Tips for Throwing a Hip Baby Shower

You’ve probably been to multiple baby showers in your life and you know how they can be…a little cheesy. Maybe you remember lame games, strangers attempting to mingle, awkward conversations and finger foods. Now you’re going to host a baby shower, but you’re hoping to dress it up a little bit. You want your guests to have a good time and to leave feeling happy they came. But how?

Select Non-Traditional Settings

Traditionally, baby showers take place in a living room, but this idea is a little bit stale. Take it outside with a backyard baby shower over the grill. Picture it now: Sun shining, chargrilled burgers on buns served up on paper plates, no risk of food spilling on your carpet, and maybe even a coed crowd. A little music, a little soda, a little wine and voila: it’s a perfect sunny afternoon and guests are having a great time.

Photo by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

Don’t have a backyard? Weather’s terrible? No problem! What about an upscale Mexican food restaurant, where guests can order drinks and get whatever dish they want? The cheerful decor will add a sense of fun and excitement to the baby shower.

The Theme

Everyone expects cartoon characters or pink ruffles. Why not pick a theme that’s a little more bold and fun? Sites like www.partypail.com have tons of themes to pick from, including wacky themes like tie-dye and baby cow. Pick a theme that makes sense with your setting and also with the mom-to-be’s personality.

Photo by …love Maegan via Flickr

Find creative ways to integrate the theme. There should be theme-related party favors for guests, a cake styled to match the theme and so on. In fact, if at all possible, integrate the food into the theme. For example: Did you pick a jungle motif? Serve fresh tropical fruits, fruit juices in shapely cocktail glasses, salad adorned with hearts of palm, and slow roasted meats, cooked to perfection.

The Games

Go easy on the games. Play good music, serve yummy food and let conversations happen naturally. Pick only a few games that strike your fancy. “Baby Charades” game is a good one for an outgoing crowd. It’s just like any game of charades: players split into teams and each team tries to guess a word or phrase being pantomimed by one of their team members. The caveat (and you probably know where this is going): all phrases need to relate to babies.

Photo by nerissa’s ring via Flickr

iVillage.com’s “Guess How Many” game involves filling up a baby bottle with little pastel colored candies and asking guests to guess the number of candies in the bottle. The person who comes the closest to the actual number of candies in the bottle wins a prize. This is great for a calmer group of attendees.

Remember To Have Fun

A lot of people find planning and hosting a baby shower to be stressful. Remember: Parties should be fun! Don’t forget to kick back and laugh. Be sure to mingle with guests and have a good time. Take lots of pictures: you’re going to want to look back on them in the future.

 

About the Author

Joanne Mcqueen went to school for event planning, but has found she enjoys observing and writing about parties more than planning and throwing them.

Free Baby Shower Games

Laughing and making memories is the reason for baby showers, but inside jokes and lasting impressions for families that will be bonded by the birth of this baby…that’s where baby shower games come in! It’s not enough to sit around, gossip and eat – make guests get out of their chairs and do something – preferably something that will make ‘em laugh!

 

CLOTHESPIN BABY SHOWER GAMEClothespin game baby shower game free

ICEBREAKER
TRADITIONAL
INDIVIDUAL / 1 WINNER

Classic game of I Spy will set apart the ladies who are uber competitive and observant – with the ones who get carried away in conversation and forget about the game rules.

HOW TO PLAY

Give each guest a clothespin at the start of the shower. Anyone who catches someone else saying “baby” gets to take her clothespin(s). At some point before mom-to-be opens gifts, find the winner. But watch out, if you’ve got a super competitive group, someone will have ALL the clothespins within 30 minutes!

 

 

I NEED A SHOELACE GAMEI Need A Shoelace baby shower game free

ICEBREAKER
MOVE IT!
TEAM

Talked someone into giving you a shoelace lately? This and other random items to find can make or break the winning team.

HOW TO PLAY

Pair group into two-three teams. Each team has one player in the hotseat while you call out a random demand, like “Bring me a hat.”  Whichever player brings that item back first, wins a point for their team. Swap the player in the hotseat and repeat with things like: Eating utensil. Earring not in an ear. Lipstick. Quarter. Nail file. Chewed gum. Sock with a hole in it. Hair brush. Warning…this game gets loud, fast!

 

 

DIAPER THE BABY GAMEDiaper the baby shower game free

MOVE IT!
TEAM

It’s never as easy as it sounds!

HOW TO PLAY

Pair into two teams; you’ll need two baby dolls and at least two diapers. Disposable or cloth diapers with safety pins is hostess choice. Each team needs an even number, because two at a time each team will put a fresh diaper on baby, then the next two on their team will undiaper and rediaper the baby … until everyone has had a chance. First team done, wins.

 

 

RIP IT! BABY SHOWER ICEBREAKERRip It Baby bottle baby shower game free

ICEBREAKER
INDIVIDUAL / 1 WINNER

Artistic skills won’t get you far when you can’t see what you’re doing!

HOW TO PLAY

Give each guest a piece of paper the same size, and instruct them to rip it into the shape of a baby bottle. BUT…they must do it while holding the paper behind their back, and within 2 minutes. Vote on the winner.

 

 

 

PACIFIER SWINGPacifier swing baby shower game free

ICEBREAKER
MOVE IT!
INDIVIDUAL / 1 WINNER

Minute-to-win-it style baby shower game gets guests trying to catch a pacifier in their mouth!

HOW TO PLAY

Each guest needs a pacifier with a 7-9 inch ribbon attached. Starting with the end of the ribbon in their mouth, guests will have two minutes to try and swing the pacifier up and catch it in their mouth…no hands! Winner is the one who catches their pacifier the most times within the time limit.

 

 

FIND YOUR OTHER HALFFind your other half baby shower game free

ICEBREAKER
MOVE IT!

If you don’t mingle, you’ll never win…so stop chit-chatting and start moving!

HOW TO PLAY

Prep words beforehand that naturally go together, like: Nursery Rhyme. Milk Bottle. Crib Sheet. Diaper Bag. Teething Ring. Each guest that comes in get one half of a word. When you say go, everyone has 2-3 minutes to scramble and find their other half.

 

 

 

WHAT’S IN THE BAG?Whats in the bag baby shower game free

TRADITIONAL
MOVE IT!

Super-sleuthing skills are a must! Although we must admit, experienced moms definitely have an advantage.

HOW TO PLAY

Prep at least 10 baby items inside numbered paper bags and seal them shut. Wrapping items in tissue paper before putting them in the bag is perfectly acceptable to make this game harder! Guests wander between items, trying to guess what item is in what bag by writting their guesses on a paper. Most correct, wins.

 

 

PASS THE BABY DRAWINGPass the parcel baby shower game free

ARTISTIC
GROUP GAME

Working together on a game has never been harder! One weak link and your portrait perfect baby drawing could be the next biggest loser!

HOW TO PLAY

With a paper and colored pencil for each guest, you’re going to be the MC. Call out one baby item for guests to draw, like head. Then have them pass their paper to the right. Now call out another baby part like eyes. Each time the paper is passed you name a different baby item or body part like arm, toes, hair, ears until every paper has gone around at least once. Vote on the winner AND the biggest loser.

Why Baby Shower Games Are A Risky Bet That Can Pay Off Big

If you haven’t already encountered someone who absolutely hates baby shower games, you will eventually. They make a big fuss about how silly shower games are, how they detest tasting baby food, and why sniffing melted candy bars in baby diapers is gross.

Such a fuss, in fact, that it’s possible more guests than you think are on their side, secretly (if not vocally) hoping not to play baby shower games.

Consider how you would feel if you pull out games and everyone groans? What if the majority of guests have already threatened not to come if you have games? What if the games you chose turn out boring or no one likes them?

Now it’s clear that planning to play baby shower games is risky business.

But I will tell you that games can – and should – be done. (The only exception is if it’s the mom-to-be who threatens not to come if you play games. You’d better obey the pregnant lady’s wishes.)

Carefully chosen, the right games will get everyone laughing and making memories that spur inside jokes and lasting impressions for families that will be bonded by the birth of this baby. That’s a big payoff.

Will the games you chose pass this checklist?

  1. Will this be fun for the majority of guests?
  2. Would guests rather play games than craft baby onesies?
  3. Before the shower, did you find at least one guest excited to play games?
  4. Do the games make YOU want to play?
  5. Were the games made in this century?
  6. Are they age appropriate? Important if there are kids at the shower.
  7. Will guests actually TRY to win?
  8. Will guests fight over the game prize?
  9. Did you ask mom if you could measure her tummy beforehand?
  10. Will guests laugh while playing, or when hearing the answers?

If you answered yes to all 10 of these questions, then go ahead and play!

If not, choose different games – or consider one single game. An icebreaker as everyone arrives might be all you need. Besides, filling out baby advice cards isn’t *really* a game if there’s no winner….right?

We’re here for you, games or not. Let us know what  you’re  planning for the next baby shower, and we’ll be happy to make suggestions!

Baby Shower Planner – Free Printable Checklist

 

When you’re planning a shower, there’s a ton of details to keep track of! I like to use a checklist when I plan my shower, and I’m hoping this checklist will make your life easier. Or if you’re like me, this + a few dozen sticky notes ought to do it.

Click to download Pink Checklist.

Click to download Blue Checklist.

 

 

Baby Shower Invitation Wording

One of the things we LOVE about baby shower invitations is that they are p-e-r-s-o-n-a-l-i-z-e-d. You could have the most basic invitation wording in the world…but when you add mom-to-be’s name (or baby’s name!) into the invite – it becomes a keepsake. Like this one from TinyPrints:

baby shower invitation from Tiny Prints

*In this photo: Patterned Charm Baby Shower Invitation from Tiny Prints

 

Here’s a few examples of baby shower invitation wording you can use – combined with mom-to-be’s name, of course!
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Baby shower prizes

Everyone knows you can’t have games without a few prizes. But what in the world do you pick out for prizes?!? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

For starters, the average price range is between $5-$10.

The number of prizes you need? Two for each game.

Then there’s what to pick with 2 options: go generic, or go with the very-planned-out prizes that match the game or match the shower theme.
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What to do when mom-to-be thinks pencil & paper baby shower games are boring

I know, can you imagine that mom-to-be might think pencil & paper games are boring?!? But putting my personal preferences aside {because let’s face it, they are quite biased} it does happen.  Sometimes the guest of honor thinks that the pencil & paper games tend to…. get a little drawn out and boring.

So what do you do? Liven it up with activities that require guests to act as teams, or get out of their seats.
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