Last month, my oldest daughter was invited to her first sleepover. She had spent many nights at my parent’s house and even one with an aunt but this was her first time that she was going to be away from us (the other side of the river in fact-needed a passport ;-)).
I created a checklist that we made for her AND for us to make sure that we had all our bases covered and that it was absolutely perfect.
For our child:
- Backpack full of her clothes (she picked out)
- Two toys of her choosing, one to play with one to share
- Her own toothbrush and toothpaste (in case they do not like their kind). I put this in a ziplock bag
- A photo of our family in case she wanted something from home
- Two of her own snacks for an independent hunger strike when she is uncomfortable asking for a snack
- A piece of paper with our phone number so she can call if she wants
- An extra pair of clothes
- One fun game to share
- A sit-down conversation eye-to-eye with the child to impress the importance of manners and listening and respecting the other parents.
- Video of mom and dad sent to the other parent with our bedtime prayer (this is part of her routine and difficult to duplicate)
- Exchange contact numbers with the other parents
- If she got upset, we let the other parent’s know that it was okay to call us to pick her up.
- Share what she does and does not prefer to eat for some planning for meals including allergies
- Inform the other parents about the extra pair of clothes, game, and toys to help them combat blues or boredom at their home
- Make sure to schedule something OTHER than staying home and doing laundry. This is the time!
- After the drop-off, follow up to see how your child did to discuss any issues with manners or listening with your child or to praise their good behavior.
- Thank you note or message to the other parents
- Lastly, schedule another one!
Enjoy your night off and have some fun!