This weekend I did the unthinkable. I invited three of my son's friends over for an impromptu slumber party. I think that I was suffering from temporary insanity when I actually issued the invitation because here is who arrived at my house on Friday night:
Katherine: almost 5 years old
Camden: almost 4 years old
Patrick: almost 3 years old
Including my own children, I had five children under five years old under my roof from 5:30 pm Friday night until 12:00 pm Saturday afternoon. It was the first time that I had attempted anything such as this.
I am happy to report that it went fairly well. Prior to the arrival of the extra kiddos on Friday evening, I researched some game ideas online. The overwhelming consensus when I googled "preschool slumber party games" was: DON'T HAVE A SLUMBER PARTY WITH PRESCHOOLERS. This made my palms sweat a little and caused me to rethink my decision. I knew that there was no turning back at that point as I had some pretty significant child-care debt to pay off to my friends. I decided to structure the night as much as possible until 9:00 and then put in a movie for the kids so they could wind down.
Here's how the evening went:
We had pizza waiting when Camden, Patrick, and Katherine arrived. We ate, did a little freestyle dancing and then played a little game of freeze dance. I threw rolls of Smarties at the winner (the fastest to freeze when the music stopped) and gave out extra Smarties for most enthusiastic dancing. This was quite entertaining for all involved but it had to end when the sheer volume of Smarties got out of hand. So, we had a little freeplay time while I broke out the big guns: Play Doh. This accomplished two goals. First, it gave the kids an incentive to clean up the massive amounts of toys they had gotten out and secondly, it occupied their attention for quite some time. After Play Doh, we all got ready for bed, I popped some popcorn and we put in a movie. The kids were really good but, unfortunately, not a soul fell asleep during the movie and we had to read stories and attempt to get my son, Katherine, and Camden to fall asleep in one bed together. This was quite a challenge but it finally happened sometime betweeen 11:30 pm and 12:00 am.
My husband and I went to bed as soon as it was confirmed that every child was asleep. Other then one small eruption of giggles at 3:45 AM that was promptly nipped in the bud, the night went quite well. All of the kids had a wonderful time and I would definitely do it again... as long as it is reciprocated.