Hosting a Simple and Super Fun Pyjama Party

I don’t know about you but I am hoping that when my girls grow up they continue to want to hang out at our home with their friends. I hope to keep the communication channels open and working even during the hormonal surges of the teenage years, and imagine our home as a low pressure, respectful safe haven for a gaggle of gangly teenagers. I know I have a long way to go and a lot to learn as a parent in order to transform this vision into a reality but it has been on my mind a lot lately. So when Immy asked if she could have a PJ party during the recent school holidays, I swallowed the first reaction of my befuddled, sleep deprived brain (“No way!), and instead found the words, “Wow, that sounds like a fun idea,” coming out of my mouth!

Realistically, I knew I needed to keep the gathering low key and so I suggested to Immy that we keep the guest list short (just three friends plus herself) and that they as they were all still a bit young for a sleepover (just 5 years old), that we host an afternoon/evening party and then the kids could all go home to sleep. She readily agreed and I got to thinking about how to make our impromptu gathering run as simply and smoothly as possible. Here’s what we came up with..

Pyjama Party Sleepover Slumber Party Ideas

Immy’s PJ Party
Time: 3-7pm
Attire: Pyjamas!

Childhood 101 | Project Cool Mum - Pyjama Party Activities
I covered our large, eight seater dining table with a disposable plastic tablecloth and set up four places with big Lego boards and low sided tubs of bricks and other pieces. I was happy for the children to also play in the playroom or Immy’s bedroom but given that most five year olds love Lego I thought this could be a good way to kick things off. I am happy to say it worked.

Childhood 101 | Project Cool Mum - Pyjama Party DIY Pillowcase Activity

I bought four plain, white pillowcases and some fabric pastels to add to our fabric markers so that each child could decorate a pillowcase of their own. Add four new pillows and the party revellers had bright new pillows and pillowcases for movie time and to take home after.

Childhood 101 | Project Cool Mum - Pyjama Party DIY Pillowcase Decorating Activity

I had the ironing board set up so that I could give each a run over with a hot iron to set the design before the pillow was used. Be sure to check the directions of your fabric markers or crayons to see what is required to set the design.

The Pyjama Party Menu

Party food was kept simple and kid friendly – pizza, chicken nuggets and oven fries for dinner…

Sleepover party menu

… and a DIY ice cream sundae bar for dessert. The children had a choice of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, accompanied by sliced bananas and strawberries, mini marshmellows, colourful sprinkes and wafer sticks. Yum!

The party goers made up their sundaes and then settled in to watch a movie and just a short pillow fight later, four hours had passed and it was time to go home, new pillows tucked under arms. It was easy, Immy had the best time and I felt like we had taken a very positive step towards Project Cool Mum Hangout House!

I would love to hear your stories. Have you ever hosted an impromptu party just because?

Need more party planning ideas, check out Our Party Plan: Help for Planning Your Next Party and 3 Pinterest Party Planning Pitfalls to Avoid.


  1. Hmm, my suggestion would have been 2 friends but a real sleepover, 5 years is big enough! Our planned sleepover with 4, 6 and 9 year old failed to become true due to sudden relocation, but I hope that after having lived in the new place for about a year we can start doing that! and am more than ready to host sleepovers for friends from past 🙂 this reminds me I have to send invitations to their parents 😀

  2. I was just thinking how I could I let Miss Possum have a PJ party being so young and you answered it straight away. I love the idea of an evening PJ party! Oh and those sundaes look like a great idea too! Love that you gave them both a healthy choice and naughty choice too!

  3. One of my daughters had a sleepover when she was about 7 & one of her friends got really homesick in middle of the night (she lived a block away) & we had to take her home. She never lived it down

  4. I love the idea of an afternoon PJ party! My (just turned) 7 year old would love to have more sleepovers, but many of her friends aren’t quite ready yet. My son had his first sleepover at 5, but his friend’s mum and I had been doing a weekly child care swap for a couple of years at that point, so knew the other mum really well, and his friend knew me really well. My 7 year old hasn’t had that experience, and it makes a difference.

    Also, I didn’t know there were such things as fabric pastels – I will have to look into that! I can see a PJ party coming up at our house next holidays. Thanks for the ideas Christie. 🙂

    (PS Also, I salute you for not saying No Way! Having a baby is tiring enough without thinking about impromptu parties!)

  5. Amanda Eastment says:

    We feel exactly the same about having a cool hangout for the teenage years. Love your idea, Christie. I bet they had a fabulous time. We haven’t had our impromptu parties yet but we have heaps of ideas. I also am just keen to link up more with the families in our neighborhood through ideas like this. One thing we do though is ‘Cupcakes and Milkshakes’ play dates after school. I recently purchased a milkshake maker and we love to bake cupcakes here. This keeps things simple but really fun.

    Has Immy got into Hama beads yet? (Get them from educational stores but cheaper at Ikea) I usually put these out at our play dates.

  6. What a lovely party! Love the pillowcase idea!
    My girls were once invited to a PJ Birthday party held at breakfast time! They all came in their PJ’s ate panackes and played games… I thought it was a lovely twist to your average party

  7. How fun!
    Having an evening party is a great idea for little ones.

  8. Margaret Elvis says:

    Christie, what a fantastic idea and so well planned too. You are so right in wanting to make your home a welcome place for your girls’ friends to feel comfortable in. I think young people these days have so much more pressure on them to conform than they did when my two were young way back then. Good luck for the future. xx

  9. I’m already thinking ahead to the teenage years and you make a good point. I love your evening pajama party idea. Looks like fun. I’d like to do this with my girlfriends 🙂

  10. I have an old school friend, well two actually, and their houses were always the ones where we had our cool teenage hangouts. My parents always said no but thinking about it now, my friends’ parents were really smart – have the girls hang out here rather than somewhere else. I loved those sleepovers. I hope to always (well mostly) say yes too. That both my children want to always hang out at home even with their old daggy parents 🙂

  11. I LOVE this pillow case idea, will definitely use for a birthday party or milestone event in the future. Actually – I’m thinking our family reunion next summer would be perfect! A great piece of memorabilia for the cousins 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your creativity!

  12. Pyjama parties are a great idea for a get together with friends. My daughter has always loved getting her friends over for a sleep over, with lots of pj’s, popcorn and movies.


    Just use NORMAL CRAYONS!!!
    They are…
    1 – CHEAPER
    2 – usually on hand in your normal colouring in box
    3 – work just the same!

    Get the kids to draw and then SET the Crayon with an iron (place newspaper over Art BEFORE ironing)

    WORKS A TREAT!!! We use it at CWA for the kids to decorate library bags etc.

    PS – LOVE THIS IDEA THO – Evening PJ party * high five!*

  14. Florence Keenan says:

    Inspired idea with the pillow case coloring activity! I never thought or heard of that, and it worked perfectly with the party theme. What I like best about those kinds of activities is kid’s have a keepsake afterwards. Great pictures!

  15. Great idea! I’m about to do something similar for my daughter’s 8th birthday. We have a ‘Frozen’ theme (not very original, I know) kids are coming to our place straight after school, getting changed into frozen costumes, then it’s afternoon tea, games, free play, early dinner, get changed into PJs, big screen viewing of Frozen, intermission for cake, finish movie, go home in PJs at 8pm ready for bed! As we live on a farm and some of the children will have a 30 min trip home I expect some will be asleep before they even get home!

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