Planning a virtual baby shower
April 28, 2021 10:13 AM   Subscribe

A close co-worker (Stacey) is pregnant and I'm co-planning a virtual baby shower for her. The event is about a month away. This is not my thing, so would love your tips/suggestions on the virtual part.

Historically at our company, someone close to the mom plans a work shower, which usually takes place in the conference room with cake, gifts and a minimum of decorations.

Most of our office staff are working remotely, so we need to do a virtual baby shower instead. This is where I need some help. I have to admit I don't love the usual games at these things, and I'm even more stumped at what this event will look like virtually. Here are my specific questions:

- Decorations: ? Maybe digital backgrounds? No idea

- Gift opening: Usually at the office showers, the mom opens the gifts. My co-planner, Kim, thinks that since this shower will only last about an hour, there isn't enough time for Stacey to open her gifts. But if we don't do that, what else will fill the time? Also, the gift opening is the main part of a baby shower I actually enjoy - obviously this event is not about me, but how do folks in general feel about opening vs. not opening?

- Agenda (in lack of a better word): If we don't do the gift opening, what else do we do? General chit chat about the baby will only take so long. Can you think of any (ideally non-cringey) baby shower games that can work virtually?

- Anything else I should think of? Note that is is for coworkers only; there's another shower being organized by her friends. Stacey is registered online.

Thank you all for your help!
posted by widdershins to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am in the midst of planning a virtual wedding shower. This is what I've learned:
- digital background is a nice touch. Not everyone will use it but it can create a sense of "shared experience". An extra special digital background (or decorations that are easy to put up) for the guest of honour is also good.
-if budget allows, having a guest pack that fits the theme with some snacks and/or beverages that you distribute in advance can also create a shared experience. For the wedding shower I'm throwing, we're doing little packs of coffee or tea (guests select as part of RSVP process) that we made up cutesy names for, and biscotti
-I was recommended to do a virtual dry run for guests the week before. I imagine this is not relevant for you as you've all been collaborating and holding video calls for a year+?
-there are loads of "virtual game template for party theme X" available for purchase on Etsy, things like Jeopardy or Bingo (if Bingo then you include the bingo card and a bingo dabber in the guest pack).
-I would consult with the guest of honour about opening vs not opening gifts. If you do have her open gifts, I'd have that as the last activity so that people can discreetly bail if they aren't interested
-depending on the guest of honour's style, she may love a sash and hairband and other accessories to make it feel more special for her
posted by dotparker at 10:31 AM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: I attended a Zoom baby shower last year.

Decorations: We guests didn't have anything, although a shared background does sound kinda nice. The hosts had physical decorations we could see on camera.

Gift Opening: This was done at the one I attended. I honestly don't know how else you'd fill up the time (an hour, in our case.) Maybe I'm missing something, but how many gifts are expected and how long does opening a gift take? We got through all the ones that had arrived in an hour, easily. (How long would an in-person office baby shower take?) I'm honestly a little bored through gift openings, but the lovely thing about having it on Zoom is I can just kind of tune out and no one will notice.

Agenda: We played bingo, the gifts were opened, and there was a short video. (We were sent packages by the host that included small party favours.)

Have fun!
posted by invokeuse at 10:38 AM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: One of the games we did at a shower I threw that people enjoyed was "The Price Is Right". I put together a package of a bunch of small baby items -- soothers, onesies, etc -- and people had to guess the total price of the package (without going over). The closest answer got a prize, and the new mom got the stuff. In your case, you could use 'virtual' stuff -- an array of pictures of items, rather than actual items -- and people could submit their guesses to you secretly and you could announce the winner at some point. You could use much more expensive items, too -- I had to limit myself to stuff that was in my budget to gift to the new mom, but you could have pictures of fancy strollers.

People liked it because it was very low key -- they could go look at the table of stuff and fill out their guess form at any point in the event. They weren't ever put on the spot to make a public guess or to compete with others.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:41 AM on April 28, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Make your own virtual bingo.
Other games like scattergories or jeopardy with baby and specific-to-your-work categories.
posted by betweenthebars at 11:00 AM on April 28, 2021

We have heavily augmented all social occasions with some Jackbox games, which are easily played over Zoom but do practice with someone or some friends first.

Recently in several virtual going-away-type contexts there has been some kind of virtual care package where everyone contributed a favorite website, photo, funny video, twitter account etc etc for when things get stressful or lonely or hard. They get compiled into a shared doc or slideshow and it's fun to go through it together, and then she'll have it for emergency use later.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:18 AM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: Maybe play a round of Scattegories? Make all the categories have something to do with babies. Boy name, girl name, something in your hospital labor bag, sound a baby makes, first solid food to give a baby, baby toy, storybook title for baby, pregnancy craving food, place you should never take a baby, etc...
posted by bookmammal at 12:43 PM on April 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

I hosted a virtual baby shower recently. We played a few games, like "name that baby" (have people submit a baby photo of themselves, make a powerpoint, whoever guesses the most babies correctly wins a prize. This was among friends, so if you don't want to bug coworkers for their baby photos, you could make a bunch of creepy children with one of those online baby makers and have people guess the parents (one pair being the actual parents, and the others being celeb couples).

Baby Fact Trivia/Jeopardy is also good for 20 minutes or so.
posted by basalganglia at 12:54 PM on April 28, 2021

+1 to a "price is right'-type game-people enjoyed it and it seemed more inclusive of both those with and without kids. The organizer did a mix of everyday items (eg diaper cream) and more extravagant (eg prince William and Kate's stroller, which was thousands of dollars apparently), which added to the fun.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 3:00 PM on April 28, 2021

Response by poster: These are great ideas - thank you so much, and please keep them coming!
posted by widdershins at 3:18 PM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: I had a virtual baby shower!
We played 3 games and we did a PowerPoint of the nursery then had breakout chat rooms. It went really well and the non-breakout parts lasted about 45 minutes total. We did not open presents on screen because it would have been awkward and we didn’t want to make our friends feel bad if they hadn’t gotten a present. We told guests to have a paper and pencil at the ready.

Games included:
The newly-parent game: we had a list of questions that our MC asked us like “What attribute do you hope munchkin will get from donut_princess?” or “Who will be panicked more in the delivery room?”. Then we would both write down our answer and then compared aloud to see if we matched.

Name that baby: we made a slideshow of cartoon babies with multiple choice for names. Guests guessed the names. We also included baby pictures of ourselves at the end of the slideshow for bonus points.

Drawing contest: our MC said something baby related that everyone was supposed to draw (crib, stuffed animal, etc) then guests had 30 seconds to draw and then everyone held their pictures up. The results spanned from hilarious to gloriously drawn.
posted by donut_princess at 6:23 PM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: Baby animal guessing game is my favorite.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:53 PM on April 28, 2021

Response by poster: Wow, you guys really delivered - thank you so much! I marked as best answers the ones I thought would work best for this group, but all the answers were helpful. I am feeling way more jazzed about this shower after reading these suggestions. Particularly love the bingo and baby animal trivia games!
posted by widdershins at 7:10 AM on April 29, 2021

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