Game suggestions for a baby shower
September 15, 2009 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Baby shower party games that aren't horrible?

My daughter is hosting a baby shower for a friend. It's going to be brunch, coed and relaxed; the guests will be in their mid twenties and most of them don't have children. She wants to have a couple of games as icebreakers but nothing horribly cringe inducing or cutesy-cutesy. She has also vetoed the onesie decorating party as being overdone. Therefore, we turn to the hive mind for help with the best baby/pregnancy themed games that are fun for all.
posted by mygothlaundry to Grab Bag (34 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I have no suggestions that are not cringe-inducing (guess the size of the mom-to-be's waist) or cutesy (baby shower bingo), but for the love of all that is good in the universe, don't melt chocolate, put it in diapers and make people guess what type of chocolate it is.
posted by crankylex at 9:43 AM on September 15, 2009 [8 favorites]

Guys vs. Girls relay: Put water baloon in a newborn-sized diaper. Toss it back and forth.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:43 AM on September 15, 2009

I've spontaneously just thought of this just now: "What's the weirdest baby name you've ever heard?"

1. Have everyone write down the weirdest actual baby name they've ever heard on a slip of paper and put it in a hat. Celebrity names are off-limits (otherwise everyone will be writing down Kal-El Cage or Pilot Inspektor Lee or whatever).

2. Read the names aloud.

3. Everyone votes on which name was the weirdest.

4. The person who contributed that name wins a small prize.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For a couple of showers I've done a sort of questionnaire. With questions designed to bring out the guests' love and support for the family and child, but also giving guests a chance to be funny/irreverant. Then I read aloud the answers (or the good ones anyway).

Here are some examples:

I promise to take take Baby X to his first ____________________.

I will give Baby X a copy of my favorite book, ___________________.

I will take Baby X to my favorite move, ___________________.

J and L's baby should be named _____________________.

I will teach J and L's child how to: ________________ (insert your very special talent here).

A story about J and/or L I promise to share with young Baby X: ______________.

A story about J and/or L I promise to never share with young Baby X: ____________.

My greatest wish for J and L's baby is: __________________________.

Any and all advice or suggestions provided herein may and probably will be rejected by either parent, or both parents, in the best interests of the child, who will with any luck turn out far superior to any of us!
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:53 AM on September 15, 2009 [7 favorites]

Buy a bunch of the cheapo plastic sippy cups, and have a sippy cup drinking contest. First one to finish their drink (alcoholic or otherwise) wins! It's harder than you might think to drink quickly from a sippy cup.
posted by Wavelet at 9:58 AM on September 15, 2009

Cover one of those old plastic baby dolls in butter and play hot potato with it. It's called Don't Drop The Baby.
posted by poppo at 10:08 AM on September 15, 2009

...but for the love of all that is good in the universe, don't melt chocolate, put it in diapers and make people guess what type of chocolate it is.

Ew, people do that?!
posted by alynnk at 10:11 AM on September 15, 2009

alynnk: Unfortunately, yes they do. I've thrown about a dozen showers in the last eight or so years, and attended countless more, and I have seen that several times. It's just...revolting.
posted by crankylex at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2009

Best answer: Have the guests bring a baby photo of themselves, pin them to a board, and have everyone try to guess who is who. It's non-invasive and nobody has to taste baby food or look at melted chocolate in a diaper.
posted by killy willy at 10:25 AM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

One of my pals had a shower the other day, and one of the activities was making 'prayer flags' which she would string later, and which would be hung in the birthing room. She cut some pieces of cloth, then got a bunch of, y'know, puffy paint and glitter glue and stuff, and everybody made one (crowd favorite: the one that just said 'PUSH' in huge letters). People seemed to really dig it.
posted by box at 10:30 AM on September 15, 2009

we had a piƱata. not baby themed, per se, but it was a fun activity and a lot of the people hadn't done that since they were kids.
posted by penchant at 10:37 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

for the love of all that is good in the universe, don't melt chocolate, put it in diapers and make people guess what type of chocolate it is

crankylex speaks the truth (killy willy, too). This was done at the baby shower for my oldest child and I thought it was about the grossest thing I've ever seen in my life.

Contests to guess the actual date of birth, sex (if unknown) and weight of the baby are pretty innocuous, if not as cool as ClaudiaCenter's questionnaire idea.
posted by cheapskatebay at 11:12 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I always prefer word games or quizzes to crafts at baby and bridal showers. You could create a word scramble, scrambling about twenty baby- and guest of honor- related words and giving guests a three minute time limit. Or some kind of Taboo adaptation with a baby theme. Also, at one baby shower I attended, the host brought out a tray containing various baby items, let us look for a minute or so, and then took it away and the prize went to whoever could recall the most items in a limited time. Simple games, nothing embarrassing or awkward or full of pressure.

Worst thing that happened to me at a baby shower (or "mother blessing" as the hostess called it): she had everyone sit on the floor in a circle, and passed around a tape recorder and microphone and had each person say how much the guest of honor meant to them and what the gift means (it was supposed to be something handmade) while everyone else listened. The guest of honor then opened the gifts after each taped speech. People were sobbing and generally over-sharing and getting all maudlin. It was truly awful.
posted by JenMarie at 11:19 AM on September 15, 2009

Best answer: I went to a shower where baby-related items were wrapped in strong paper and then numbered. They were then passed around and you had to feel the item through the paper and write down what you thought each item was. The person who got the most right won a prize. There are usually some pretty funny responses.

This also worked at a bridal shower with kitchen utensils. I won because I was the only one who figured out the avocado slicer.
posted by thejanna at 11:45 AM on September 15, 2009

JenMarie: People were sobbing and generally over-sharing and getting all maudlin. It was truly awful.

I think I'd rather deal with the chocolate in the diapers.
posted by crankylex at 11:52 AM on September 15, 2009

1. Everyone gets a paper plate, has to put it on their heads, and draw a baby. Mom-to-be picks the winner.

2. Get a bunch of onesies (different sizes), fabric markers, and stencils. Let people decorate. This was the most fun I've ever had at a shower, and so practical. Tip: put the onsies on pieces of a cardboard box for easier drawing, and make people sign their work.

3. word games with nursery rhymes.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:03 PM on September 15, 2009

I think my favorite baby shower game is the one where everyone writes down all the baby-related words they can think of in a minute and a half. The person with the most words or most unique words wins.

You can either score it by having everyone declare how many words they got, and then confirming that the highest person's words are all actual words that are actually baby related, or by doing it boggle style, where people read off their lists of words and if someone else has a word, it gets crossed off.

The latter takes a little longer, but is, in my mind, more fun for people, because a) there's the "Drat! You stole my good word!" trash talking during the checking round and b) because the prize doesn't just go to the one person who wrote down a zillion things, because if they were the same zillion things everyone else wrote down, they may not get much credit.

Though, I might just be saying this because regardless of scoring method, I've never been to a shower where I didn't win this particular game -- and I have a wide variety of scented candles to prove it.

There's another variation where you put a whole bunch of inexpensive baby items on a tray and give everyone a minute to poke through the tray, and then cover it up and ask them to name everything that was on the tray, with the person remembering the most thing winning. This only really works with small groups, though, or some people never even get to see the tray. All the baby stuff goes to the mom-to-be, and the winner gets some other prize.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:25 PM on September 15, 2009

If the guests mainly don't have kids then perhaps they haven't been to enough baby-showers for the onsie-decorating to be played out for them? I think it sounds like a really fun way to spend time with friends. killy willys babyphoto idea sounds fun, and I really like the "fairy godmother" idea of promising to teach them X or introduce them to Y.
posted by Iteki at 12:34 PM on September 15, 2009

The taboo thing worked really well at a shower I attended -- everyone was given a colored paper clip (or rubber band, or something quasi-wearable like that). "Baby" was the taboo word. If I say it and you call me on it, you take my clip/band and you get to wear it. Then everybody just, you know, mingles and has a party. The person with the most clips/bands at the end of the party gets a prize (a borders giftcard or something like that -- completely NOT baby related). It gets really competitive around gift-opening time -- "oh look! someone got you the baby bjor- aw, crap!"

It is the only shower game I can remember that was not gross, cutesy, intrusive, etc. And oh-by-the-way, I think it actually made people laugh over the course of the afternoon.
posted by somanyamys at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I helped plan a co-ed baby shower earlier this year. Here's what we did:

Baby Bingo - Played while the Mom-to-Be opens her presents. List a baby item in each square of the bingo card. Hand cards out to all the guests before opening presents. As presents are opened, mark off items on the card. Winner gets a prize. Great for young and old alike, and it gives guests something to do other than staring down the Mom-to-Be while she opens presents.

Scrapbook / Alphabet book - For guests to contribute to at their leisure. We gathered a bunch of old magazines, stickers, markers, crayons glue, glitter, etc. and a blank scrapbook. Label each page of the scrapbook on letter of the alphabet. Have guests draw or paste objects on each page that represent the letter (A is for Apple, B is for Ball, etc.). Once it's done, it will make a personalized alphabet book for baby. (Note: You may need to finish it up if the guests don't do a good job.)

Celebrity Baby Name Game - (Only works if baby name is not known.) Have guests come up with wackiest, goofiest, craziest celebrity baby name they can for new baby. Think along the lines of Apple, Pilot Inspektor, and Moxie Crimefighter. Mom-to-be gets to pick her favorite name at the end of the shower, winner gets prize.
posted by geeky at 12:41 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

I went to a baby shower recently where everyone was given a strand of those Mardi Gras-syle beads to wear when they walked in the door. If someone caught you saying "baby", you had to hand over your beads, and the person with the most beads at the end of the shower won a nice prize.

This same shower did the nursery rhyme game, too, which isn't bad.
posted by anderjen at 12:42 PM on September 15, 2009

The three best games played at one of my showers was done up by Mother-In-Law and my husband's aunt.

The first was full of a bunch of guesses for our child's future such as:

"Zizzle is having a [boy] [girl]."
"Baby Zizzle will be born on December [date]."
"Baby Zizzle will be born at [time] in the [morning, afternoon, evening]."
"Baby Zizzle will travel to [France], [Russia], or [Ireland] for his/her first international trip." (Those were places my husband and I have been together separately or together).
"Baby Zizzle will be a [Patriot's] or a [Red Skin's] fan." (We're still arguing over this)
and so on. The person who guessed closest on the day, time, and sex of the baby or two of those three things got a prize after Baby Zizzle was born. It was kinda cool. My aunt guessed boy, the right date, and was off by an hour of his time of birth.

The second game that I enjoyed was each of the guest were given a letter and had to pick a boy's name and a girl's name. I then had to pick my favorite of each and those people got a prize.

The third thing I have to offer, which wasn't so much a game as it was just a fun thing, was that someone had brought a journal and passed it around to all the guests for them to write in parenting advice in. We have a lot amusing people in our lives and have many very funny things to read to Baby Zizzle when he's a bit older about what advice we were given.
posted by zizzle at 1:08 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

At my baby shower, the only game (and darnit, I wanted cheesy games - but not the diaper one. Dear God, not that one) we had was one where guests had a post-it note (or similar) stuck to their back with a famous mother's name on it, and they could ask other guests yes or no questions to guess who it was. It was pretty fun, but give me a "guess the number of jelly beans in the baby bottle" any day.
posted by pyjammy at 1:53 PM on September 15, 2009

Best answer: Fun game at a recent co-ed shower for a boy baby. Onesies wrapped/wadded into a ball (could also be done with diapers/washcloths/socks) and there was a diaper pail made up like a basketball net. Guests took free throws and the winners took home prizes, the momma took home the goods, of course. It was a come-and-go shower at work, and this was a good one for making the guys feel not squeamish about popping in.
posted by toastedbeagle at 1:58 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I went to a shower where the diapers were used as the serving dish for that Oreo/pudding/CooWhip dessert. We thought it was funny; the toddler brother of the new baby refused to eat it.
posted by CathyG at 2:04 PM on September 15, 2009

We did the baby photo thing at work (not for anything baby-related) and it was really fun!

I've never played the "taboo" game per-se but I know when it comes up in drinking games like Kings, everyone gets really into it.
posted by radioamy at 2:24 PM on September 15, 2009

When I helped with my sister-in-law's baby shower, we knew there would be a lot of people of various ages who would be meeting for the first time, so here's what we did for the icebreaker/introduction activity:

When a guest arrives, the host gives her/him an "identity" by taping a card to his/her back (without the guest seeing the name). The card has a celebrity/famous person's name on it and guests can ask the other guests only yes/no questions to figure out their identities.

"Am I a woman/man?"
"Am I alive/dead?"
"Am I a writer/actor/politician/etc.?"
"Am I a fictional character?"
"Am I North American/European/Asian/etc.?"

The key is finding celebrities/famous people who will be known to guests of all ages, but it was less difficult than I thought it would be to brainstorm a good list of names.

People had fun guessing their identities, and it gave them something to do while we waited for everyone to arrive.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:34 PM on September 15, 2009

The only 'game' at my baby shower involved guests filling out this cute guestbook. It made for a nice little keepsake and was definitely preferable to people trying to measure my waist.
posted by logic vs love at 4:04 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

List a variety of attributes: hair, eyes, street smarts, musical talent, dance skills, etc. The parents-to-be choose which of the parent's attributes they hope their child acquires... Mommy's hair, Daddy's street smarts, Mommy's eyes, Daddy's study skills, etc. (Presuming hetero couple, fill in genders as needed.)

The parents-to-be complete their list separately. Mommy and Daddy may have different answers and that's okay. Each guest guesses which attribute each parent hopes the baby inherits. The lists are read aloud. Hilarity may ensue, depending on the humor of the parents and the reasons given. The guest with the most right answers wins.

This was a hit at our friend's shower. I fear it may not make sense as I have written out. Perhaps someone else may know a google-able name for this game?
posted by wg at 5:42 PM on September 15, 2009

Actually, it's number 7 here... personalize the list to fit the future parent's personalities.
posted by wg at 6:05 PM on September 15, 2009

(cough) I, uh, "might have" facilitated the melted-chocolate in the diaper game. Several times. Actually it can be great fun and disgustingly hilarious with the right crowd. But then, the baby showers I've done it at were all co-ed with people over 30 and the guys especially got into it: they like to taste the samples & grab pieces out with their fingers. I throw in a few ringers: not just melted chocolate bars, but I've done melted Starbursts, gummi candies, & other non-brown things. There was a bean dip incident once. The point is that you have about a dozen different "specimens" & the people have to guess what brand of goo is in the nappy. We had fun with it and people still talk about it a couple of years later. So what if it's tacky.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:02 PM on September 15, 2009

Oh and a couple of other games that people enjoyed (I just noticed they all involve eating or drinking things - go figure):
- Break the group up into sets of two. There should be at least 2 couples, preferably more. One partner of each pair is on a chair, sitting on their hands. The other partner (standing) wears a blindfold. The blindfolded partner is given an open jar of baby food (or apple sauce or pudding) and a spoon. On the count of three, all the blindfolded people have to try to feed the babyfood to their seated partner. The seated people can't use their hands to help, can't stand up, and can only move their head. The first couple to finish the whole serving of babyfood with the least spillage wins. Use plastic spoons so nobody gets chipped teeth.

- Bottle races: Have people line up. Each person gets a large baby bottle (whatever the large size is... 12 oz?) with a nipple on it. Bottles contain fruit juice, or hard punch if you want to spice it up. On count of three, everyone has to drink the entire bottle of juice. They must drink with the nipple: no removing the bottle tops. First one empty wins. It's hard to drink through those tiny holes.

- Guess the baby food: Before the shower, buy about 8 or 10 different jars of baby food. Open the jars & remove the labels. Get some brave players around a table. Everyone gets a supply of plastic spoons and a paper & pen. The leader passes around one jar at a time. (Have some music playing or something while this is going.) Each person tastes a sample and writes down what they think it is (chicken & peas, bananas, sweet potato, whatever). The one with the most correct guesses wins. This can be more fun if you have everyone blindfolded so they can't see what they're eating. And it's amusing to see people's reactions when they get to taste how bad the stuff is that they make their children eat.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:25 PM on September 15, 2009

Can't stress enough that you have to know your crowd. Some people may see the eating/drinking games as intrusive or gross, but our group of friends would never have shown up to a party where we just did polite word games or guessed who was in a photo. For us the obnoxious stuff was the attraction, and in the end getting more people (and their husbands) out to support the new parents-to-be while having a ball was the most important thing. These were "friend" showers... there were separate showers where the moms & grandmas of the new parents did their word games & such. (I'll stop posting now & go to bed.) Have fun!
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 8:39 PM on September 15, 2009

Baby shower games are stupid. At our baby shower we got a bunch of onesies and such and some fabric paint and some stencils and everyone made personalized baby attire. It was fun and no one had to do anything they didn't want to.
posted by signalnine at 10:54 PM on September 15, 2009

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