In the past year, I've thrown two baby showers and had a friend throw one for me, and I've learned some important lessons: People are not good at RSVPing, decorating will take longer than you think, people need very clear directions to find the location of the shower, and Saturday mornings work better than Saturday evenings.
I've played a number of games during these three showers and have noticed short and sweet games go over best. Also, compared to baby showers I attended in earlier years, the games are now less emphasized and there's more of an open house feel where people can come and go as they please, conversing over a plate of treats. That said, games are a good way of breaking the ice between new acquaintances and focusing on the mom-to-be. Here are some other ways you can focus on new mothers.
Nursery Rhyme Quiz
This quick game tests the knowledge guests have of popular Mother Goose rhymes. Possible questions include, "Who ran away with the spoon?" (the dish) or "What did Winken, Blinken, and Nod sail away in?" (a wooden shoe). Provide one answer sheet per guest, set a time limit for answering, and then tally their correct answers. The winner could get a prize or be able to help themselves to the refreshments, first.
Paper Plate Baby
Give each guest a paper plate and a marker. On your mark, guests should place the plates on their heads and then attempt to draw a baby with their marker. No peeking! The mom-to-be gets to choose which baby is the cutest.
Baby Food Tasting
This is a sure way to separate the squeamish from the crowd. Take the labels off six baby food jars (number them and record their contents on a separate answer sheet first) and provide each guest with a plate, an index card and a pen. Put a spoon in each jar and allow guests to spoon a taste onto their plates if they so desire. They may also sniff or touch the baby food to determine its flavor. Guests should record their guesses and whoever gets the most right wins.
The Price is Right
This is the most popular game I've come across so far. The host of the shower should gather a few baby-related items and place them on a tray or in a gift bag to be removed one by one. Possible options might include baby shampoo, a pack of diapers, a teething ring, a pack of onesies, baby powder, and Desitin. Keep track of how much each of those things cost because you'll be asking guests to guess the price of each as you point them out. You may choose to specify whether the items were on sale and what store they were purchased from. Have everyone add up their total price at the end and the winner is whoever gets closest to the actual price. These items could also consist of the host's gift to the mom.
You may use the same items as in the above game. Place them all on a tray or a table and cover them with a towel or blanket until it's time for the game to commence. Then allow each guest to view the items for a short amount of time (30 to 40 seconds works best). Cover the items again and pass out papers and pens so guests can try to recall and record as many items as they can remember. This should have a one minute time limit. When time's up, have everyone put down their pens and see who remembered the most correct items.
It's best to choose just two or three games for the shower so that there's plenty of time left for guests to socialize with each other and the mom-to-be. A good rule of thumb is an hour for a baby shower, though good friends and family members may linger for longer if time allows it. Don't be afraid to change the rules to the games or loosen restrictions as you go. Baby shower games are meant to be fun, so keep competition to a minimum. Click here for more ideas on spoiling pregnant women.