How to host a virtual sleepover! Not anything I ever thought I would write about. But here we are! We are so lucky to have technology at our finger tips, to enable us to make the most of our current situation. Lockdowns and Covid look like they are here to stay.. at least for a while and we have to make the most of what we have: our friends and technology. I think a virtual sleepover, also makes a great virtual birthday party during a the covid 19!
There is no question that things are difficult and that maintaining the kids’ friendships require a little effort. And as parents we simply have to facilitate that as much as we can. Sometimes, our kids need a little nudge to help them along. They are not the best at “picking up the phone” and saying hi.. but we can help them along the way.
So I decided to organise a virtual sleepover for my daughter and 3 of her friends. As a first “go” we decided to keep the group “small” and focus on those friends that really were having little interaction outside of the home. Mainly, because I felt those girls would needed it most and also were more likely to be up for embracing it.
Tips for a successful virtual sleepover
SMALL GROUP: Keep the group small. You can always do a second virtual sleepover one if the first works out well! By keeping the group small, you are allowing the children to really engage with each other and for everyone to have a voice.
INVOLVE the children – I think this is key, as the kids need to look forward to this, as they would do to a normal party. In our case, we are giving each family attending a small task to prepare – e.g. one will bake cupcakes, another will sort out a hot chocolate kit etc. On the day, we will all do little deliveries – if you wish, you can do this the day before, to allow for a 24hr quarantine of any items dropped off.
EMBRACE IT. This is key. Both you and the children **must* embrace this as a fabulous and fun activity. Don’t shun it at as “yet another zoom” (it won’t JUST be zoom btw, take a look at the below). Like with all our virtual activities this year, your mindset is key! Yes this is tricky for tweens and teens… but by involving them in the planning you can make it work.
Ideas for a virtual sleepover
Our virtual sleepover is very much still work in progress! But I mentioned it to a couple of friends and they wanted to hear more! Which is why I am writing this ahead of time. I will update the post once we have done it with any extra tips!
1 Movie Night
The main focus of our virtual sleepover will be a movie night. We will be using:
- Netflix Party – this allows all the children to start the movie at EXACTLY the same time (and pause the movie if needed). No lags or delays. Netflix Party also has chat function, so you can “talk” about the movie as you go. I love the idea of the chat function, as it means everyone can actually hear the movie and not get annoyed by silliness in “one corner” – which of course is welcomed during a party but also allows the movie watchers to watch if they wish. Having said that, you could always open up a zoom call or Houseparty and run that along side too.
- Movie Night Bingo – to keep the girls on their toes and engaged, and just to add a little fun, we will also be doing a movie night bingo. There are lots of free printables online.. just pop “Free Movie Night Bingo” into your search engines for printables.
- Choose your movie – as our girls are all 10-11yrs, I found this great list of Tween Movies to choose from. Whittle it down to 2-3 and make sure all parents are happy with the choices.
2 Matching Pyjamas
As I am treating this as a proper party, we are setting the scene with MATCHING Pyjamas. As the host, this will be my treat/ gift to the girls (think of it as your Virtual Sleepover goodie bags). I picked out a couple of cute designs and let my daughter pick her favourites.
I am hoping that once the girls have had their virtual movie night, every time they wear their new pyjamas, it will remind them of each other and make them feel that little bit more connected!
3 Party Activities
Though the main focus of the virtual sleepover is the movie itself, we will start it off with some party games and activities. I confess, these haven’t been finalised, but we have some ideas! These are the activities I mentioned above, that the girls and ALL get involved in before hand if you wish – unless it is a virtual birthday party, in which case you and the birthday gril may want to be in charge of all.
Discuss which activities the kids may be interested in and then assign one activity to each house hold to orgamise.
Keep it simple or make it elaborate! Either supply some simple vanilla cupcakes and sprinkles/ frosting. Or make it a challenge! The kids then all get to vote whose cupcakes they think are best. And then of course: they all get to eat their own!
Other Party Food
You can co ordinate and arrange with the other parents that all the kids have some nice snacks at home (surely popcorn is a must for everyone) or again, one family can be charge of creating snack boxes to drop off at everyone’s house!
Face Mask Session
Depending on the interests in your group, a pampering pack/ activity may be fun (and hilarious) too. And opportunity to create some silly selfies and send them to each other.
Quiz night/ mini quiz/ movie quiz
I don’t know about you, but I feel with all the home learning and lockdowns we have had.. there may just be a tiny bit of “quiz” fatigue… so, embrace the quiz, but make it really silly and funny as possible. Seek out weird and wonderful facts and be sure to throw in some questions ONLY the group can know. Highlight something about each child, that the others may or may not know and get them all involved.
Friendship bracelet making
Making friendship bracelets is something that most tween girls enjoy. Depending on how much time you have, you can either teach them how to knot the classic friendship bracelets, make friendship bracelets with cardboard disc or go all out and get some gorgeous beaded friendship bracelet kits.
Any other craft session
Needless to say, you don’t have to make friendship bracelets! ANY crafting session will do – you can keep it simple with paper and pens (check out ANY of our Corner Bookmark Designs) or again, create special craft packs to drop round first – depending what you want to make.
Hot chocolate preparation
Hot Chocolate Bombs are all the rage right now. There are lots of DIY chocolate bomb making recipes out there (including our cheat’s diy hot chocolate bomb idea here)… or splash out and buy some. We were given some at Christmas and they are SO tasty!
Or keep it simple and do the traditional, cocoa and marshmallow packs and drop them all of before!
One thing we are going to give a go is virtual games – I came across this Jackbox Games recently.. and it looks like they take traditional games and add an online dimension.
Certainly worth a try!
5 Traditional Party Games moved to Virtual
Have a think about your children’s favourite traditional party games which ones you can still host onlin! Musical statues is a firm favourite in our house…. so is a clear must at any shindig for us!
- Musical Statues (ahem, particularly amusing if your zoom call freezes…)
- Eat the donut (though will need helpful parents at each location)
- Simon Says
- Karaoke (eep, I confess, not one for us.. we are terrible!)
Hope you feel inspired to give this virtual sleepover a go too! Enjoy!!!