You can settle them down for a show before sending them home.

Preschool Games for Pajama Night

by Darlena Cunha

The combination of wearing pajamas before it's time to get into bed and hanging out with friends while in those pajamas is like an excitement overload for a preschooler. Not only does your child know he's going to have fun with his friends, but he also gets to do it while wearing PJs! With all that mirth floating around your house, you'll need some good games to keep the kids focused.

1. Races

To burn off some of the introductory energy as the kids walk through your door, have some activities lined up for them right away. Races are an ideal way to start because they allow the children to run and shout and be boisterous in an organized way. Try the pillowcase sack hop -- give each child a pillow case to put her legs into. Then the children must jump to the finish line while holding up their pillowcases and staying upright. Or, try the bedtime relay. Scatter two pairs of slippers, two robes and two teddy bears around the room. Split the kids into two teams. Each member of the team takes a turn putting all the items on and laying down. Then they snore three times, before running to put all the items back. They race back to their team and tag the next person, who then does the same thing, all the way down the line.

2. Crafts

A simple craft can calm down a group and keep them busy for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Try making T-shirt pillows. Have each kid bring an old T-shirt she doesn't wear anymore. Glue the bottom seams of the T-shirt together for each. Then let them loose with fabric markers, glitter and fabric stickers until they've each made a magical creation. Stuff the shirts through the neck hole with cotton fluff, then glue together the neck and sleeve seams. You and the preschoolers have made an instant pillow. (Make sure to let the glue dry before letting them put their heads on it!)

3. Pajama Parade

One of the novelties of a pajama party is the fact that everyone is in their pajamas! Encourage kids to walk around in a pajama parade. Clap for each child and let him take a bow after describing his attire. Ask the kids questions about their jammies, such as how often they wear them, what makes them special and what the best part about wearing jammies is.

4. Makeovers

Many kids like dressing up and playing pretend -- add being able to play with "grown up" stuff, and you've got a recipe for success. Makeovers can be for girls and boys. Start the kids off with cucumber slices for their eyes. Let them laugh about that for awhile as you set up a makeup table with nail polish, blushes, hair chalk and lotions. Make sure you check with the parents before applying any sort of makeup to the children. Hair chalk is usually a safe bet for both girls and boys. Take strands of their hair and run the chalk over it from root to end. Purple, pink, blue and orange streaks will remain in their hair until the next wash.

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