Say the word “games” at a baby shower and you’ll either be met with squeals of delight or groans and obscenities. It’s one of life’s great mysteries. I don’t know that I’ve met anyone who claims to enjoy shower games, yet they take place at just about every shower I go to.
I believe there are five keys to shower games being considered a success … even for those who loathe them with a passion.
1. Make sure mom wants shower games
If the guest of honor isn’t into your party games, it’s doubtful anyone else will be. The exception is when you have a party full of people who relish in the misery of others. I fear that may be the case more often than not.
2. Play games fun for the expectant mother
If the mother-to-be has gained upwards of 60 pounds and is self-conscious about her shape, don’t play that game where everyone has to guess how big around her stomach is by cutting off a piece of yarn.
Another annoying choice? That game where mom has to guess the baby food by tasting them blindfolded. As much fun as that is for the guests (especially if they’re drinking), I don’t know how joyous it is for the blindfolded mom who has to eat strained peas and pureed chicken.
The other game fun for all the guests is speed drinking. Fill baby bottles with liquor or beer of choice and see who can suck it through the bottle the fastest. Will swollen-ankles, unable-to-drink mom enjoy that game? I don’t think so.
3. Avoid information-based games
One thing I hate is an exam during a baby shower. Why? People cheat. That’s right. You’re talking to Queen Competitor here.
That Baby Shower Bingo game everyone plays? So easy to cheat. Just write down the most basic items you know will be received in one gift. Example: baby shampoo, baby lotion, butt cream, and baby soap. Four across right there with the free space. You win.
I’ve seen cute ideas for games get screwed up with this “testing” mentality because everyone collaborates. I actually enjoyed a nursery rhyme fill-in-the-blank game, but wanted to yell that there is no point to playing the game if we’re all going to share answers!
Yes. I’m that person. Moving on.
4. Don’t force people to police each other
Those games where you have to wear a clothes pin and not say a word like “baby” or “pregnant” or someone can steal it? Let’s not. It leaves your guests coming off one of two ways: they are either “that person” who couldn’t care less and hands off their pin to the first person they see or they are the person who cares way too much and snatches the pin off of an unsuspecting guest’s shirt because they asked, “When is the baby due?”
It’s unflattering either way. I suggest skipping it altogether.
5. Skip the pee and poop games
I don’t understand people who think pretending melted chocolate in diapers is poop and having guests sniff it is funny. I just don’t. People enter the party with their dignity and find themselves with their noses in a diaper full of melted chocolate and peanuts. Disgusting. Just don’t do it.
There aren’t a lot of games left after my tirade, but there are a few. I think the best shower games are fun for everyone – guest-of-honor and guests alike.
- Guess the Baby: I like this one even though it doesn’t bode well for those of us who have a litter of children and forget we have to go to the shower until the day before. The idea is to solicit your guests for a baby photo ahead of time and then have everyone guess who’s who. The only problem with this is that people will cheat by revealing which is their photo. Refer to No. 3.
- Mommy and Daddy’s Secrets: Shower games that quiz the guests of honor are fun because it engages mom and dad while entertaining everyone else. Ask the expecting parents questions separately (e.g. “Who will your baby look like?” “Where were you when you found out the news?”) and then do a Newlywed Game-style reveal.
- Celebri-babies: This one is tougher to cheat because you do a timed period where no one is allowed to speak (yes, I’m passionate about this cheating thing). List famous couples on a sheet of paper and have your guests write down the names of their babies. You’ll find out quickly who is subscribed to Us Weekly.
Some more games:
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