Thursday, January 3, 2013

Shower games they'll actually enjoy playing!

One of the questions I get the most is, "How can I make the shower I'm throwing special?  Do you have any good game ideas?"
Shower games are tricky.  As a general rule I don't usually enjoy playing shower games because I've found that a lot of them are either:
A) way too time consuming (when people really just want to enjoy a fun, relaxing afternoon and then hit the road) or 
B) they are gross (like the ones that make you eat baby food or guess what candy bar is melted in the diaper... yuck!) or 
C) they are distracting (like the game where you can't say a certain word or the person who heard you say that word gets to steal your clothes pin).  Come on, that's annoying when you're trying to have a conversation with someone.
My favorite games are SUPER simple and incorporated into the unwrapping of the gifts (to keep the party moving!)  

Baby/Bridal Shower Bingo is a great game!  Each person is given an empty grid that's five squares by five squares with the center square being the free space.  Before the gifts are opened each attendee will fill the empty squares with things that that person thinks the mom/bride will open.  This can be as general ("blanket") or as specific ("engraved silver cup") as you want to be.  The hostess will need to offer up  some ideas to keep things moving because inevitably people will not be able to fill the whole grid out by themselves.  Give them a couple minutes to fill out the grid then start the opening of the gifts.  As things are opened the attendees will mark them off on their grid.  The first person with five squares in a row marked off will yell it out "BINGO" and get a (good!) prize!!  
Free printable for the grid I use is HERE.
Another great game that I've done as a bridal shower game, but that could easily be changed into a baby shower game, is "How well do you know the bride?"  Each attendee will get a sheet of paper with lots of specific questions about the bride and they will fill it out.  (Make the questions as specific and obscure as possible, it's more fun!) then the attendees are given a very short amount of time... say, two minutes to fill it out.  The key with the short amount of time is that people will put their first gut response to the question and these end up being really funny! Then the hostess reads out the answers and the attendee with the most correct responses wins a (good) prize!
Free printable with sample questions HERE.

Have you ever noticed how awkward it is for the mom/bride at some showers to carry the conversation while she's opening each gift?  "Oh, more Desitin!  Thank you, baby's butt will sure be pampered thanks to you all!"  Rather than have the shower conversation be all about the gifts I like to have the conversation focus on the sweet relationships between the people there.  One way I like to do that is to have the mom/bride choose a gift to unwrap then either have her share how she knows the gift giver or have the gift giver share how she knows (or a funny memory about) the mom/bride.  It's a sweet way to take some of the pressure off of the mom/bride to speak the whole time and the gift-givers leave with full hearts because they have learned a little more about their new mom/bride friend!
Now let's talk prizes.  Prizes are the best way to get your guests' competitive juices flowing!  Make them good, no dollar store chotchkies please!  One of my favorite prize gifts to give is a Starbucks gift card.  Have the barista give you an empty, clear plastic, grande-size frappuchino cup with a few coffee beans in the bottom of the cup.  Insert the gift card then put a little bit of tissue paper in the top with the lid and straw... great presentation for a simple gift card!

Oh, and here is a link to all of my parties with lots of shower ideas thrown in. 

Having a sit-down meal at your shower?  Here's a way you can incorporate a simple question for each person.  Give people a minute to read their questions and think about it while they get their food then as everyone is eating, go around the room and answer your question.  What a sweet way to get to know the other important people in your friend's life!
What are your thoughts on shower games?  Am I too harsh?  Maybe you're one of the weirdos that actually likes guessing what candy bar has been melted in the diaper... ugh, come on, that's just nasty! 


Kelly said...

I like the question one - what fun! I wish you had posted this before I had to do games at a shower last month! I found a fun, interactive one - buy lots of baby socks, throw them in some laundry baskets with onesies, receiving blankets, bibs (with velcro of course!) and have a race to see who can match the socks the fastest! It got everyone up out of their seats and moving - and the mom got LOTS of baby socks! I also made "diaper pins" out of cardstock and a pretty simple pattern and pins and we all wore one, and then at the end you see who has the "poopy diaper" (just a brown mark inside the folded diaper) - because you always have to check the baby's diaper before you leave!

Christina said...

I love your ideas! I generally HATE shower games but these are awesome. Are you hanging in there? Hope you and baby are doing great! You are in my prayers.

Christy Wheeler said...

I through a lot of showers and I have a hard time coming up with a variety of games. I don't like a lot of them, like the ones you mentioned. I am planning a shower next month and I will be using some of your ideas! Thanks so much. One game that I like to do is to have the gift giver offer some type of advice while she opens the gift. This has worked great for either baby or bridal showers.

Anonymous said...

This has been sooo helpful for me. I am planning my first baby shower for my friend and I don't want it to be too cliché or too boring and these are great ideas!

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