As I was researching baby shower traditions, I realized that games are often a big part of the event. The surprise of the new baby lends itself to all sorts of activities that capitalize on the fact that we don’t know what this adorable little creature is going to look like or be like…or even exactly when he or she will arrive! Some people know exactly what to do when a roll of toilet paper is pulled out at a baby shower, but for those of us who are new to friends having children and the events that celebrate them, here’s a tip sheet on some of the games you may encounter.
If you want to give guests something else to do besides “ooh” and “ahhh” while the mom-to-be is opening her gifts, try Baby Shower Bingo. Create Bingo cards with all the items from the registry randomly filled in. Guests mark off the gifts on their cards as each one is opened, and the first to get a complete row is the winner.
Toilet Paper Tape Measure
This game is a fun one if the guest of honor is close to her due date, and isn’t self conscious about the size of her baby belly. Pass around a roll of toilet paper and have each guest tear off a section that is the same size they think would fit around the mom-to-be’s waist. After everyone has done so, have new mama stand up and hold the toilet paper as you wrap it around her waist, measuring the circumference. Compare the length you’ve wrapped around her to the toilet paper length of all the guests. Whoever is closest wins the game.
If you’ve got a group of people who enjoy relay races and team sports, this one’s for them! Separate the guests into teams of 3-5. When the game begins, the first person from each team has to blow up their balloon and stick it under their shirt. Once the first person is done, the second person does it, and so on, until the last person has completed her balloon belly. Then the first person pops their balloon, followed by the rest of the group in sequence. Whoever finishes first wins the game.
Don’t Say Baby!
Even though diaper pins are more of a relic of the past, they can come in handy for baby shower entertainment. In this game, the goal is to get as many diaper pins as possible. Each guest attaches a diaper pin onto her clothes. When you hear someone say “baby,” swipe his or her pin! The guest with the most pins at the end wins the game.
Gearing Up for Baby
For new parents, the supplies and equipment suggested for the first year of life can be daunting! Help familiarize the new mama with this fun guessing game. Put a bunch of baby items into paper bags, seal them and then number each bag. Pass them out to all the guests, along with a piece of paper and pen, and have everyone write down their guess as to what’s inside the bag. They can feel it from the outside, but no peeking inside! After everyone has made his or her best guess, the new mama opens each bag to see what’s really inside. The person who guesses the most items correctly wins, though I think it’s also fun to give out a prize for the most creative answers.
Music to Sleep By
Even though this isn’t a game, I really liked this idea and just had to include it. One of the biggest challenges for new parents is getting their bundle of joy to sleep. But the last thing they are going to have time for is finding that perfect lullaby. Set them up for success with a custom mix created by all the shower guests. Each guest should recommend 2-3 songs, which can be complied into an actual CD for the mom-to-be and a playlist that the rest of the guests can access on an online music service such as Spotify. Encourage guests to include favorites from their own childhood, or to think outside the box and include modern, relaxing songs. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that when I was little, I used to fall asleep to “Never Never Land” from Peter Pan, so that would be my pick.
Whatever games you decide to play, it’s nice to reward the winners with a small token. Gift cards are always appreciated, or a book that reflects the interests of the guest of honor.