SLEEPOVER! The absolute best way to spend the only time during the week when you aren’t scheduled to be with friends is to be with friends (obviously). We asked some sleepover veterans to help us put together a class-A sleepover game plan. Read on.
Step one – The round up
This is the hardest part, because it usually involves getting permission from your parents. Mine were always sticklers for making sure to ask out of earshot of the guest (difficult when they’re on the phone already). See how many friends your folks will permit, then ask for one more, mentioning “inclusion” and “camaraderie.”
Step two – Prepare
Guests: Always bring something. It’s only polite to bring something when you’ve been invited somewhere. Plus, it butters up parents real nice. Sleepover things are easy, as they are chiefly sugary or salt treats.
Host: Prepare for the déluge of people, treats and goofiness that is about to take your chores list to the next level by preparing treats and doing a pre-clean/tidy (stash your unmentionables, put fresh towels out, line your shoes up in a row – generally make your parents happy before you make them cranky and/or tired).
Step three – The movie
It’s up for debate, but this could be the most important part of the sleepover. There isn’t really a rule of thumb when choosing movies, because tastes vary, but there are certainly some seminal texts in sleepoverland. Here’s what my guests recommended:
Kate: Heathers, Dazed & Confused, Wet Hot American Summer, The Royal Tenenbaums, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Mary Poppins
Mark: Total Recall, A Night at the Roxbury
Merrin: Now and Then, The Craft
Caitlin: Three Ninjas, Harry Potter, Stardust, Studio Ghibli films
Raina: Now & Then (classic!)
Step four – Snacks
Another extremely important part of the sleepover.
Kelly: Usually nachos (budget nachos with ground beef and one kind of cheese) or microwave burritos.
Kate: Kernels dill pickle popcorn and Dr. Pepper.
Mark: Sour keys, sour worms, all sour any and everything. Preferably served in a gigantic dish that is bottomless.
Merrin: Ice cream sundaes with all the fixings!
Caitlin: Huge bags of bulk barn treats. I once spent five dollars on a bag of candy corn at $0.50/100g and ate all. Of. It. By the end of high school I was also on a first name basis with the overnighters at 7/11 as after every bad first day or event my friends and I endured we congregated with coffees and Slurpees and the latest issues of Cosmo (awful) and Us Weekly (less awful).
Raina: Ketchup chips and Dr. Pepper will always be my favourite. But nachos that you make yourself are a nice treat, too. I remember a really good sleepover where we all got SqueezePops from the corner store – you know, those tubes of sugary goo? They were GOOD.
Step four – Prank(s)
Every good, or at least every memorable, sleepover has a prank. Remember to prank and not commit crimes. Pranking does have a rule of thumb, and it happens to also be the golden rule: Prank unto others as you would have them prank unto you. Don’t dish out what you can’t take.
Kelly : We would take stale donuts from behind Tim Hortons and throw them at cars. That ended when we hit our teacher’s car and got a restraining order from that particular Tim’s.
Merrin : My friend Lindsay (often the sleepover host) would think it was hilarious to roll across the row of girls lying in our sleeping bags (we didn’t think it was as funny as she did).
Caitlin : My friends and I weren’t tricksters, though we excelled at the disgusting and incriminating candid photograph. My lasting high school memory is me spooning with a bag of Lays.
Raina : The old classic is the shaving cream trick, of course, where you put shaving cream (or whipped cream, if you’re feeling generous) on a person’s hand while they’re sleeping, and then you tickle their face very lightly. They’ll reach up to scratch their face without waking up, and when they do they’ll give themselves a face full of shaving/whipped cream!
Step five – ACTIVITIES!!!
If you need more room, you can always nail a few beds together…
Kelly : Fighting with pool noodles in the pool and listening to Rancid loud and late on school nights. I don’t know why our parents let us do that.
Kate : Painting or fimo earring jewelry clinic.
Mark : Watching movies until everyone is tired, and then talking about girls you like until everyone literally passes out.
Merrin : We would often have backyard sleepovers in a tent, so some of the best activities were ones that mimicked camping : ghost stories, etc. Also, crafts.
Caitlin : My friends and I loved to be scared, so no matter how safely the night started, the best of what we got down to involved spooky late night walks through farmers’ fields or summoning spirits made on homemade Ouija boards. If we stayed at my best friend’s century-old horse farm we would always try to scare ourselves awake to climb her barn and watch the sunrise. If we stayed anywhere else we would pile seven of us in the fetal position on a double bed and hope that ghosts weren’t real.
Raina : The best part! Truth or Dare is fun, but it’s a bit played out. I always like Ten Fingers, and no, it’s not as gross as it sounds. Everyone puts all ten fingers up, and you go around the circle. Each person says something they’ve never done, like “I’ve never french-kissed a blonde guy” and anyone who has done that has to put down a finger. The first one who has all their fingers down wins. Or loses… Depending on how you look at it. Either way, you end up learning a lot about your friends.
Step six – the next day – BREAKFAST.
Your time to shine, if food is your forté. Definitely take risks, but always have a backup plan if you’re dreaming big. Secrets, ouija boards, rooftop sunrises and non-stop sugar highs will have your guests hungry.
Kate : The “Cheese Dream*” – bacon and grilled cheese sandwich, only the best thing you can eat on a Saturday morning. Flax bread only.
Mark : The most basic french toast with Aunt Jemima syrup. Easy. Delicious.
Merrin : I don’t really like them now (maybe I OD’d?) but chocolate chip pancakes!
Caitlin : Scrounge up some brunch fixings with lots and lots of home fries. Anything savoury and carb based is the ONLY sort of breakfast in my circle of friends.
Raina : I’m not a big breakfast person. I’d be the kid who had a BLT instead of bacon and eggs.