Avoid cringe-worthy baby showers with these 19 activities you'll (shocker!) actually have fun playing
It’s what most guests—and the guest of honor—dread about baby showers: all the weird games. Trust us, no pregnant woman wants to hear estimates about her belly's circumference like she’s a hog at the state fair! To help, we found 19 shower activities that are so fun, no one will even think about sneaking out early. Let the games begin!
Blindfolded diaper changing
The ability to pull off a diaper change with your eyes closed definitely helps when it comes to middle-of-the-night poop explosions. Put your guests to the test by handing them a blindfold, doll and diaper -- and then race to see who can change a diaper the fastest! If the mama-to-be can change a diaper blindfolded, she’s in great shape!
Name the baby products
Give each guest a pen and paper and ask them to list as many baby products as they can in 2 minutes. Award a prize to the guest with the most products and also the most questionable item!
Name the baby animal
Hand-print out a list with the names of adult female animals with a blank space next to them. Ask guests to write down the name of the baby animal. For example: Deer = fawn, Pig = piglet. No cellphone cheating allowed!
Baby bucket list
Give the mom-to-be lots of ways to make her baby’s first year special. Decorate a bucket (or paint can with contact paper can be cute) and then have everyone drop in cards with their best idea.
Baby shower 'Price is Right'
Bob Barker isn’t the only one who can set the stage for big wins! Buy 10 to 12 baby items you think the parents-to-be will need. Use blank note cards to write the price of each item on one side, and the item itself on the other. Gather guests together and play it just like the TV show: Each guest must guess the price of the items on the cards, and the person with the highest total—without going over—wins. Best of all, the parents-to-be get to keep the handy baby items used for the game.
Guess how many
To start you'll need to fill a big baby bottle with candies, making sure to count the number of candies that you use. Then have guests drop their best guess into a bucket. At the end of the party, give a prize to whoever comes the closest. Pastel M&Ms in pale pink, blue or both are a great options.
The name game
Help baby's parents find the perfect name: Pass out index cards and pens, and have guests suggest baby names using the first letter of both mom and dad's names (one for each gender if not known). The mom-to-be will pick her favorite of the bunch to determine the winner.
Will baby get Daddy’s brown eyes? Or Mommy’s curly hair? Create the perfect mash-up to predict what baby X will look like. Hand out large color copies of a photo of both the mom and dad (full length or just their faces) and an outline of a baby’s face. Give guests scissors, glue sticks and construction paper to cut out traits from each photo—the dad’s nose, mom’s chin—to piece together a single image on the baby face outline. Display the masterpieces and vote on the favorite Picasso-inspired work.
Mother (and Father) know best
When it comes to raising a child, it really does take a village. Invite people to share valuable advice, a favorite saying or sage words that have guided them as parents. (Guests who aren’t parents can write what they loved and admired most about their parents’ parenting.) Have everyone jot down the parental wisdom in a decorative book or on index cards that will later be compiled into a keepsake book with pictures from the shower.
Put your celebutot knowledge to the test! Create a sheet with pictures of babes of famous parents and give guests five minutes to write the correct name of the celebrity parents beneath each photo. Extra credit if guests also know the name of the kid! Be sure to have a few extra celeb baby pictures ready as a tiebreaker. Another spin is to match the crazy baby name to the famous parents. Pass out a sheet listing unique celebrity baby names like Apple, Brooklyn and Suri in one column and a list of possible parents in the second column. Have guests draw lines from the baby name to the parent name to make a match. For both games, the celebrity-obsessed player with the most right answers wins.
Let the new parents know you care—say it with diapers! Pass out newborn diapers and colored Sharpie markers. Then, ask everyone to write funny and sweet messages of encouragement on the front of the nappies. A little comic relief may help ease the frazzled mom and dad through those early sleepless nights.
Guess the baby photo
Get guests involved in the baby mania by asking them to bring along a baby photo of themselves. Assign a number to each photo when guests arrive and display on a featured wall or table. Pass out ballots listing everyone’s names and give guests 10 minutes to match the names to the numbered baby faces. It's a sweet way to get to know everyone at the shower, too.
When it comes to the perfect name for baby-to-be, everyone has an opinion. So why not have them exhaust the possibilities for a prize, and stop bugging the guest of honor with their brilliant ideas. Hand out a sheet of paper containing each letter of the alphabet with a blank line next to it. Set the timer for three minutes to fill in a baby name for each letter. The guest with the most number of original (no repeats) names wins.
"…Baby One More Time," "Baby, I'm A Star"—we could go on and on. Which is why listing as many songs with "baby" in the title is a hit with guests. Hand out blank sheets of paper and give everyone a few minutes to make their list. When time is up, share the lists—whoever has the fewest repeats wins a prize. It's worth it when Great Aunt Peg calls out "Baby Got Back."
For truly one-of-a-kind baby clothes to coo over, make your own. Let guests get crafty and design keepsake onesies for baby. Set up a table with non-toxic fabric paint, fabric markers, stencils, iron-on letters or decals, material scraps, mini sewing kits and plain onesies in various sizes. Then give guests time to create! Bibs and socks are also good canvases for creative expression.
For most parents, the weeks following the birth are an uphill climb. Drop them a line to offer support. Hand each guest a card with a number representing the week after the baby is born. Guests can write a little wish, encouraging poem or thought for the new family related to that week. The host collects all the cards and mails them during the corresponding weeks after baby has arrived.
The parent trap
It's said that when you become a parent, you get to be a kid again. Or is it that your childhood comes back to haunt you? Either way, gather up funny, embarrassing and sweet facts about the parents-to-be from friends and family—broke an arm at age 8, had an imaginary friend named Chuck, slept on Kermit the Frog sheets until eighth grade -- and have guests determine if the story is true for Mom or Dad.
Baby names through the years
Test your guests' baby name trend smarts by checking out the Social Security Administration lists of the most popular baby names by decade. Then hand each guest a sheet of paper with three columns: 1970s, 1980s and 1990s (or any decades you choose). In each column guests guess the top 10 names from each decade. You can include girl and boy names, or make it gender-specific (for example, 1970s girl names). Add top baby names of the 20th century for bonus points. The one who gets the most names right is the winner.
Who was the Bradys' pesky cousin? Can you name all of the Huxtable kids? What superpowers did the Incredibles have? Make fun pop trivia questions about famous television or movie families to be answered individually or as a group. Who knows? People might know more about these fictional families than their own!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.