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Baby showers take many different forms, and a game or two always makes the occasion memorable. Yashmitha Padayachee shares some ideas.
Baby showers – or at least the principle behind them – have been around for thousands of years. Women from a particular village or community would come together to offer advice, support and gifts in celebration of the anticipated arrival, and the revolution of a woman into a mother.
These celebrations can be noted throughout history and civilisations, from ancient India through to the Victorian era. The baby shower as we know it first reared its pretty little head in the late 1940s and ’50s, shortly after WWII, when the “Baby Boomer” generation set in.
Modern baby showers have morphed into a relatively big deal, and planning the perfect baby shower can be a pretty daunting task. They can range from simple at home do’s with friends and family, to epic, show-stopping, wedding equivalent affairs that are catered and themed. If the budget allows, then the sky is the limit.
Traditional baby-fixated fun and games have remained an essential part of the proceedings. In the never-ending sea of online information, here is a concise and helpful list of games you can consider including if you are hosting a baby shower.
Let the Games Begin
Ice Ice Baby
You will need Small plastic babies, available from most party shops. Ice cube tray.
Preparation Place a baby in each space of the ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze.
How to play When guests arrive and are given their first drink, add in the ice cube baby. Take care to add them in at the same time, not as each guest arrives.
Winner The baby that is ‘born’ (defrosts) first.
Variation Make one giant ice block baby and have guests estimate the ‘time of birth.’
The price is right
You will need An assortment of baby products ranging from toiletries to clothes and even equipment. This can be
part of your gift, borrowed or from the expecting mums stock-pile of items.
Pens and paper for guests to write on.
Small cards for you to write down the possible prices of items.
Preparation Arrange and number a few items. Write out the prices of the items but place them randomly off to the side.
How to play Guests have to try and guess what each item costs.
Winner The most correct answers
Variation You could just have a list of items, but a visual display is more interactive and fun.
Baby Love Songs
You will need Pen and paper for guests.
How to play Ask guests to write down as many songs with the word ‘baby’ in the title, within a time limit.
Winner The most correct answers
Variation Guests can be asked to list nursery rhymes instead.
Sweets in a bottle
You will need A large plastic baby bottle or glass jar with a lid.
Lots and lots of sweets. Jelly Babies, Milk Bottles, Dummies etc.
Preparation Fill the bottle with sweets, but keep count!
How to play Guests are asked to guess the number of sweets in the jar.
Winner The correct answer, or whoever is closest, wins the jar.
Guess the baby
You will need A cork or message board and drawing pins, string and tiny pegs can be used as an alternate.
Pen and paper for guests.
Preparation Arrange for each attendee to bring along a baby photo of theirs.
How to play Number the photographs and make note of which photo belongs to which guest, before pinning them up. Ask guests to have a look at all photos and guess who they belong to.
Winner The most correct answers
Variation Print out a range of celebrity babies and their famous parents. Guests can try to match as many celebrity babies as they can.
*Decide well in advance if you will be giving out prizes and keep a few extra handy just in case. Prize ideas can include lip balms or hand creams and gourmet sweets or snacks.
It’s all fun and games until it’s not
Some games just aren’t as fun as they promise to be and some can even border on gross and even insensitive. Be mindful of how a game could be received by the parents-to-be as well as the guests. If it isn’t fun, what’s the point? Some games that may have outlived their fun factor include:
- Guess the candy bar/baby food – melted baby food or chocolate in diapers. Funny maybe, but also gross.
- The ‘Tummy Measure Game’ – guys, I think she knows she’s big right now.
- Anything wasteful – keep things eco-friendly and avoid games that create waste of single use items such as emptying out a pack of wet-wipes or popping balloons.
*Purchase a small or medium notebook and pass it around for guests to write down well-wishes, hopes, dreams and valuable advice to Mom, Dad and the little one. Guests without children can share what they most admired about their parents.
Who’s your daddy
Gone are the days where baby showers are strictly for moms and their female friends. Co-ed parties that include Dad and some of his ‘bros’ are part of the modern movement. Keep in mind that co-ed parties may take on more of a ‘family social’ vibe and might not be the best setting for an overkill of baby hysteria games. Here are a few games that can make our male counterparts feel a little more included.
- Diaper change race – get dads to race against each other while changing a nappy on a doll or teddy.
- Milk chugging – half fill some baby bottles with milk or juice and get dads to chug it. (Hard to do through a tiny teat.)
- Bath-tub bounce – Sort of like beer pong, but ping pong balls into a baby bath-tub.
- Baby shark – No, you do not have to sing or listen to the song. Think tossing peanuts into someone’s mouth, but with gummy sharks or other sweets.
- Name that nursery rhyme – recite a line of a rhyme and have guests guess the title.
*Have a couple of ‘less’ active games on stand-by, in case the crowd isn’t exactly what you expected. Baby shower bingo and crossword templates are easily downloadable and printable.
A baby shower is meant to be both fun and functional. Babies need a lot love, but they also need a lot of things. You can help the new parents along by asking guests to bring along a pack of diapers or some wipes to help them on their way.
There is always the desire to outdo a previous party or be entirely unique with the programme, but at the end of it all, the point of the baby shower is to show support to the expecting couple and literally shower the parents-to-be with love affection, attention and gifts that will come in handy once the little bundle has arrived. You know the mum well enough to deliver a shower that will make her feel loved and have your guests leaving satisfied and happy.