Inside: 21 funtastic Sleepover Games for Kids
Sleepovers. Kids love them…parents not so much! I mean what’s not to love – staying up as late as possible, giggling at anything and everything that you can think of, eating as much junk food as possible until it felt as though your bellies might explode…true sleepover memories for each and every one of us, right? Maybe! But if you are a busy parent like me who rather likes (and needs) her sleep, then a little planning and preparation can see the kids having fun and making memories, while you keep just a little of your sanity.
One thing I like to do is have some games and activities ready to keep guests busy in the hope that they will not get into too much mischief…one can hope at least! So as part of our kids party games series, I present a fun collection of sleepover games suitable for kids aged around 8-14 years that I will make your child’s next pajama party the best ever.
21 Sleepover Games Your Kids Will Love
1. Flashlight Tag
No matter the age, kids love playing tag. And while tag is a good game to play, why not take it from good to great during the upcoming sleepover? Have each child get their own flashlight and run around the yard in the dark (safety first of course!) They’ll love using the light at the way to “tag” someone and “freeze” them in their spot. It’s so much fun to see the light beams bouncing around the yard as they are doing their best to find and tag each other!
2. Dance Off
Crank up the music and let them dance the night away. Everyone loves a dance party, right? Make up some fun number signs beforehand and “score” them as they show off their movies. My guess? They’ll be a perfect 10 each and every time!
3. Freeze Duel
Great for Harry Potter fans, you’ll need two wands to play. Start with two players, each with a wand. Start the music and the players pretend to have a wizard’s duel but must freeze first when the music stops to win the duel. The winner of the round then dances off against the next player in line until you crown your ultimate Freeze Duel winner.
4. Scavenger Hunt
While this may take a bit of work on your end, your kids will absolutely love this sleepover activity. Plan ahead and make out your clues in advance so that way once the big sleepover day arrives, you’ll be ready to start hiding them so the kids can get started right away. Most importantly, don’t forget about the treasure. This can be whatever you want it to be but it’s also a fun way to have the treasure be something that they can all enjoy together at the actual sleepover. Spa masks, journals, or even some fun bubbles or water guns are all great “treasures” that can be waiting for the winner of the scavenger hunt to find.
Charades is a fun, classic party game that I am sure has stood the test of time due to its laughter inducing qualities. Check out our handy guide on how to play charades and print a copy of our family movie charades cards to get the fun started.
6. Who Am I?
Based on the game of Hedbanz or Celebrity Heads, this is another simple game full of laughs. To play, you will need one length of elastic that fits around a child’s head for each player and some small index cards. Have the children brainstorm their favourite celebrities and film or book characters – singers, actors, etc, writing each one on a note card. Then shuffle the cards and place them on a stack face down in the middle of the table.
Each player selects a card from the stack and tucks it into their elastic headband (words facing outwards) without looking at it. Now everyone can see which card each player has, except their own. Starting with the youngest player and proceeding clockwise around the table, players take turns to ask one question about the character card on your head as they try to figure out which character is featured on their card. For example, players might ask – am I male or female? Am I a character in a movie? Am I human? etc. The other players answer with yes or no.
When a player feels confident that they can identify their character, they may take a guess on their turn. The first person to identify their character is the winner of that round. The other players can then keep taking turns to ask questions about their card until all characters have been identified. Once a round is complete, players each choose a new card from the pile and start play again. The player who is the first to correctly identify five characters is the winner.
7. Create a Commercial
Divide guests into small teams. Give each team a random item (e.g. can of baked beans or roll of toilet paper) and a theme (e.g. school, hospital or restaurant) and have them create a 20 second commercial for their object. These can be performed for the other teams or videoed on a device and shown. Most funny and most creative commercials win prizes for their teams.
8. Hot Polish
Sit the guests in a circle. Add a few bottles of brightly coloured nail polish (how many will depend on the size of your group) and turn on the tunes. Players pass the bottles quickly around the circle clockwise until the music stops. Players holding a bottle when the music stops have the person to their right paint one of their toenails (or fingernails) with the colour they are holding. Then the music starts again and play repeats until everyone’s toenails are painted.
9. Piggy Back Races
Pair guests up and have them race across the room with one person riding piggy back on the other. The pair then switch places and then race back. First pair to the finish are the winners.
10. Roll a Sundae
As I shared in 11 Classic Party Games for 10-14 year olds, the Roll a Sundae game was a huge hit with my 11 year old and her friends. Head over to the post for full instructions and to see 10 more ideas that would make great sleepover games!
11. Two Truths and a Lie
The player nominated to go first shares three ‘facts’ about themselves – two of which are true, and one which is not. For example, “I have a friend named Bowie, on Tuesday I went to the school library and this week I ate a whole bag of Goldfish crackers.” The other players try to guess which two are true and which is the lie. The player who guesses correctly is allocated one point. Once every player has had a turn at sharing their ‘facts,’ the player who has accumulated the most points wins.
One person is chosen to go and hide while the rest of the group count to 20. The group then spreads out to try and find the hidden person. If a player finds them, they squeeze in and hide with them (hence, the sardines!). The last to find the group loses and the first becomes the next to hide. Make it even more fun as a sleepover game by giving each searcher a torch and turning out the lights!
13. Pass the Parcel
Before the party, purchase a small, inexpensive prize that you know your child and friends will love and wrap it in lots of layers of paper – recycled wrapping paper or newspaper are great. You’ll want at least one layer per child. To play, have the children sit in a circle, passing the wrapped parcel around the circle while you play fun music. When the music stops, the child holding the parcel removes the outer layer of paper. Start the music again and continue until one child unwraps the final layer of paper to reveal their prize. You might like to put a small prize (e.g. for older children a lip balm or some nail stickers) in each layer of wrap so that each of the children receive a prize.
14. Pass the Fruit
Play with an apple, orange or banana! Start with guests standing in a circle. Guests must pass the piece of fruit from person to person around the circle without using hands (or arms if you want to be really tricky!) Anyone who drops the fruit is out. The last player standing is the winner.
15. Pillow Fight
What sleepover would be complete without a pillow fight!??! Choose a safe place for play, set a time limit and let them play.
16. Suck It Up
For each player you will need a drinking straw and a small plastic cup. In the centre of the table (where two players can reach) place a large bowl of M&Ms or Skittles. Divide guests into pairs and face off to see who can transfer five candies from the centre bowl into their plastic cup, by sucking through their straw. Play off winners against winners to find the ultimate sucker!
17. Sleeping Beauty
For this game guests take it in turns to be Sleeping Beauty, lying down pretending to sleep. The other guests must try to make Sleeping Beauty laugh to waken her but they musn’t touch her at all.
18. Action Jenga
Create your own action jenga set with this simple tutorial (it’s really easy). The kids will have lots of laughs performing the funny actions as they try not to make the block tower fall.
19. Pop the Balloon Race
Line players up in a line, give them each a blown up balloon and have them race to the other side of the room or yard and then somehow get the balloon to pop. First popped balloon wins.
20. Balloon Relay
You’ll need a blown up balloon for each set of four players and a clear space (it doesn’t have to be super long) where the kiddos can run. Divide players into teams of four. Give the first player a balloon and have them run with the balloon between their legs to the other side of the room where their team mate is waiting. Transfer the balloon to the next team mate, who returns by running across the room until each team member has had a go. The first team to finish is the winning team.
21. Would You Rather…?
Kids will have fun comparing responses to the series of thought provoking (and sometimes, a little silly) questions in our Would You Rather? game printable.
Planning sleepover games for your kids can actually be quite fun! Especially if you stick to games with a lot of laughter, a little snacking and great opportunities for bonding – a true winning combination for sleepover perfection each and every time.