We’re big fans of a good pajama party, especially during the winter months. There is something about being snuggled up with your closest friends in your favorite PJs, enjoying great snacks and good movie, that feels so right in the winter. The only thing in the world that could make a winter sleepover feel even more cozy is a pile of freshly baked cookies.
‘Cookie swaps’ are a super fun addition to Christmas parties, cookouts, and family reunions — so why not host one during a pajama party, when you’re already on the hunt for sweet treats? The concept is simple: each guest brings cookies for everyone to try and enough cookies for everyone to take some home. It’s a great way to share recipes you love with friends and, well, eat cookies!
8 Tips for Hosting a ‘Cookie Swap’ Sleepover
1. Advanced Invitations for Advanced Planning
Since this isn’t your typical “drop off your child and a sleeping bag” sleepover, be sure to give parents of invited children plenty of notice. Not everyone is a wiz in the kitchen, so parents might need advanced notice to pick a recipe, gather ingredients, or just pick something up at the grocery store. On that note, be sure to let them know that store-bought goods are A-OK! Be mindful of the varying time constraints on different families. Be sure to gather information on potential food allergies too, so everyone can participate safely.
2. The Right Number of Cookies
If you have six kids total attending the sleepover, suggest each parent bring 24 cookies. Most tried-and-true cookie recipes yield at least two dozen cookies, so each participant will bring one batch. When presented with the cookies, place 12 on a plate for the kids to enjoy during the sleepover and set aside the other half to be distributed when they go home.
3. Goodie Bags and Thank You Notes
Pick up gift bags big enough to hold a dozen cookies. Each child will go home with two cookies from each of the six batches. You might want to include a note to the parents of the children, to thank them for participating since this sleepover requires a little more effort from the grown ups.
4. Create Candyland
The magic is in the details, so go all-out with your sweet theme! No matter what age, everyone will get a laugh and smile out of candy-themed or Cookie Monster-themed party decorations. String magical twinkle lights, hang brightly colored pompoms, and glitter it up! Use vanilla-scented air fresheners, scented oils, or candles to make the house smell like freshly-baked cookies. Pro-tip: if you’re selecting items like nail polish for manicures, choose bright candy-colored options.
5. Snack and Dinner
Since the kids will be noshing on sweets, pick up a few savory snack options, but don’t go overboard. Pretzels, chips and salsa, veggies and hummus, and popcorn for the movie should do the trick. For dinner, you could opt for the old standby — pizza — or create a build-your-own-wrap bar with whole wheat tortillas, cold cuts, fresh veggies, and condiments in an effort to get some “real food” in their bellies. Don’t forget milk or milk substitutes for cookie-dipping!
6. Sweet Games
Keep the sweet theme going with the games you select. Encourage classic games like Candyland, Go Gelato Race, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Ice Cream-opoly, and the newer Hasbro sensation, Pie Face. If you’re feeling creative, you can even throw together your own version of “Pictionary” with a bowl filled with dessert or food words.
7. Indulgent Movies
Once everyone is in their favorite pajamas, it’s movie time! Whether the characters are swimming in a pool of chocolate, wining and dining, or working in a bakery, there are indulgent movies for every age group. Here are some decadent movies that would be perfect for your feature film. Remember to check the age-appropriate ratings before you stream!
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Under the Tuscan Sun
- Just Desserts
- Eat Pray Love
- Fried Green Tomatoes
8. Breakfast (for a sugar-induced hangover)
Coming down from the sugar high is going to leave party-goers feeling less than enthusiastic the next morning. Consider offering healthy, light options: low-sugar cereals and tasty granola, loads of fresh fruit, multigrain bagels, or a veggie egg bake. Another fun idea: fire up the blender and whip up a batch of breakfast smoothies — you might need a little nutrient pick-me-up too!
For more ideas for how to have fun in your pajamas this winter, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.