Check the gadgets and gizmos at the door because your sleepover group is too busy for texting and Web-surfing tonight. Use your teen’s interests as a guide to an itinerary of activities to keep the group engaged and entertained, then give them a little space for gossip and girl talk. Explain the house rules to your teen before her guests arrive and be sure to check on the group regularly to ensure the evening remains age-appropriate and safe.
If you’re surrounded by a group of easygoing teens, let them entertain each other with a talent show. Have the shy kids in the group judge the performances or cheer on each performer.
Have the girls put on a fashion show. Collect a variety of apparel ahead of time, have each guest bring some of her fab closet finds or pick up dresses and other formal wear from a local thrift shop for the girls to model. Alternatively, opt for a photo shoot. Hang a solid-colored sheet or blanket for the background, surround the area with lamps for good lighting and snap photos as the girls strike their best poses.
If your teen group is full of music lovers, set up a karaoke machine or have the girls make music videos to their favorite songs and record the production to watch later with popcorn.
Create an indoor oasis in the recreation room replete with beauty stations, aromatherapy candles, nature sounds and comfortable beanbag or lounge chair seating. Offer a variety of beauty-related activities at each station, including makeovers, manicures, pedicures and temporary body art. You can serve as the esthetician for the evening or let the girls take turns providing the services to each other.
Add a craft table to the oasis where the group can make body glitter, lip gloss or bath bombs to take home. Or, let them show off their pretty pedicures by making barefoot sandals from elastic string and crystal beads.
Help your teen turn an ordinary slumber party into a treat fest for a group of cooking or baking enthusiasts. The teens can make cookies or brownies to decorate with royal icing early in the evening. For more advanced teen chefs, make petit fours, cheesecake or truffles instead. Host a late night sundae social later on with a plethora of goodies to add on top.
Alternatively, teens can customize their own personal-size pizzas for a late night snack and make Belgian waffles in the morning to top with blueberries, strawberries, confectioner’s sugar, maple syrup and whipped cream.
In the summer, add exotic mocktails to the do-it-yourself treat menu or make hot chocolate from scratch in the winter.
Beneath the Stars
During warm weather, host a teen sleepover in the backyard. Pitch a tent and let the girls eat s’mores and tell ghost stories around a brightly lit lantern -- unless campfires are permitted in your backyard. Organize a game of flashlight tag or hide glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces in the yard for the girls to find.
Supervise a late night swim in the pool if it's well lit, or pick up a couple of luminescent beach balls to play glow-in-the-dark volleyball in the water instead. Bring a television into the yard and lay blankets on the ground for an outdoor movie fest reminiscent of a drive-in theater.
If the weather is uncooperative, pitch a tent in the recreation room, play volleyball with luminescent balloons and arrange sleeping bags around the television instead.