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By Carolyn Sweeney Hauck
Oh, the baby shower game. Just like cilantro, it usually elicits one of two reactions: love it or hate it. But truthfully, when seen through the lens of love (and done right), the game can indeed offer much needed laughter and
before their lives change
. That’s right—parents, plural. Many couples are opting for gender-neutral showers that tend to look more like backyard BBQs than blue- or pink-themed, ladies-only luncheons featuring a four-tiered diaper cake.
We’re all for the egalitarian come-one, come-all baby shower—the more the merrier. But if you’re taking this route, you might want to rethink your planned activities. For example, that baby shower game where guests guess the circumference of the expectant mother’s burgeoning belly is probably a good one to leave off your list. (Even among women only, this game is questionable.) We also question the whole
“smell the diaper” game
. Um. Is that a good idea…ever!?
Take a look at our seven activity ideas below, which have real staying power for all your shower attendees, no matter their gender. These modern baby shower games are not embarrassing, gross, or cheesy; instead, they shower (pun intended) the guests of honor with laughter and love. They also do what baby shower games are intended to do: Break the ice amongst pals who don’t know each other and give your party a little structure.
The Guessing Games
Guessing games are popular for a reason: They’re super easy to pull off, they don’t cost anything to prepare, and they don’t take much time to set up. Here are a few favorites:
1. Guess the baby’s name
If the parents-to-be are willing to share their baby name ideas, you can write down a big list of names, including the top picks of the parents-to-be. Put guests in teams and take a tally of the guests’ guesses of the parents’ favorite picks. Whichever team guesses the right name(s) gets a prize.
If the parents don’t want to reveal their name selections ahead of time, have guests write down baby names they think their friends will (or should) choose and vote on a winner.
2. Whose genes?
Write down a list of genetic traits (from freckles to athletic tendencies to ambition) and have guests pair the trait with the parent. This one can verge on the roasting side—so be careful not to hurt any feelings!
3. Classic baby match
On the baby shower invites, request that guests bring one of their own baby photos. See if you all can match the grown-up to the baby bundle snapshots.
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4. Guess the baby food game
Buy 12 jars of baby food in pairs of similar colors, like carrots/yams and corn/squash. Remove the actual label and number the jars 1–12 (noting which number is which
). Have guests take a taste and guess which is which; the guest with the most correct guesses wins.
Unique Baby Shower Arts & Crafts Activities
News flash! Guys like to get their arts and crafts on, too (well, some do), especially if the craft at hand is a baby-size rock-n-roll onesie bedecked with lightning bolts and red guitars.
For these two activity ideas, you can purchase a bunch of onesies or tees (pick different sizes to make the homemade cuteness last longer) or ask guests to bring their own.
5. Paint a onesie
Provide non-toxic fabric paint, brushes, and stencils for guests to decorate their onesie with patterns or designs of their choosing. If you’ve got a particularly crafty group of friends, you can provide stencil paper and X-Acto® knives. (Man tip: Dude-ify stencils by creating mustaches or bow ties).
6. Tie-dyed onesies
Who doesn’t love the swirling, blended colors that come from tie-dye? You can get simple
at major craft chains, as well as indigo-dye kits, which are on the rise and
. Purchase a big pack of rubber bands (that’s how you make the designs), and let the creativity run free.
Baby Shower Olympics
Last but not least, why not throw in some good ol’ fashioned friendly competition? Like the guessing games, they can definitely bring the hoots and hollers!
7. Baby-carrier obstacle course
If you have enough space outside, create an obstacle course that participants move through while carrying a baby doll in a baby carrier. Make them do something upside down (like a cartwheel!) for an added challenge and laughs.
8. Blindfolded diaper change
Just like it sounds, blindfold guests and see who can change a nappy fastest (the cloth and safety pin kind). You’ll need some baby dolls, stuffed animals, or bags of flour to serve as a “baby,” and cloth diapers or rags the size of diapers (roughly 15” x 10”), plus pins.
Whatever baby shower game you choose, know that it’s simply the icing on a cake baked with friendship, support, and love from friends. The real joy of showers comes from simply gathering together to support the parents-to-be. Have fun!