Monday, June 29, 2015

Slumber Party for Tweens

To celebrate her tenth birthday, our daughter invited a few friends over for a slumber party.  As my husband and I listened to her decide who to invite, we were so glad we set a limit!  The party went smoothly, and the girls had a great time, so I thought I would share the details here.

Since my daughter really enjoys crafts, she wanted to help make the invitations.  We bumped around the internet for inspiration, and she fell in love with this invitation by lulu and junebug.  I've had friends tell me they're not crafty, but they would be willing to try (a craft) if they had detailed instructions.  Here are instructions to make our version of this adorable invitation:

  • One sheet of cardstock in a solid color (brown) for the bed (4.25"x6").
  • One sheet of patterned paper (stripes) for the blanket (4"x4.5").  This print is "Bold Mixed Stripe" by The Paper Studio.
  • One sheet of solid color cardstock (white) for the wording (4"x4") and the scalloped trim on the blanket (4"x 1")
  • One piece of cardstock in a complimentary color (blue) for the pillow (3"x1.25").
  • Stickers.  We found these coordinating puffy stickers called "Bright Owl" by The Paper Studio. 
  • Handwrite or type and print invitation wording on white cardstock.  We chose to use Harrington font in 24 point for "Whooo's excited to party?", 18 point for "Join us for a Mall Scavenger Hunt and a Slumber Party to celebrate Brooke's 10th Birthday", and 14 point for the details.
  • Cut the pieces as specified above.  
  • Glue the white cardstock with the wording to the solid cardstock.  Glue the  top edge of the patterned paper just above the white cardstock.  
  • For the trim of the blanket, use scissors to scallop one edge.  We used a small hole punch to decorate the trim.  Glue the trim to the blanket by lining up the top edges.
  • Using a scrap piece of the white cardstock, we estimated the size and shape of the pillow.  Draw the pillow and cut it out.  Use this white pillow as a template to make pillows from the complimentary colored cardstock.  Glue the pillow to the invitation.  The bottom edge of the pillow should overlap the top of the blanket.  
  • Add the cute sticker.  These invitations fit in a standard 4.5"x6.5" envelope.
NOTE:  On the invitation, I requested all personal electronics be left at home.  During the school year, I heard several stories from kids and parents about girls group texting with boys, and kids posting pictures online, causing some issues for the families involved.  I envisioned someone using her tablet or phone during the party to chat with another friend who had not been invited to the party.  The biggest concern for me was that my husband and I would be responsible for their activity on such a device.  I will admit I was nervous adding this line to the invitation.  What would the other parents think?  How would the girls react?  I was relieved when two parents and one of the girls actually thanked me for making this request.   

The girls arrived at our house at 7pm.  Once everyone was present, we headed to a nearby mall for a Scavenger Hunt.  I adopted many ideas from the Ultimate Mall Scavenger Hunt list I found on the birthdaypartyideas4kids website.  My daughter and I eliminated and modified some of the tasks that may not have been appropriate for nine and ten year olds.  We also decided to complete the tasks as one group instead of splitting into teams.  The girls were given ground rules, most importantly to remember the mall is a place of business and not a playground.  They were asked to be respectful of those around them.  We began around 7:30pm, and I took pictures of them as they completed each task.          

Wearing a hat with a feather
Wearing sunglasses
Trying on an orange necktie
With a salesman named Bob
With a live animal
Riding the escalator
Riding the elevator
Walking up the stairs backward
Trying on the biggest pants (Men’s Big and Tall)
Wearing one red high heel shoe
Looking in a mirror
Giving play dolls piggy back rides
Looking and pointing at a mall information map
Sitting on a bench
Doing the “wave”
Holding hands while walking through the mall 
Wearing a tiara
Wearing a boa
Try on prom dresses
Posing as a mannequin in a store window
Playing a video game
On a kiddie ride
Find sheet music for a familiar song and sing the chorus
Playing follow the leader
Eating a food sample
Getting napkins for a stranger in the food court
Holding helium balloons
Opening the door for 4 people
Spelling out YMCA with someone at a storePose with a life-size cutout of a celebrity

The girls completed the list just before the mall closed at 9pm.  Back at our house, my daughter opened her gifts, and the festivities continued...

Instead of serving birthday cake and ice cream during the party, my daughter chose to have an ice cream sundae bar.  Prior to the party, I scooped vanilla ice cream into pint-sized mason jars.  I covered the jars with plastic wrap, secured them in a muffin tin, and placed them in the freezer until it was time for dessert.  We set out Hershey's chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, mini M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, Heath topping, nut topping, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries.  My daughter LOVES Brookies, so she baked them the day of the party.  The girls enjoyed making their own sundaes, but I think they were more excited about the Brookies!  We bought tie dyed napkins like these and used them during dessert and breakfast the following morning.

I found some pillowcases at a discount store, and I purchased two Tulip tie dye kitsWe thought it would be fun to add a Mickey Mouse head in the corner of the pillowcase.  To draw the Mickey Mouse template, I traced the top rim of a 24 oz Tervis tumbler. Flipping the cup upside down, I drew the ears by tracing the bottom of the cup.  The face measured 4" in diameter, and the ears were about 2.5" in diameter.  After washing the pillowcases, I cut out the template and lightly traced it on each pillowcase with a pencil.  To get the swirl tie dye pattern, I followed the steps shown in this cute tutorialWith the pillowcases prepared, the girls only had to douse them with dye during the party. 
Around 10pm, we were ready to begin this project.  Two stations were set up on our kitchen island.  Each included a foil cookie sheet, a wire cooling rack, and the dye bottles.  We called two girls over at a time, determining the order by birth month.  Since my daughter was born in June, we asked if there were any June or July birthdays and went from there.  While waiting for their turn, the other girls played This or That from back issues of American Girl magazine

NOTE:  While I did wash the pillowcases, I did not use soda ash.  We did not use plastic wrap.  Instead, we placed each tie dyed pillowcase in a gallon-size zippie bag overnight.  The next morning, my husband and I rinsed the pillowcases in cold water.  I slid a piece of cardboard inside the pillowcase and used a Clorox Bleach Pen to outline the Mickey head.  We let the bleach sit on the pillowcases for a couple of minutes before individually hand washing them in warm water with a little laundry detergent.  Be sure to wear gloves!  We tossed all of the pillowcases in the washer and ran them through a quick cycle, using hot water.  We had time to throw them in the dryer, and we pulled them out minutes before the parents arrived.

I had an extra pillowcase, and there was quite a bit of dye left in the bottles.  I decided I wanted stripes instead of the spiral I chose for the girls.  I did not trace the Mickey head on the pillowcase, nor did I use dental floss as described in the video tutorial mentioned above.  After rinsing the dye in cold water, I slipped that cardboard into the pillowcase.  I traced around the template with bleach pen and let it set for a couple of minutes before hand washing it in warm water.  I tossed this pillowcase into the washer with the pillowcases the girls dyed.  This is a less time-consuming way to achieve a similar effect.

By 11pm, we were cleaned up and ready to move onto the next activity.  My daughter and her friends LOVE Minute to Win It games.  After reading descriptions of different games on the birthdayparties4kids website, we chose to play the following:

  • Elephant MarchLine up bottles of water in a line.  Put a tennis ball inside a pair of tights.  Players put tights over her head.  The player has one minute to swing the tights and knock over each of the water bottles.
  • Junk in the Trunk—Attach a belt to an empty tissue box and fill the box with ping pong balls (six).  Attach the box around the player’s waist, and the box facing the back.  The player has one minute to jump and wiggle and try to get all of the ping pong balls out of the tissue box. 
  • Noodle Pick-up —Place six uncooked pieces of penne pasta near the edge of a table.   Give the player an uncooked spaghetti noodle to hold in her mouth and use to try and pick up the penne noodles.  
  • Sticky Stack—Give every person a popsicle stick to hold in her mouth.  Have each person try to balance 6 dice (or 12 sugar cubes) for a minimum of 5 seconds.

  Around 11:30pm, we moved on to TRUTH OR DAREIn preparation for the party, my daughter and I read through lists on two different websites:  
We eliminated the Truth questions that asked about crushes, kisses, and most embarrassing moments.  We wanted everyone to have fun and did not want to embarrass or alienate anyone.  

Prior to the party, print out the questions and cut them into strips.  Fold them over so the question can't be seen.  Place in containers labeled "Truth" and "Dare."  Remember to collect all the props that will be needed for the Dares before the party begins. 

The girls take turns choosing from one of the two bowls.  Everyone has the opportunity to pass one time and is then allowed to choose another Truth or Dare to complete.  While my daughter and her friends played, a couple of the girls ended up acting out the Dare along with the girl who chose it.  They finished the Dares and then moved on to the Truths, and this may have actually helped them wind down for bed. 
  • If you won 1,000,000 dollars in the lottery, what would you do with the money?
  • If you could be 16 years old for the day, would you?  Why?
  • If you only had one day to live, what would you do?
  • What super power would you like to have and why?
  • Name one person in the room you would most like to be stuck with on a deserted island.  Why?
  • If you were a movie star, which one would you be?
  • What animal do you want and what would you name it?
  • Have you ever had the giggles in an inappropriate place?  Where and when?
  • What little kid shows do you watch that no one knows about?
  • If you had $100, what would you do with it?
  • Would you go to school in a Minnie Mouse costume for $5?  If not, then how much?
  • What was the best day of your life?
  • What would you like to be when you grow up?
  • Which cartoon character would you like to be and why?
  • What TV show would you like to star in?
  • Put on fairy wings and dance around like Tinker Bell.
  • Sing the “Little Einsteins” theme song while holding your nose.
  • Wrap your head in toilet paper and take a picture.
  • Have a taste (about one teaspoon) of either mustard, soy sauce, or hot sauce.
  • Skip around the room singing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
  • Find 3 stuffed animals and have a pretend tea party.
  • Play “This Little Piggy Went to Market” on the toes of the person on your right.
  • Eat a mouthful of crackers and then try to whistle.
  • Pretend you’re under water for one minute.
  • Stuff marshmallows in your mouth and sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
  • Try to lick your elbow.
  • Peel a banana with your feet.
  • Act like a gorilla and pretend to pick bugs out of the hair of the person on your left.
  • Say the alphabet backwards as quickly as you can.
  • Spin around with your head on a bat 5 times and then jump rope.
  • Sing “I’m a Little Tea Pot” and do all the motions.
  • Bite into a slice of lemon.
  • Smell your own feet for 10 seconds.
  • Chicken Dance with the person across from you for 1 minute.
At midnight, it was time to settle into sleeping bags.  The girls chose to watch The Princess Diaries.  About half of them fell asleep quickly, and those who stayed awake watched the movie and talked quietly.

The next morning, we served blueberry muffins and fresh fruit.  I was impressed when everyone rolled up their sleeping bags and got ready for the day without being asked!  They asked to play the Minute to Win It games until their parents arrived to pick them up.  This was a relatively inexpensive party since most of the items needed for the games can be found around the house and we spent a good deal of time at the mall.  If you host a similar party, I hope you have as much fun as we did!  Thank you for reading.