Sure, a cake with blue frosting is lovely. But baby shower games can make a celebration in honor of a new baby even more special. A few ideas:
Consider choosing a theme. "It provides a framework," says Becky Long, author of "Themed Baby Showers: From Mother Goose to Noah's Ark, Hundreds of Creative Shower Ideas." Mother Goose, anyone? Sleepers seem like a more fun present when they're part of a "Wee Willy Winky" celebration, she says.
Invest in some inexpensive baby bottles. You can use them for centerpieces if you fill them with blue or pink candies, says Long. Or put safety pins or pastel candies inside for a "guess how many" game. (You could also gift wrap a baby bottle and fill it with a certificate that offers up your babysitting services, says Long.)
Try stork bingo. Just change the bingo card to read "stork" instead of "bingo," says Long.
Set up a craft area. Put blank scrapbook pages, stencils, and pens there, and get the guests to roll up their sleeves and create homemade baby-book pages – for milestones such as first steps and first words, says Long. "It makes it even more meaningful when you know your guests have done it."
Avoid solitary games. What, specifically, is a no-no? "Anything that requires you to have pencils," says Long. "They squelch conversation rather than encourage it. We're not in school, so we don't need to be quizzed." Are written games really that bad? Yes. "I don't think any one of us ever played a pencil game and said, 'Question No. 4 was the best word scramble,'" she says.
Try giving an art easel. Use it at the shower before you turn it over to mom. "It does double duty at the shower, where people draw words related to baby, and people guess what they are," says Long. "It's a more hip version of a pencil game."
Do a twist on a TV game show. Try "Who Wants to be a Mommy?" says Long. Ask how much college prediction is predicted to be in 18 years.
Don't forget prizes. They could tie back to the shower theme. Consider giving flower bulbs, for example, if "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" is the idea.
Bake a festive shower cake. Push a Hershey's Kiss into the underside of a sheet cake made to look like a diaper. Whoever gets the "dirty" piece, with the chocolate in it, gets a prize.
Give the gift of time. Consider cooking meals that can be frozen or stored, especially if the shower is a "sprinkle" for a second baby. "Mom doesn't need all of the things she needed with the first baby," says Long.
Play pregnant papa. If guys are invited, get them to put on a backpack loaded with weights to simulate being pregnant. Then make them bend over and tie a shoe, she says. Or get the pregnant papas to do relay races against each other.
Run a trivia game. How many babies are born each year? How many diapers does a baby use in a year?
Guess mom's tummy size. Get kids to write down their estimates. Then bring out the measuring tape to see who wins. Don't forget to give a prize to the winner.
Taste the baby food. In "Themed Baby Showers," Long recommends buying eight jars of baby fruits or vegetables, covering each label with paper and numbering them. Players pass around the jar and put a spoonful next of contents on their own paper plate with a number. The winner identifies the most foods.
Guess the now-grown-up babies. "The Best Baby Shower Book" recommends collecting old photos and giving each guest a copy of the guest list with a blank next to each name. The person who identifies the most pictures gets a prize. Give the finished album to mom. Awwww.
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