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Seven summer slumber party ideas for kids

Seven tips for a fun summer slumber party.

Seven tips for a fun summer slumber party. Credit: Fotolia / Monkey Business Images

Summer is in full swing and many kids love having slumber parties before school is back in session. That way, kids can stay up later playing games and then recover at home the next day. Depending on the age of your guests, “slumber” may not occur, but the experts at Little Twig and Sparrow pajamas have plenty of ideas to get you through the night.

Here, they offer seven tips for hosting a fun summer slumber party for kids:

1. Camp outside. If the kids can hack it, get them outside under the stars in your backyard. You can rent a tent for the night and load the kids up with flashlights, snacks, games and camp stories. With a fire pit or a barbecue, dinner is easy: a few hot dogs on a stick and s'mores for dessert. There are even star-gazing apps you can download for the kids.

2. Plan a mystery sleepover. Create a mystery that the kids need to solve. Create an elaborate setting in your backyard, house or around the neighborhood -- you can even get the neighbors involved, by handing out or hiding clues. Here's a quick little secret in case you don't have time to plan: You can find slumber party mystery games online to help you with ideas.

3. Watch a movie outdoors. If you can rent or borrow a projector, all you'll need is a white sheet to hang on your house and you'll have an instant drive-in movie theater. Or, you can buy an inflatable screen for the film's backdrop. Set up camping chairs, lay out some blankets and, of course, don’t forget the popcorn.   Make the experience even more authentic by giving each guest a "movie" ticket to redeem for their favorite candy or a slushy.

4. Picnic in the a.m. One of the coolest things about sleepovers is enjoying breakfast together. You don’t need to overdo it, but you do need options. Some ideas include a bowl of fruit-flavored cereal, sprinkled doughnuts, fresh-cut fruit or blueberry pancakes. Set up blankets outside so the kids can enjoy a breakfast picnic.

5. Go on a photo scavenger hunt. Most kids have phones that take pictures.  Prepare a scavenger list of things that can be found in your neighborhood. Divide the kids into teams and have them set out to find each item on the list and bring back a unique photo of each one. The team that makes it back to the house first wins. If the kids are too young, you could also create a smaller hunt within your backyard.

6. Create an obstacle course. This can be done in your house or in the backyard. Provide a clue at each obstacle to direct each team to the next challenge. The obstacles can be physical or mental, in case you have kids ranging in skill levels. At the completion of the challenge, offer an ice cream bar for the kids to make their own sundaes and include crazy items like gummy worms, dirt (crushed Oreos), mothballs (malted milk balls) and other favorites.

7. Play classic outdoor games. Remember wheelbarrow races, capture the flag, potato sack races, flashlight tag, kick the can, running through the sprinkler, hopscotch and spud? There are so many more! These games have stood the test of time and are sure to fill an evening with lots of fun.

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