'Late overs' are the new sleepovers for kids, and it's only good news for us 2 months ago

'Late overs' are the new sleepovers for kids, and it's only good news for us

If you are the parent of a tween, chances are they have already started asking about sleepovers.

Whether they want to have a friend sleep over at your house, or are asking to be allowed to sleep over at one of their friend's houses, sleepovers are a pretty big deal – for them and you.

The thing is – sometimes kids love the idea of a sleepover more than they do the actual sleeping over part – because, let's face it, sleeping somewhere new, being out of your routine and the safety of your own home, with your own parents can be pretty daunting.

Growing up, I had a friend who always, once we got to the brushing teeth and getting ready for bed bit of the sleepover, would suddenly get a mysterious "tummy ache" and want to be picked up by her parents. Now, as a mum of an almost-tween myself, I can see why this could happen – and understand so perfectly well why the best bit of a sleepover, to many kids, is the stuff that happens before the actual sleeping over takes place.

You know; the movie and the popcorn and the sweets and the glitter nail polish and the girl talk.

Which is why we think this trend is a total game-changer – and we bet you will too.

Say hello to 'late-overs' – the sleepover that involves everything but sleeping over.

Still confused? Well, according to two US mums that have already hosted a few 'late-overs' between them, a late-over is just like a sleepover but rather than the kids staying up all night and keeping the parents up until midnight, leaving everyone grumpy the next day from lack of sleep, they do everything they normally would at a sleepover, but come home late, not the next morning.

How late is late? Well, these guys say around 9pm – but we're thinking for 9-12-year-olds, you could even stretch a late-over until 10ish – especially as we are talking the weekend.

What do kids get up to at a late-over? Well, everything they would at a sleepover, pretty much. We are talking pj's, popcorn, crafts, baking, movies – whatever they want, really. In fact, some mums are even going as far as having late-over birthday parties. This is what one US mum explained about what to expect from such an event:

"We had pizza and made ice cream sundaes, had a seriously loud dance party and then got into PJs at around 7 and watched Annie in sleeping bags the kids had brought with them."

Are there any downsides, you might wonder? Well, there might be a lot of giggling and mess – and a bit of a sugar-rush, depending on what you serve up, but apart from that, we think this is a brilliant compromise and a trend we are absolutely planning on testing out very soon.