Sleepover Ideas for 13-Year-Old Girls

By Kathryn Walsh

Filling the waking hours of a 13-year-old girl's sleepover requires a consultation with the hostess herself. Girls this age may be content to play silly games or be so deeply into teenhood that any parent-led activity sparks eye rolls. Arm yourself with tons of supplies and suggestions, but let your own 13-year-old make the final decisions about what she and her pals would enjoy.

Embrace Artistry

Every 13-year-old has her own personal style. Buy small wooden jewelry boxes and provide paint, stencils and glitter for the girls to use to personalize their boxes, or buy jewelry-making supplies from a craft store and let the girls make beaded bracelets and necklaces.

The girls might also enjoy creating their own artistic masterpieces. Provide small canvasses, paints and brushes and let them express themselves through painting.

Get Beautiful

Most 13-year-old girls will enjoy primping and beauty activities. Some parents may not approve of you letting their daughters experiment with makeup, so focus on skincare, hair and nails instead. Mention your plans to all the parents first to be sure no one objects.

Set up a manicure and pedicure area with nail polish, polish remover, nail decals and toothpicks the girls can use to create dots and swirls in their polish.

Provide hydrating face masks and scented lotions as well as a basket of bobby pins, hair ties and combs -- remind the girls not to share hair brushes -- and a book full of hairstyle ideas they can practice on one another.

Play Chef

Snacks are a major part of any sleepover. At 13, the girls are old enough to prepare lots of their own treats, with your supervision. Use a personalize-your-own approach to cater to each girl's dietary needs and preferences. The girls should be clear on their own needs and allergies, but it's always safest to ask parents about any food restrictions before the party.

Set out fruit, yogurt and juice to blend into smoothies. Fill bowls with tomato sauce, cheese, and vegetables and give each girl a ball of pizza dough to make into a personal pan pizza. Pop bags of plain popcorn and let girls top them with spices, cheese or sweets. They may like traditional toppings -- think butter, grated cheese or garlic powder -- or prefer to mix chunks of candy bars directly into buttered corn.

Make Music

Thirteen-year-olds may be over musical chairs, but music is probably a big part of their lives. Rent a karaoke machine so the girls can take turns belting out their favorite tunes. Your TV's on-demand programming may include a free karaoke station too.

A full-fledged dance party will get the girls up and moving. Your daughter can make a playlist of popular dance songs on her MP3 player and connect it to speakers, or you can play music from a streaming Internet radio player such as Pandora. Buy disco balls, bubble machines and portable colored spotlights from a party store to turn your living room into a club setting.

Play Games

Provide a stash of board games and playing cards in case the girls want to use them, but girls this age may not have much interest.

Girls can play "Two Truths and a Lie," in which each person offers up two true facts about herself and one fib and everyone else guesses which is which. If they haven't already painted their nails, suggest they play a G-rated version of Spin the Bottle. One girl spins a bottle of nail polish while everyone sits in a circle around it. When the bottle stops, whoever it points to has to paint one finger with that color. Keep going, using crazy colors and glittery polish, until every girl has 10 painted nails.

In warm weather, they may enjoy playing classic little-kid outdoor games, like a water balloon toss or a backyard scavenger hunt.

About the Author

Cooking, travel and parenting are three of Kathryn Walsh's passions. She makes chicken nuggets during days nannying, whips up vegetarian feasts at night and road trips on weekends. Her work has appeared to The Syracuse Post-Standard and insider magazine. Walsh received a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.