“Be inclusive, but don’t force anyone to play, advises etiquette expert Diane Gottsman (dianegottsman.com)
Before planning games for your baby shower, “Always make sure the mom-to-be wants games, (since) sometimes they do not like them,” says Stephanie Coffin of Bellies, Babies & Beyond, an online resource for parents (belliesbeyond.com).
Game planning essentials
- The key to a successful baby shower game? Select games that everyone can play, says Liza Utter, a nationally acclaimed and award-winning celebrity restaurateur and master hostess (lizaamericashost.com).
- When planning the games, make sure you understand the games and can easily explain them to guests, says Coffin. It can even be helpful to do a trial run of the games prior to the shower so you know how to prepare for and manage theactivities.
- Make sure that the guest of honor is enjoying herself. Utter advises.
- Also ensure that every guest feels welcome and included , Utter says. These days more and more soon-to-be parents are opting for a couples baby shower – a real testament of valuing dad’s complete engagement into fatherhoodfrom the very beginning,” she says .
Baby shower game favorites
Coffin says the families she works with enjoy these tried-and-true games:
Guess the baby food
For this fun game, guests take a bite of unidentified baby food, and must guess the flavor. You can blindfold guests or simply put out baby food jars with the labels covered.
TIP: When purchasing baby food for this game, be sure to include fruits, veggies and mixed meals (like macaroni and cheese/chicken).
Who said it / Who did it
The shower host creates a poster board, cute signs or note cards and writes down silly, poignant or just plan odd quotes from the expectant parents. Guests then try matching the quote to the parent-to-be.
TIP: This is an especially fun game for co-ed parties. Prior to the baby shower, reach out to the mom- and dad-to-be and the grandparents-to-be to collect funny things the expectant parents did or said as children.
Guess her belly size
Have mom-to-be stand in the front of the room, where all guests can see her. Pass around a ball of yarn, streamer or ribbon and a scissors. Each guest must cut a piece to match what they think is the diameter of mom’s belly. Once all guests havecut their string, the game facilitator uses a separate string to get mom’s exact measurement and walks around the room to find the guests’ closest match. The guest whose string comes the closest wins.
TIP:To prevent confusion about which string is the correct length, make sure the facilitator has a unique color of string, yarn, streamer or ribbon.
My water broke!
You’ll need ice cubes with small babies in them. Fill an ice cube tray half way, freeze, then a small, plastic baby figure to each cube, fill the rest of the way and freeze again.
The object of the game is to try to melt your ice cube before anyone else. When the toy baby is free, the guest has to yell, “My water broke!”
TIP: Be sure to have hand towels at the ready, and stage this activity in an area where furniture and carpeting can’t get wet.
Additional baby shower games and activities
Coffin also recommends the following for anyone who may not be interested in a competition — but wants to take part in group activities during the shower:
Share parenting advice
Set up an area at your shower where guests can write messages on baby diapers. The message may be something funny to make mom or dad smile during a late-night changing, a piece of helpful parenting advice or a favorite motherhood or fatherhood quote.
To make this more of a game, have everyone who writes a message select their favorite diaper advice penned thus far and write them on a piece of paper. Invite participants to then fold the paper and drop it into a fish bowl or hat. Toward the end ofthe party, tally the votes and see whose advice garnered the most favorites.
TIP: Be sure to have your shower guests use a permanent marker to write their messages on the outside of each diaper. To ensure that baby doesn’t come in contact with the ink, only write on the outside of the diapers,. Also, theink will not bleed onto baby’s clothes.
Decorate a onesie or bib
This doesn’t necessarily need to be presented as a game. Set up a work station for your guests with fabric markers and a collection of onesies or bibs. Invite guests to decorate any way they like.
To make this activity a game, pin the completed pieces to a string with clothes pins and hang somewhere in the party space. Ask guests to vote on their favorite and offer the winner a prize.
TIP: The host may wish to purchase a variety of onesie sizes so there’s a collection for baby to wear as he or she grows and develops.