Gracie’s First Sleepover!

Before today’s post, I just want to thank you for the incredible outpouring of encouragement and support for the student I wrote about last week.  While I appreciate every offer of assistance I received, I am not able to offer medical assistance to students.  I reported his skin condition to our school nurse and she will reach out to his parents and, if necessary, to the Department of Children and Families to see about getting him the treatment he needs.  Your kindness and generosity was inspiring to me at a time when our country seems to be needing lots of both.  Thank you.  


What a weekend we had!  It was equal parts adventures and laziness, which I think are the best kinds of weekends.  Friday kicked off a 24-hour period of awesomeness for Gracie Girl.  She was the Student of the Month in her class, along with her best friend, Rosie.  They were the cutest little munchkins you’ve ever seen!


Then later that day, Rosie came over for both the girls first ever sleepover!  I thought Gracie’s head was going to explode.  They were so excited!  It was cold and rainy, so we stayed home, ordered pizza, and the girls played for hours.  They played Gracie’s current favorite things:  teacher and dolls.

She is obsessed with teaching her dolls.  She lines them all up and makes them little paper desks.  She calls roll, puts them in the “thinking chair” when they aren’t being good, and teaches them sight words and numbers.  For Christmas, I got her this cute classroom kit from Melissa and Doug and she has LOVED it.  I must have heard their class bell ring a million times on Friday night!


They also played Barbies, which was a hoot and a half to listen to.  At one point, I heard the following conversation:

Rosie:  Let’s pretend that their boyfriend isn’t here.

Gracie:  Yeah, they died.

Rosie:  Okay.  But nobody is sad.

Gracie:  Right.

Around 9:00, I told the girls it was time for bed.  And this is when I realized just how different girl sleepovers are than boy sleepovers.  The girls were so excited to go to bed!  They got their dolls, brushed their teeth, and snuggled right in.  They whispered and giggle quietly for about half an hour and then they were both asleep!


(In case you are wondering, we bought a pop-up trundle bed for under Gracie’s daybed a few years ago.  It has been awesome for us.  We put Bean in there when we have company over and now that Gracie is old enough, we used it for her sleepover and it worked great!  You can find them on Amazon.  They are super easy to put up and take down.  Bean and Gracie can do it themselves.  I love ours!)

When Bean has had sleepovers, bedtime happens around 10:30.  It never involves brushing teeth, they climb into bed with hidden Nerf guns, and they shoot each other in the dark until I yell at them to be quiet.  And this goes on until I finally fall asleep, where, I’m convinced, they continue to shoot each other until the wee small hours of the morning.


(QUESTION: Do you make the kids go to sleep at a certain time for sleepovers?  We don’t do them very often, and I’m always on the fence.  They just seem too young to be staying up until all hours.  Am I the only one who makes them lay down at a certain point?  Or am I being a stick in the mud?)

Anyway, back to the ladies.  They woke up early the next morning and were back to teaching school before 7:30.  We had an easy cereal breakfast and then Rosie’s mom picked her up by 8:00 for a soccer game.  It was actually a really easy night.


I know a lot of people have different thoughts on sleepovers.  We only do sleepovers with families that we know personally and whose houses Chris and I have been to before.  I’m sure that will change as my kids get older, but for now, that’s our first criteria.  And we don’t do them often.  With Bean, I made him wait until 1st grade to have a sleepover.  With Gracie, we let her have one now as a kindergartener because she started asking about them.  I would have stuck to my first grade timeline, but Gracie’s best friend has been around with our family since before preschool.  Her mom and I are friends and we know their family well.  I wouldn’t do a sleepover with a random kid yet, for either Bean or Gracie.

What about you guys?  What are your sleepover criteria and guidelines?  Any suggestions or recommendations for our family, since we are relatively new to this whole thing?


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8 Thoughts to “Gracie’s First Sleepover!”

  1. Gracie’s joy is so contagious! I’m not a mom yet (preggers!) but I’m happy to read your sleepover policy because it is something to think about! Love your blog!

  2. Eve

    Hi Katie,
    I started reading when I was pregnant with my first and you were pregnant with Bean. I love your blog! I was hoping you might blog about the importance of welcoming refugees and immigrants. I know you don’t usually do political posts, but I think no matter what your political position is, people need to be reminded that welcoming people who are different and in need is both American and Christian. I teach English as a second language, and my students who are immigrants and refugees really amaze me with both what they have been through, and their resilience. I’m sure you, as a teacher, witness the same.
    I remember your post urging common sense gun control. I admired your courage in putting that on your blog, and I think you have the power to influence a lot of people.

  3. Lisa

    We are pretty much the same as you guys. We do them only with people we know well. I am not too strict on bed times, but I will eventually make them be “quite” and watch a movie until they eventually fall asleep (or I fall asleep). I agree, I am pretty sure they hide weapons in their blankets, for fights in the dark long after the hubby and I have gone to bed. We do them occasionally, but I usually dread the whining from being over tired the next day, so if we have plans for the weekend, no sleep overs. We started sleep overs with one two friend in Kindergarten with our oldest, but the youngest does not have friends we know well, so he has not had one yet.

  4. Kelly

    We have never done a lot of sleepovers. A hand full between my two 12 years olds. We are usually too busy and the kids have sports so we need good nights of sleep. Even though my kids are older than yours, we make them and their friends go to their rooms and go to bed at a decent hour (11 ish). What they do after they are in the rooms is up to them. I go to bed. 🙂

  5. PJ

    I don’t have kids; but, I think I had my first sleep-over in kindergarten also. And my parents sleep-over guidelines were very similar to yours. Sleep-overs were allowed at/with friends who my parents knew and my parents knew their parents.

    As I got older and was planning my own sleep-overs (instead of my mom arranging things) I know that whenever I was sleeping over at a friend’s house, my mom verified with the parents that 1) it was okay that I was sleeping over and 2)that at least one parent would be there the entire time.

  6. Ariane

    My four year old asks for sleep overs a lot. I feel like it’s too young, like the other girl would require a good deal of “parent” oversight that I’m not comfortable being responsible for. We really just need to start with a play date at each others homes but have not yet because life is too chaotic. Thanks for sharing all the details of Gracie’s day, she looks so happy!

  7. Meghan

    I think you have to do what feels right for you and your family and with the friends that you’d want to do sleepovers with. Our kids actually started sleeping over at a friend’s house quite early–I think E was 5 and C was about 3? But these were friends who are like family and we had an arrangement where each of us would take all the kids about one night each month (they have 2 girls and we have 2 boys, all roughly the same ages). Then the other parents had not only an entire Date Night babysitter-free, but we even got to wake up lazily **in our own home**, have a nice breakfast or brunch out, and then go get our kids. It was heaven and the kids loved it too, so it was a win-win for everyone! In the beginning it required more oversight since the kids were young, but everyone was OK with that so it worked for everyone.

  8. Kate

    I debated commenting since I do think these situations are rare but please don’t think that your kids are without a doubt safe with good family friends. I was abused for years (at sleepovers) by a good family friend who my parents trusted. I was too scared to say anything because I knew my parents loved these friends and considered him a “safe” guy.

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