Sep. 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM ET
If the thought of sleepover games makes your daughter wince ("Really, Mom? We're, like tweens, now. We're waaay too old for games."), maybe she just needs some fresh ideas. Once your kids get over the fact they learned these sleepover games and activities from you, they'll be just as obsessed as you were at their age.
For the uninitiated, MASH stands for Mansion, Apartment, Shack and House. To play this predict-the-future sleepover game, write MASH at the top of a piece of paper, and then fill in categories underneath -- think husband, car, number of children, jobs, colors—adding five options per category. One player draws tally marks until the other says stopêthat's your number. The first player then counts through the list, starting with the letters MASH, crossing items off along the way. When one option is left per category, it gets circled. Read through the circled items for your future. (In 1985, it was usually something like "You will live in a pink shack with Rob Lowe, drive a DeLorean, work as an MTV VJ and have 17 children."
An oldie, but goodie; Mom, stay within earshot so it all stays PG. The rules are simple: One player asks another "Truth or Dare?" If the person chooses "Truth," she must, you guessed it, truthfully answer a question. If she opts for "Dare," she's obliged to complete a funny or slightly embarrassing task. Wanna get crazy? Change it to "Truth, Dare, Double Dare, Promise to Repeat." For the Double part, the person must choose someone to help her complete the dare. Promise to repeat means you have to repeat a phrase, however humiliating, 10 times. Expect a lot of "I love Principal Jones" with that last one.
These paper fortune tellers are as essential to a good slumber party as freezing someone's training bra. Sort of like an origami version of the Magic 8 Ball, for this sleepover game you fold the corners of a piece of paper and then write numbers and colors on the different flaps to create the cootie catcher. You ask the player to pick a number, then move the catcher that many times. With colors, you move the catcher the number of letters in the word. Eventually, you open the flap, where a fortune has been written underneath. In the '80s, yours may have been, "You will marry Kirk Cameron." Or "You will make the Guiness Book of World Records for having the world's largest cassingle collection." Need a refresher? Here are instructions from The Daring Book for Girls.
No, your girls are not ready for the kissy-kissy version of this party game (not 'til they’re at least 30, right?). But for a beauty theme, have the slumber party participants sit in a circle, taking turns spinning a nail polish bottle. Whoever the bottle points to gets a mani in that color. (Send the girls home with the bottles that "chose" them, too, as a fun favor.)
They ran around screaming for the first half hour, snarfed their pizza in a matter of minutes, broke out the candy and made it through less than half of the Katy Perry movie before declaring there's nothing to do. Treasure hunt time! Come up with a list of clues that lead the girls from one room to another—outside is fun if you and the neighbors can handle it—offering a prize at the end.
If you or your daughter prefers to mix a few organized sleepover games into the slumber party festivities, this is a fun one. Place the girls in two teams, each standing in a circle with their hands behind their backs. Mom or Dad (or little sis who has been begging to be included) places the orange under one girl's chin and she then has to pass the fruit to the person next to her—without using her hands. Orange drops on the floor? It must be picked up sans hands. Hilarity ensues. First team to make it around the circle wins.
We don't know about you, but when our daughters get together with their friends, makeup is always involved. If you have some budding beauty queens in your slumber party mix, they might get a kick out of this twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. One guest is blindfolded, and then must perform a "makeover" on a friend. Be sure to have a camera (and plenty of makeup removal wipes) on hand for this one.
If it’s been a while since you played this classic game "that ties you up in knots," you really must run—no sprint—to the store to pick it up. You remember how to play: One person spins the board, declaring "right hand, blue," or "left foot, green," forcing the players into all sorts of funny positions. For a modern spin, try Twister Dance, where you follow the lights to learn dances to songs like "Whip My Hair." Yes, you will get very sick of Willow Smith, but the kids will have a blast.
Give your slumber party a DIY touch by adding a craft to the evening's agenda. Decorating pillow cases is fun, easy, inexpensive and sends the girls home with a memorable birthday party favor they may actually use. Find plain pillowcases at a big box retailer, buy some fabric paint or fabric markers from your favorite craft store, or use Sharpies, iron-on letters and stencils. Set up an area where they can get a little messy and, in the morning, they have a fun take-home for the next slumber party extravaganza!
It may seem cliché, but girls really do love to talk on the phone. Make a game of it by bringing back this classic communications game. Have the girls stand in a line. The girl at the start of the line whispers a saying or phrase to the girl next to her, who passes it on to the next girl in line. This continues until it gets to the last girl, who announces what she heard. See, who said you need an iPhone 5 to have fun playing telephone?
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.