40 Fun Things to Do at a Sleepover — Sleeping Not Required
Move over, friendship bracelets! For these creations, kids can first color the paper with watercolor paint, then cut and fold them into a bracelet shape.
50 Sleepover Activities Your Kids Will Love (2024)
Whether you’re inviting just a few best friends, or all the kids from your class, sleepovers can be a great way for kids to bond, have fun, and make memories together.
We’ve compiled some great ideas that can help everyone have a fun time at your party.
Here are 50 fun sleepover games and activities for your child’s next slumber party:
Twister is one of the most fun games for slumber parties. The game caller shouts out the body part and what color it needs to be placed on. The last person standing wins!
You can order the classic game or create a giant outdoor Twister game on your lawn using paint. See it on sheknows.com.
2. Blindfolded Makeup
For this fun activity, split the party guests into groups of two. One person puts on a blindfold. The blindfolded person applies makeup to their partner’s face trying to follow the instructions of their partner. It gets wacky pretty quickly!
3. Make Your Own Pizzas
For dinner at a sleepover, you can either order a bunch of pizzas, or make your own. Buy individual crust and some sauce for each guest, and then put out some toppings for them to create own pizza.
4. Photo Booth and Props
If there aren’t photos, did it even happen? A good way to make sure you document sufficiently is by having a photo booth. You can rent a professional photo booth, or you can simply hang a backdrop and add some props for the kids to take silly photos of each other.
5. Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is a classic sleepover game to help everyone get to know each other better. One player asks another player if they want a “Truth” or a “Dare.” If they say “Truth”, you can ask them anything and they have to answer truthfully. You can come up with a question on your own or find a list online.
Examples of Truth Questions:
1. “When is the last time you lied?
2. “What is the most embarrassing music you listen to?
3. “What is your biggest regret?”
If they choose Dare, you get to dare them to do something silly or embarrassing!
Examples of Dares:
1. Do a free-style rap for the next minute.
2. Act like a chicken until your next turn.
3. Talk in a British accent until your next turn.
4. Do 20 pushups.
5. Dump out your purse, backpack, or pockets and do a show and tell of what’s inside.
It’s important to stay safe both emotionally and physically. Set clear expectation for your party guests.
Search up some fun and simple mocktail recipes and have the kids make them together, then sample them. You could also choose a signature mocktail for your party and serve it to all the guests.
7. Spa Party
Turn the living room into a spa! Bust out the bottles of nail polish, face masks, and sliced cucumbers! Giving each other manicures and pedicures is one of the most fun sleepover activities. To reduce the mess, purchase stick on nails. They’re so easy to apply and kids love them.
You could also buy hair chalk and colored hair spray for a funky twist.
8. Name that tune
Name that tune is one of the most fun things to do for kids who love music. Put together a playlist of your child and their friend’s favorite songs. Then divide the kids into two teams and play quick snippets of each song.
Have the kids write down their answers and see who gets the most points. Plan a fun music-themed prize for the winner, and perhaps a consolation prize for the other team.
You can also play “Hum That Tune” where party guests try to hum a song for their teammates to guess.
9. Would you Rather?
Playing “Would You Rather” is a great way to spark discussion and laughter, and get to know each other better. It’s fun to pose questions that require the other person to choose between two great options, but sometimes it’s even more fun to make them choose between two terrible options.
Use your imagination or google the term “Would You Rather Questions”, and choose a few that appeal to you.
Here are some examples:
“Would you rather live in a house shaped like a circle, or a house shaped like a triangle?“
“Would you rather only be able to walk backwards or only be able to walk on all fours?“
“Would you rather eat a slug or take a bath with a spider?“
Need some help coming up with questions? This book on Amazon has some ideas for you.
10. Classic Board Games
Bust out the board games from the cabinet and make a night of it! Kids this age love games like Monopoly, Pictionary, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit, and more. Just serve up some snacks, put on some music, and let them have some fun together.
11. Movie Night and Popcorn
You can almost guarantee a good time with a classic movie night at your child’s sleepover. Kids of all ages will enjoy it, and you can relax while they watch.
To make it memorable, have everyone lay out their sleeping bags or blankets, pop some popcorn (you can add candy like gummy bears or sprinkles to make it even more special), and turn out all the lights!
If your child wants to watch more than one movie, you can bill it as a movie marathon!
Variation: Outdoor Movie Night
Snuggle up on an outdoor blanket and watch a movie outside. There’s something special about watching a movie under the stars.
Variation 2: Popcorn Bar
Another great idea is to offer a popcorn bar with sweet and salty mix-ins for everyone’s favorite movie snack.
12. Cupcake Wars
Pre-bake some plain cupcakes and let the kids compete with each other for the best-decorated cupcakes, just like in their favorite baking shows! The winning team can earn a baking-themed prize. The best part? it’s built-in party food!
13. Fortnite Fort Night
Like it or not, most kids love videogames. Why not encourage it for a night? Create a fort using pillows, chairs, and blankets and let the children play the Fortnite video game to their heart’s delight.
14. Piñata (With a Twist!!)
A piñata almost always equals a great time, so why not have one at your next sleepover?
You can buy a piñata at any party store, or even Walmart. The kids will love putting blindfolds on and trying to break it open so that all the candy will fall out! Depending on the number of guests you have attending your party, you may want to get more than one piñata.
For some extra fun, add something other than candy to the piñata. It could be fidgets, pop-its, hair ties, baseball cards, etc.
15. Treasure Hunt or Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be adapted for all ages. If you’re feeling motivated, organize a simple treasure hunt or neighborhood scavenger hunt for your birthday party guests. If you have a theme for your party, it’s a good idea to have the scavenger hunt go along with it. For example, if it’s a Harry Potter party, it could be a Marauder’s Map theme.
16. Paint and Sip
Provide a canvas, paint, and sparkling fruit juices or fancy soda so your party guests can paint and sip to their hearts content. They’ll have so much fun, and you can provide a new paintbrush or watercolor set for party favors. The great thing about this activity is that they’ll always have a personalized memento from your slumber party.
Variation: Plein Air Painting
Grab some paper and different colors of paint, and paint in the great outdoors! Your backyard or a local park is the perfect spot for this simple activity. Paint the trees, grass, and flowers that you see around you.
17. Backyard Campout
Take it back to simpler times with a backyard campout. Have everyone bring their tent and sleeping bag and campout in the backyard. Bonus points for a campfire, flashlight tag, and s’mores. Some children who haven’t slept outside before may get spooked, so chat with parents beforehand.
Charades is a classic party game that will help break the ice and get everyone laughing. To prepare, review the basic instructions with the kids, do an example for them, and write down some of things they could act out.
19. Matching Pajama Photo Shoot
Get everyone matching pajamas and do a special sleepover photo shoot! Make sure everyone gets a copy.
20. Tipi Tents
Tipi tents at sleepover parties are all the rage right now. Local companies usually offer themed tents and everyone gets their own special space to hang out and sleep. Tipi tents will definitely make the party memorable!
21. Flag Football Game
Football party! Order some flags to go around each party guests’s waist and start up a game of flag football in the backyard. If your party falls during football season and your kids are fans, it might be fun to have a football watch party before or after your game with wings, chips and dip, and soda.
22. Karaoke Party
One of the most fun ideas for a sleepover party is a karaoke party. Fire up the karaoke machine and let the kids be silly! This pairs well with a glow stick dance party and a movie night.
23. Tug of War
All you need is a large rope and a clear marker on the ground to mark the center. Then split the kids up into two teams and place them on either side of the rope. The goal is to pull the other team over the center line.
Variation: Sprinkler Tug Of War
Put one person on either side of the sprinkler, grab a rope, and tug! The losing team will get soaked!
24. Mad Libs
Mad libs are a really fun way to pass the time at a sleepover. Kids take turns suggesting nouns, adjectives, verbs, and other parts of speech to fill in the blank of a story. The end results is usually pretty hilarious!
25. Balloon Stomp
A Balloon Stomp is a high-energy game where everyone tries to pop balloons that have been tied around each person’s ankles. The last person standing wins!
26. Two Truths and A Lie
Two Truth and A Lie is a tried-and-true ice-breaker, but it’s surprisingly fun to play even with close friends and family. Even the closest of friends don’t know everything about each other, and learning something new about the other person is what keeps a relationship new and exciting.
How to play:
Take 1-2 minutes to write down three facts about yourself. Two things should be completely true, and one should b e should be completely false. Try to choose a lie that is not obviously false, and try to choose true facts that might surprise the other person. You want it to be difficult for the other person to know which items are true, and which are false.
27. Build a Fort
I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t love to build a blanket fort. And a sleepover party is the perfect time to do it. Bust out every blanket and pillow in your house and let you kids have at it!
28. Friendship Bracelets
Buy some lanyard or multi-colored string and have the kids make friendship bracelets. There are all kinds of tutorials online or kits a your local craft store.
29. Hot Cocoa Bar
This is an especially good idea during the colder months. Buy some hot cocoa, whipped cream, and fun toppings like sprinkles, marshmallows, and chocolate shavings. Everyone will love this sweet and special treat.
30. Mad Science Experiments
Do you have a child who would love a mad scientist party theme? Here’s a list of 75 super-simple but mind-blowing science experiments for your next party.
31. Water Balloon Games
On a hot summer day, all you need are some water balloons for an epic party. And a classic water balloon fight is just the beginning!
Here are 21 fun water balloon games you’ll all love. Afterwards, serve some ice cream sundaes.
32. Ninja Bootcamp Obstacle Course
Most kids love fun challenges. Give everyone a bandana to tie around their head. Grab some cones, hula hoops, outdoor blankets, small stools, and any other equipment you could use for outdoor obstacle courses and relay races. You can set it up for them or let them set up their own obstacle course. Time each other running through. Who can pass the finish line fastest? This is a simple, fun way to get active.
A great party favor for this activity? Water bottles!
33. Balloon Bulls Eye
One of the best party activities is balloon bulls eye. Affix several balloons to a vertical surface that you are okay with getting damaged. Provide darts to each child and see if they can pop the balloons.
34. Hula Hoop Fun
Use a hula hoop to play human ring toss, or just have some fun spinning the hula hoop around your waist!
35. Sidewalk Chalk Mural
For a cool-looking geometric chalk mural, place masking tape on the ground, fence, or any surface you are working on your chalk mural. Create geomatric shapes similar to a stained glass window. Color in the shapes. When you lift the tape up, you’ll have a beautiful geometric mural.
36. Glow Stick Dance Party
One of the best things about being a kid is letting loose and dancing up a storm. Give everyone a set glow sticks, turn out the lights, and put on their favorite music. Let everyone dance freestyle, or organize a dance contest!
37. Hide and Seek
This is one of the best games of all time, and it’s not just for little kids. In fact, it gets more fun as you get older! One player covers their eyes and gives the other players 30 seconds to hide. After 30 seconds, they’re coming for you! Set clear boundaries and rules for the game to keep everyone safe.
38. Keep It Up
Using balloons or a light bouncy ball, see how long you can keep it in the air without it touching the ground. Team members cannot touch it more than once in a row. The team gets a point for every touch.
39. Slip n’ Slide n’ Grab
When you can’t have a pool party, a slip n’ slide is the best way to get wet and wild! Better yet, place random objects along the slip n slide. Try to grab them as you slide down! Any 11-year-old boy or girl would love to have a slip n’ slide birthday party.
40. Frisbee Toss
Hone your frisbee throwing skills. Grab a bucket or laundry basket, and try to toss the frisbee in from varying lengths across the yard.
41. Climb The Ladder
Go grab the ladder from the garage and place a bottle on the bottom rung. Fill a bucket or laundry basket up with sock balls and take turns trying to knock it down. When you knock it off one level, move it one rung higher. How many throws does it take each party guest?
42. Cornhole Competition
This classic game is perfect for this age group. Split them up into teams of two and set up a tournament.
43. Three legged Race
Tie the left leg of one person to the right leg of another person and see how fast you can get across the yard!
44. Bowl Buckets
Bring some bowls outside and put a piece of paper in each one indicating how many points they are worth. Mark where each player should throw from and see how many points you can get in a set amount of time.
Horseshoes is a simple game that all ages can play. Just toss the horseshoe to try to get a ringer around the stake!
46. Freeze Dance
Bring a speaker outside and blast your favorite music. When the music stops, everyone freezes! You can also play musical chairs, where everyone has to sit down in a chair when the music stops. Take one chair away each round.
47. Potato Sack Races
Use sleeping bags or potato sacks to race across the yard in this field day favorite.
48. Flashlight Tag
A really easy birthday party game to play is flashlight tag. All you need is a flashlight for everyone and an open space! If the flashlight shines on your, you’re out!
You can also play shadow charades, catch the light, flashlight limbo, or have a flashlight disco party!
The classic game of Limbo is one of the most fun party games there is. Put some limbo music on the speaker, and grab a pole, stick, or shower rod. Let the limbo games begin! The entire party will love this activity. Want to level up? Get some island-themed party decorations, since the game of limbo originated in Caribbean island of Trinidad.
50. Beach Ball Shot Put
Create a throwing line in the grass and throw the beach balls from there by “pushing” the ball in the form of a shot putter. Measure each throw with a tape measure and write the measurement. See who can throw the farthest!
51. Giant Jenga
Stack up the wooden blocks and remove the one by one. Don’t let the tower fall! We like this set from Hey! Play! on Overstock.com because the pieces are large, but they aren’t so giant that they would hurt someone when they all come crashing down.
Alternative: If you don’t have a giant Jenga game, or want a budget friendly game option, you can opt for a giant Memory Game. Use a Sharpie to write two of each letter or number on large pieces of cardboard. Then lay all the cardboard facedown in your yard and play a giant game of Memory!
52. Card Games
Card games can make for a really good time at a sleepover. Uno is a great game for multiple players, and so is Peanut Butter (also known as B.S.).
53. Talent Show
Have each child demonstrate one of their talents, be it silly or serious. Maybe they play an instrument, love to sing, or are really good at swinging a yo-yo. Whatever their abilites, a talent show will be a great addition to your next sleepover.
54. Fashion Show
Let the kids raid the closets and create their outfit for a fashion show. You could have a theme or just let them have fun with it. Then create a makeshift runway and put on some catwalk music. Then each child can walk the runway.
55. Decorate t-shirts
Stock up on fabric paint and have the kids bring a plain t-shirt to decorate. Not only will they have fun designing their own wearable creation, they’ll also have a keepsake to remember the party by!
55. Pillow Fight
When in doubt, just have a pillow fight! Each competitor tries to hit their opponents over the head as many times as possible. You can decide if players can use one or two hands to swing their pillows.
We hope you loved these fun sleepover ideas and that your child has an unforgettable slumber party. Sweet dreams!
In 2013, Calie Herbst, a former teacher with three little ones, saw a need for a “One Stop Shop” for family fun in Milwaukee. So she founded Milwaukee With Kids. Her goal was to find the best this city has to offer families and share it with other parents. In one place. In 2019, she published “Exploring Milwaukee WIth Kids”, a comprehensive Milwaukee travel guide for families and kids. She appears regularly on WISN News, Fox 6’s ‘Real Milwaukee’, B93.3, and Wisconsin Morning News. She has been featured in Medium, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NPR, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, and on CBS 58 News. Calie is available for hosting, moderating and media appearances.
40 Fun Things to Do at a Sleepover — Sleeping Not Required
Kids, tweens and teens love these clever activities and games.
If you can think back to your own childhood sleepover outings, there’s only one activity you probably weren’t excited to actually do: sleep. Whether you were trying out new beauty products, telling scary stories or camping out in the backyard, you were probably so busy that you saved the sleeping for later, possibly even the next day.
Now, if things have come full circle, and it’s time to be the overnight host, a sleepover looks like a gaggle of excited kids with a lot of hours to fill. But with a little advanced planning, it’ll be easy to keep them busy and send them home happy (and maybe even a little bit rested). These are the best things to do at a sleepover. Some of them are boredom-busting DIY activities that’ll get their creativity going. Others are ways to shake up the old sleepover tradition of doing makeovers, with new ways to think about hair, nails or skincare. There are outdoor activities so they can get their energies out, indoor activities that work no matter the weather, movie tie-ins for when they need some downtime and, of course, lots and lots of snacks. Try them out, and it’ll be morning before you know it.
Make Ice Cream Floats
Start your sleepover off the right way, with the retro pleasure of an old-fashioned ice cream float. You can offer different syrup or ice cream flavor combos, or try other mocktails that fit the theme of the evening.
Have an At-Home “Drive”-In
vgajic // Getty Images
It’s never been easier to host an outdoor movie right in your own backyard. All it takes is an outdoor projector and screen (a sheet or even a blank wall will do). Then kids can get their sleeping bags, blankets and pillows and line them up like they’re at a drive-in movie.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
The Dating Divas
You can either challenge guests to find a certain number of items on a list and see who gets them all first, or send them searching all over the house for clues, solving puzzles and following a path leading to some kind of prize at the end — possibly of the edible, sugary kind. You can tailor the clues to the interests of the sleepover guests, whether it’s code-breaking, jigsaw puzzles or the natural world around them.
Film a Video
RicardoImagen // Getty Images
They can try out an internet-famous dance routine, perform a favorite song or demonstrate some other talent. Let them pick out their outfits, do their own hair and write the script or choreograph the moves themselves — you just be there to catch it on camera. Props like Sky Castle’s Let’s Glow Studio (which has glow-in-the-dark and light-up accessories) or RUKUSfx (which adds sounds and music) can help with special effects.
Play Lawn Games
Cavan Images // Getty Images
Whether it’s croquet, cornhole, bocce, Kan Jam or kubb — or some combination of all of the above — lawn games give everyone a chance to enjoy the fresh air and a relaxed competition. If you have a huge party, you can set kids up at different lawn game stations and then rotate.
Just try to make sure you actually bake them before they get gobbled up (or make sure the dough is edible). The sweet aroma of baked goods will be in the background for the rest of the sleepover.
Do a Balloon-Pop Schedule
Jamie Reimer/Hands on As We Grow
Want a dramatic way to reveal the next activity? Do a balloon-pop party! Write the activity on a piece of paper, stick it in a balloon, inflate it and write an hour on the outside in marker. When that hour arrives, stomp the balloon to see what’s up next.
Try to Escape the Room
Thames and Kosmos
If the sleepover guests have sharp minds and keen intellects, you can get an at-home escape room or mystery kit, and see if they can unravel all the clues before time runs out. Thames and Kosmos has one-time kits called Exit: The Game for 1 to 4 players starting at ages 10 and up; there are also home escape games from ThinkFun, PlayMonster, Spin Master and others.
Get Creative With Face Paint
David Patrick Valera // Getty Images
Take that sleepover makeover one step farther with a clever face-paint design, or be brave enough to let the kids try to do it themselves. As they get older, things like hair chalk or shiny temporary tattoos can add to the (thankfully not-permanent) glam.
Everyone gets a bit of homemade dough, and they get to add toppings as they see fit. It’s dinner and a craft project in one!
Antonio_Diaz // Getty Images
Blanket forts, sleeping bags or indoor tents can bring that summer camp vibe inside, where you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes or inclement weather.
Paper Plane Challenge
Philip Friedman/Studio D
Anyone can make a paper plane — the true test is seeing who has the skills to throw the aircraft through one of the targets. Highest score wins!
Try Out a New Type of Braid
Kyrylo Glivin / EyeEm // Getty Images
The cliché is that girls spend sleepovers braiding each other’s hair and telling secrets. But no one says it has to be the normal, three-strand braid. Try fishtails, waterfall braids, corset braids and other hair creations.
Make Blacklight Bubbles
If you put highlighter ink into bubble soap, you’ll make a concoction that glows under a blacklight, which is pretty much the most wholesome thing you can do under a blacklight.
You never get too old for sprinkles, chocolate sauce, frosting, M&Ms, and other fun cupcake toppings. Put out bowls of treats, let them go wild, and prepare for the sugar rush that follows. (Note: This can also be done with ice cream toppings instead of cupcakes.)
Watch a Scary Movie
It’s a rite of passage to put on a scary movie late at night, after the host’s parents have gone to bed, and watch it through parted fingers when the terrifying moments happen.
Make a Fancy Popcorn to Go With It
Depending on how adventurous your eaters are, you can pair the movie with different popcorn flavors like green matcha popcorn, bacon-chocolate popcorn or popcorn trail mix. Sure beats the old microwave bag!
Play Movie Bingo
If you plan on doing a movie marathon, keep a running Bingo game going, where players can check off certain movie tropes as they happen. You can buy this one on Etsy, or DIY your own and tailor it to the movies you plan on watching (like putting in a “Noah Centineo” square if you’re planning on watching all teen movies.)
DIY Paper Bracelets
Move over, friendship bracelets! For these creations, kids can first color the paper with watercolor paint, then cut and fold them into a bracelet shape.
Look up at the Stars
Maica // Getty Images
If they’re going to be up late anyway, might as well make it an opportunity to learn about the night sky around them. Set up a telescope in the backyard, and see if you can pick out the constellations.
Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.