Sleepovers are a complicated subject for many parents. While you want your children to have fun with their friends, you may worry about their safety at another family’s home. Thanks to sleep-unders, the new trend of doing sleepover activities but not sleeping over, your children can spend quality time with friends without needing to stay the night.

1. Movie Night

Movies are a traditional sleepover activity, and a movie marathon can be a great way to keep kids occupied and having a good time. Now do them at sleep-unders with parent supervision.

Many of us may remember secretly watching a scary movie without parental supervision when we were kids — then regretting it when we couldn’t sleep that night. Pick a few parent-approved movies and let them choose from options you’ve pre-screened to avoid nightmares. Don’t forget the popcorn!

2. Arts and Crafts

What better way to spend a fun evening with friends than working on an art project? With crafts, there’s no right or wrong way to express yourself — and kids may just love the outlet that comes with being as creative as they want to be.

One easy way to set up a craft is to get small canvases and easels. Then, get some kid-friendly paint and tools. Encourage them to paint a particular scene, similar to an adult paint night. Alternatively, you can let their imaginations go wild and tell them to paint whatever they want. They’ll have a stunning piece they can show off at home.

3. Spa Night

When people think of stress, they typically only consider how it affects adults. Unfortunately, kids can feel stressed, too — whether in the classroom or regarding their social lives. Chronic stress in children can lead to sickness or disturbed eating and sleeping, among other behavioral changes. It’s best to teach kids what stress is and how they can handle it.

How do you typically reduce your stress? A relaxing spa evening might help the kids feel at ease. Show the kids how to apply kid-friendly face masks and paint their nails. You can teach them that pampering themselves is a great way to make themselves feel better after a long week at school. They may start to treasure self-care more as they grow up.

4. Board Game Marathon

This idea is perfect because it entertains children while also keeping them away from screens, which can be important to a lot of parents. Pull out all the board games in your home and let the group decide which ones to play. If you want, check the recommended time for each game to know how many the kids can finish playing before their guardians pick them up from the sleep-under.

5. Scavenger Hunt

One way to use your entire home during the sleep-under is to host a scavenger hunt with prizes. If the kids are young enough, make sure you include something for everyone — there will be no hurt feelings that way. Place strategic clues they’ll be able to decipher throughout the house. Afterward, you can treat them all to a pizza party.

This option requires you to clean your entire home, as you never know what environmental factors might affect children. Just as you may be worried about your child’s exposure to allergens at someone else’s home, you should think of allergens affecting guests in your house. Cleaning your carpet and other surfaces regularly can reduce the bacteria in your home, leaving fewer allergens. Your child’s guests will be able to enjoy their time without worry.

6. Skating Rink or Trampoline Park

Many kids love exercise, and even if they think themselves “too cool” for playtime, they’ll still love any activity that can physically and mentally challenge them. Kids should have around an hour of activity per day, which can be challenging to achieve if they’ve aged out of recess. A skating rink or trampoline park is the perfect solution — they offer an exciting physical activity at a low cost, and it gets all the kids out of your home during an adventurous sleep-under.

These activities also allow kids to get their energy out before you bring them back and wait for their parents or guardians to pick them up. In the meantime, you can offer them snacks or a kid-friendly nutritional meal. Just make sure you’re aware of everyone’s allergies ahead of time.

7. More Traditional Sleepover Activities

Your child’s friends might not be sleeping over, but you can still treat them to a fun experience. Give them the whole sleepover experience without actually having them sleep at your house by including all the traditional sleepover activities. All they’ll be missing is the most boring part — the sleeping!

Some ideas to maximize sleepover vibes for your kid’s sleep-under include the following:

  • Eating sweets or yummy food
  • Showing up in pajamas
  • Having a dance party or karaoke
  • Playing dress-up with old Halloween costumes

You can end the night by having all the kids brush their teeth, so when the parents pick them up, they’ll be ready to go to bed when they get home.

Try Out the New Sleep-Under Trend

There may be several reasons you don’t want your child going to a sleepover or even hosting one at your house. Regardless, you want your kid to have fun with their friends. Sleep-unders are a great middle ground that give you some control over the situation while allowing your child’s social life to thrive.

About The Author

Cora Gold is a mother and writer who aims to connect with other moms through her experiences with navigating motherhood. Cora is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine and writes for sites including For Every Mom, MommyBites and Playground Professionals. When she’s not writing about style and beauty for her magazine, Revivalist, she loves to share her experience with family life. Follow Cora on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.