As the kids are getting older, they are making more and more friends between them. Sometimes we have playdates come over. At other times, we have family members bring their kids around. The children love hanging out with other kids. They get to play and use their imagination with their toys in lots of different ways.
Now my eldest is about to start school; I thought that a proper sleepover might be something we could try out. I think it’s good for their social interaction for kids to share these kinds of experiences. It’s also really helpful for parents to reclaim a date night or two while their kids are being looked after overnight!
Having bunk beds or duo cabin beds for kids in the house certainly helps with this. But if you don’t have a spare bed, most kids love the idea of camping out on the floor or a blow-up mattress for the night. Of course, there are bound to be a few late-night giggles as the kids keep each other up with chatter and playing. But it’s great fun for them.
As it’s the end of the summer holidays, I know that a late night isn’t going to be too disruptive the following day. It might take a while to get all the kids to settle, but that’s part of the adventure! I do have a few rules they must follow, though. I ask the parents of the guest child to relay what is expected for the bedtime and morning routines in front of the kids. That way we all know what we should be doing, and what is acceptable behaviour.
I also have a rule that there is to be no more food after teeth brushing, so midnight feasts are definitely out! If you let everybody know what your house rules are, kids are usually quite good at following them. Your own children know the rules, so they can keep their friend out of trouble.
Some parents worry about looking after other people’s kids. It can be a great concern when you don’t know the children very well. For me, I would prefer to invite a child to stay that had been over to play a lot of times before. I think it’s wise to choose a family you would be happy for your own child to stay overnight with too. Kids can get very excitable, so I would need to know the best ways to calm a situation down.
I think enhancing a child’s social life is important. It also gives me a chance to socialise more with parents that are going through the same trials of parenthood as me. Being prepared for your child to have friends over to stay takes time. You don’t have to rush it.
When kids come over to play, it’s great that they can entertain themselves and have so much fun. It gives you a chance to step back and watch from the sidelines for a while. It’s a great way to help your child develop those essential social skills they’ll need as they get older. Are you ready to tackle your first sleepover?