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Summer Sleepover Tips

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At some point this summer, most parents will probably find themselves hosting a sleepover with their kids and their friends. While sleepovers are great for kids, they usually mean that no one -- parents included -- will be getting much sleep. The visiting children are looking for the chance to stay up late and enjoy a night away from their own parents. You can't blame them, right? We all loved sleepovers when we were growing up. However, with lots on your plate with work and life, it's important that you get a proper night's rest. How do you look to get a good night's sleep with a group of rambunctious kids in your home? You have to make a plan and set the tone. Below are five ways to help you get things to go your way -- and hopefully get some beauty sleep.

Keep them active: A great way to make sure the kids are tired when it's bedtime is to bring them out of the house to do some activities in the evening. There are lots of fun evening activities in the summer that kids can do that they will love. You can bring them to play miniature golf or find a local indoor rock climbing wall. Either activity will tire out the kids and help them sleep soundly.

Sugar-free: Curb the sweets that you serve the children come nightfall. You don't want to feed them any sugar late in the evening because they will make them hyper and keep them up. Try to have some sugar-free snacks like peanuts and pretzels available. Avoid sugary drinks as well. Keep it fun, but also keep it as calm as you can.

Set up a tent: Depending on the ages of your kids and the ones visiting your home for the night, it could be fun to help them pitch a tent in the yard. If they're too young, have them pitch one in the living room or play room. They will stay in the tent and won't be running around your home.

Calm Pets: Try to keep the family pets away from the kids during the sleepover. Animals tend to rile up kids and get them excited. The dog can begin to bark and become antsy at night as well and keep the family awake. So keep the pets at a distance -- it's best for them and the children.

Story time: If the kids sleep outside, it might be fun for you or your spouse to head outside and tell them a ghost story. Don't tell them anything too frightening, but tell them a story just scary enough to make them want to hide in their sleeping bags for the rest of the night.

Next day plans: Get all of the kids excited for the next day. Make plans for you all to go somewhere like an amusement park or make plans for a lemonade stand. Telling them about how exciting the next day is going to be will have them wanting to turn in early so the new day will come even sooner.