My baby girl turns 9 next week. 9! I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. I asked her months ago what she wanted to do for her birthday this year. The answer was exactly what I expected to hear this year – she wanted a sleepover. I told her that was fine, we could totally do a sleepover and that she was allowed to invite three girls. After a couple of months of painful deliberation on her part she had in narrowed down to four girls and just could not pare it down to three. So, I relented and let her invite four girls. Now, the next question, what do you do with five 9 year old girls at a sleepover? Girls this age can be dramatic and although they are capable, and require, some “free time”planning some more structured activities is helpful to keep the drama to a minimum.
I’m fortunate enough to have both a trampoline and a hot tub in my back yard to I knew I could fill some time with that and then Molly and I sat down and brainstormed a few other ideas and this is what we came up with:
Slime is everything right now with these girls. Molly could make it every single day if I let her. So, we decided having a slime making session would be a big hit. And it was! The girls loved it. I know a lot of people think slime and then think mess. But, honestly, it’s not that bad. Especially at this age. The girls were more than capable of keeping any mess contained to the dining room table were I set them up. And slime is super easy to make and not terribly expensive either. I have a go to recipe that consistently makes perfect slime.
- 1 cup Elmer's glue - white, clear or glitter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp contact solution
- 1 or more drops fool colouring optional
Place the glue in a medium sized bowl.
Add the water and mix.
Add the baking soda and mix again.
Add food colouring if desired and mix.
Mix in one tablespoon of contact solution and stir well. Add the second tablespoon and stir well again. The mixture should be starting to get a little firmer and begin to pull away from the bowl at this point. Add the final tablespoon of contact solution and keep mixing!
After several minutes of mixing the slime is still super sticky add a little more solution and work it in. Don't over due it or your slime will get too hard. It takes a little time for the activator (the contact solution) to do it's thing. If it's just a little sticky don't be too quick to add more. Take it out of the bowl and kneed it on the table for a while.
So, this is the basic recipe we used. I also had a collection of additions to add to the slime after it was made. Things like glitter, foam beads and tube confetti.
This activity was a big hit. The girls spent well over an hour making and playing with the slime. They also brought their creations out later and played with them some more at bed time. Make sure you buy some air tight containers for them to store and take the slime home in!
Make your own pizzas
This isn’t a novel idea, I know. Plenty of people do this at kid’s parties. But it was part of our event so I wanted to include in the post. For our pizza party I actually made up a big batch of pizza dough so the girls could truly make their own pizzas. This allowed for an extra element of creativity and they loved that each of their pizzas came out truly unique!
I use a cold rise recipe for my pizza dough which is perfect for a party because you can (and should) make it up the day before. This recipe is for TWO pizzas so you can double or triple it, etc so you have the amount that you need.
Cold Rise Pizza Dough Recipe
- 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
In a large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water.
Stir in the salt and 2 cups of the flour.
Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until and kneed (either by hand or in the mixer) until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled container that has remove enough for the dough to double in size. If you don't have one big enough you can divide the dough into smaller portions and use smaller containers. Use containers with lids. Place in the fridge to rise overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge about one hour before you are ready to use it.
Deflate the dough and cut into the portion sizes you need.
Once you have your pizzas ready to go cook in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (more or less depending on the thickness of your pizzas)
You can buy whatever pizzas toppings you desire. I just had the basics – sauce, cheese, pepperoni and some cut up onions and peppers. It did take a while for me to cook them all since there were five of them but that worked out well. The girls went outside and played while I baked the pizzas and cleaned up the pizza making mess! I wrote each girls name on a piece of paper and kept it beside their pizzas so I knew which pizza was which!
I’m sure I’m not the only parent that struggles with the whole goody bag dilemma. And the older the kids get the harder it is to find suitable things to put in them. This year we scrapped goody bags entirely and did a “pet adoption” complete with adoption certificates. I know the girls LOVE the Ty Beanie Boo’s and I lucked out and found a handful of the medium sized ones at the Dollar Store for a great price! In order to keep things simple we wrote the names of each animal on pieces of paper and had the girls draw for them. Once they came up and got their pet they signed their adoption certificate to make it official!
I’ve included a PDF version of the certificates you can download and print for your own party!
Spin the bottle
So, the day before the party Molly asked me if I had any empty bottles around the house for the party. Curious, I asked her what kind of bottle she had in mind. She informed me that it was for “spin the bottle” and a rum bottle would do just fine! I wasn’t too sure about the idea of 9 year olds playing spin the bottle but it turns out when it was time to open gifts it was fun way to pick which gift to open next. If you want to add a little more fun to it you can let the kids incorporate a little truth or dare into it as well!
This was a super easy way to serve breakfast. I made up a big batch of waffles earlier in the week and threw them in the freezer. I took them out the night before and then just heated them up in the oven that morning. I supplied the girls with various toppings – cut up bananas, blueberries, syrup, chocolate sauce, Nutella and, of course, whipped cream and just let them go at it. Yes, there was whipped cream going directly from the can into their mouths but that’s the whole point of whipped cream in a can!
Overall the party was a big success. The girls kept busy and there was very little bickering. Yes, they stayed up too late but that’s what slumber parties are all about. It was a great group of kids and as tired as I was when it was all over I enjoyed having them all over. It’s always nice to have the opportunity to get to know my daughter’s friends a little better.