With the cold weather settling in, indoor fun is in full swing – and that means slumber parties! But you can’t expect a movie or “hang out time” to fill the entire evening. How do you keep a gaggle of kids from getting too restless – or into mischief? Whether you’ve got a gang of girls or bunch of boys, try these four activities to keep the children entertained with their friends
1. Wiggle worm dirt pudding
With a group of boys, things are bound to get a little messy. Why not harness that – and pair it with some creativity with this idea from RecipeTips.com? Have the guys crush up some Oreo cookies and mix it with gummy worms and pudding for a wonderful treat.
- 1 package Oreo cookies, crushed
- 2 cups cold milk
- 1 package chocolate instant pudding mix
- 8 oz. Cool Whip topping, thawed
- 1 package gummy worms
- A plastic cup for each person
- Put cookies into a sealable bag and close tightly. Using a rolling pin, roll and crush the cookies until crumbly. Set aside.
- Pour the milk and chocolate instant pudding mix into a large bowl. Whisk well until all of the pudding mix is dissolved. Let stand five minutes.
- Add the Cool Whip and half of the crushed cookies. Stir until well blended.
- Place a large spoonful of crushed cookies into the bottoms of the plastic cups.
- Add the pudding mixture on top of that until the cups are three-quarters full.
- Add 1 large gummy worn so that it is half in the cup and half hanging out the cup.
- Spoon in more crushed cookie around the worm to hold it in place.
- Top with Cool Whip if desired.
- Serve chilled.
2. Funky flip-flops
Got a group of girls who love to design? This fun activity fits the bill. Have the girls bring a pair of plain flip-flops (or pick a few up – you can find them for as little as $1) and decorate them with fabric or ribbon. Check out this take on the artsy activity from BirthdayPartyIdeas4Kids.com.
- Cheap solid-colored flip-flops
- Cotton fabric or fabric straps in different shades and patterns
- Cut fabric into strips approximately 1 inch wide by 6 inches long. For younger kids, cut the strips 5/8 of an inch wide and 4 inches long. You’ll need about 35 strips per flip-flop.
- Place the fabric strip underneath the top part of the flip-flop and bring the two edges together so they are even.
- Tie the fabric onto the top of the flip-flops and then knot it one time.
- Tug the strips so the two pieces fall forward toward the front of the flip-flops.
- Repeat until the entire top of the flip-flops are covered.
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3. M&M relay
There are a few rules to tossing a boys’ sleepover. First, never call it a slumber party (try all-nighter or lock-in). Second, as Associated Content writer Crystal Ray puts it, “boys want fun and exciting activities.” She offers several simple energy-burning ideas (and sweet munchies) – including this cool contest. Clear a space and gear up for the game!
- One bag M&Ms
- Four small plastic bowls
- Straws (one per child)
- Fill two small plastic bowls with equal amounts of the candy. Set each one a chair (placed next two each other).
- Across the room – about 10 or 15 feet away, place two small empty bowls on another two chairs.
- Divide the kids into two teams and give each child a straw. When the game starts, the first two kids run to the candy-filled bowl, pick up one M&M with their straw – and then run to their designated empty bowl to drop it off.
- Keep rotating through kids until the first team drops off all their candies.
- One step beyond: Reserve some of the M&Ms – or have another bag ready – and let the kids celebrate afterwards with an ice cream or banana split station. Toss in sprinkles, cherries, nuts and other garnishments for a DIY dessert.
4. Felt roll-up beads
Girls love jewelry. And your gang can make their own bling – felt-style – with this craft from Green Crafts for Children by Emma Hardy. Play around with some color combinations, find your perfect match and start making beautiful necklaces and bracelets.
- Felt sheets
- PVA glue
- Needle and embroidery thread
- Cut out a rectangle of felt measuring 5 inches by 4 inches. Cut another rectangle in a different color measuring 5 inches by 3 inches.
- Lay the smaller rectangle onto the larger one, matching the 5 inches width and leaving a small gap at both ends. Paste glue along the edge.
- Roll up felt from the glued edge.
- Paste glue along the remaining edge and stick the roll together, holding it in place until the glue dries. Hold in place with rubber bands until the glue dries. (Cue up another activity or hangout time while the drying happens.)
- When the glue is completely dry, cut the felt roll into beads, making each one about 3/4-inch wide using the scissors. Repeat these steps with different colored felts to make a selection of colorful beads.
- Thread the beads onto the thread with a needle to make a necklace. Try not to put beads of the same color next to each other. Tie the thread into a knot to finish.