddled with interjections reminding your kids to share, not to pee in the sandbox (life with boys, y’all), and when the next time they will eat is (even though they just had a meal ten minutes ago).
This sleepover was going to be a chance for everyone to get to know one another better and speed up the friendship building process. Because nothing says I’m committed to this friendship like seeing each other in your pajamas with crazy bedhead and sharing the bedtime chaos together. Stay in your bed or no more dessert ever!!!”, amiright??!!
Our sleepover really went well. We kept things simple and tried to find a good balance between doing fun things with the girls and kicking them out of the kitchen to go play so we could talk.
Before the girls arrived, I set up a couple of play areas in the living and dining rooms of our house. Having all the play out in our common areas kept the girls out of the bedrooms and kept the clean-up much more manageable.
I brought out all my daughter’s babies and accessories (how did she get so many??). The cradles, stroller, doll seat, and so on were set out so the girls could take care of their babies–my daughter’s favorite pastime. I also put out the dress up basket and set up a pretty spot on our buffet with the sleepover activities we would be doing in the morning.
I didn’t stress about the house being spotless (when do I ever?), but I did want everything to be neat and comfortable for our friends. Tidying up, vacuuming, and clean sheets were the priority. Hospitality doesn’t have to be difficult.
Since our friends arrived around dinner time, we started the night with making individual pizzas at the island. I made a very simple dough, divided it up into pieces for each girl, and put out small bowls of pizza toppings. A homemade ranch dressing was used for the sauce, onto which the girls loaded up cheese, chicken, bacon, and a few vegetables.
The whole pizza making process did not take long at all, thanks to the thin crust dough and my can’t-live-without pizza steel. The girls ate their pizzas with the promise of cupcakes and ice cream later.
After dinner the girls played while my friend and I hung out. Eventually it was decided (by my daughter’s incessant queries about cake) that it was time for dessert. We set the girls up at a small table in the living room and turned on Little Einsteins. Sugar + Netflix = the yin and yang of settling down for bedtime.
Homemade vanilla ice cream with teddy grahams, and leftover cupcakes were a perfect dessert!
Getting the girls into bed was not very difficult. But in all honesty, my friend had a hard time getting her girls to sleep. In the end, though, it was agreed that one late night was worth the fun.
The next morning was the best.
Princess tattoos and stickers. Sponge painting tank tops. Decorating bracelets. Manicure and pedicures.
The stuff of toddler girls’ dreams.
We really had such a great time with very little effort!
I’m not comfortable with the idea of sending my kids off for sleepovers without me, but I love the idea of family sleepovers. I am sure it’s a tradition we will continue!
Maybe next time we will have an all-boy sleepover….?
Mother-Daughter Sleepover Links:
- Simple Pizza Dough
- Princess Tattoos
- Easy Ice Cream Maker
- Melissa & Doug Design-Your-Own-Bracelets
- Toddler Tank Tops