Baby shower invitations in the mail can strike fear into the heart of people everywhere, and it’s for a very specific reason: People are divided when it comes to baby shower games! We can all agree the typical games are cringe-worthy, but some people love them for that while others avoid baby showers to steer clear of them. If you’re someone that’s not a fan, you might be wondering whether it’s even worth having a shower, and what other activities you could plan. We’ve solved that problem for you!
First things first, make sure you let your guests know the nature of the event so they know what to expect. If you’re opting for something on this list, tailor your baby shower invitations to match your theme. If it’s something crafty you have in mind, go for a handmade look with your invites. If you’re creating a book, include something literary. You can spell the theme out on the invitations, or you can just imply it through the aesthetics and let word of mouth do the rest.
Now for some suggestions. You can choose one thing from the list and go big, or incorporate a few of them and give your guests a variety of activities to enjoy.
Create an alphabet book
Grab some card and cut out the letters of the alphabet, in uniform size. Distribute them to your guests with pencils and textas, glitter, scrapbook paper, magazines, scissors, glue and any other crafty tools you feel like including. Ask your friends and family to decorate the letters (and numbers, if you have lots of guests!). After the baby shower, you can paste the letters into a scrapbook to create a personalised ABC book for the child.
Gather advice or wishes
Ask guests to write down (or record on video!) their best pieces of parenting advice or their good wishes for the new baby. This will be a fun way for guests to focus on the new baby entering the world and the monumental task you will be undertaking as a parent. After the shower, you can compile these notes or videos into a package that you can look at during late night feedings, or put in a time capsule to give to the child on a future birthday. Just decide beforehand what you will be using them for so that guests know who they’re writing for and whether to be serious or funny!
DIY food stalls
If games and activities aren’t really your thing, you might want to make the food the focus of the party. To make it interactive, try having some sort of creative option like DIY cupcake decorating, cookie decorating or an ice cream sundae station. You can offer points for baby themed decoration or for the most creative work. Still not sure where to start? Why not suggest guests decorate their cupcake/biscuit with what they think the baby will look like. After all, who doesn’t love a baby with sprinkles for hair and a cute jelly bean nose?
Craft activities are perfect for baby showers. They give everyone something fun to do and to talk about, without being controversial or cringe-inducing. If you plan it well, you can even get something cute and personalised for the baby out of the whole day. What you choose to craft depends on the skill level of your guests. Some options? Decoupage some wooden letters for the nursery wall, use fabric paint and iron-on transfers to customise onesies and other clothing, or have your friends work on a quilt or knit some booties and blankets.
Do something for charity
If you don’t need gifts or you’re not comfortable with a whole party focused on you, why not throw a baby shower to help others? You might have guests bring baby things to be donated to a women’s shelter, collect money to be donated, or you might use the occasion to volunteer some man hours to an organisation you care about. A local charity might have envelopes that can be stamped, brochures that can be folded or some other menial tasks you can do from home, or you might want to go and spend some time volunteering at a local soup kitchen or other organisation. Just make sure that you find out what you can do that will actually be helpful, so you’re not just in the way! Charity should actually help people as well as make you feel good.
Believe it or not, non-lame baby shower games exist! If you don’t want to make your guests waddle around in toilet paper nappies, eat melted chocolate from an actual nappy or down milk from a baby’s bottle as fast as possible, there are still options. Have your guests make predictions about the baby: the date of their birth, the gender, the weight and length, the name. They could guess the circumference of your baby bump. Ask all your guests to bring along a baby picture of themselves, with their name written on the back. Put them all up somewhere and have guests guess who each baby is.
Create some word games related to babies for your guests to play: perhaps a wordsearch, a crossword or a word scramble. Games like these are great because they can be unofficial, running throughout the event for people to do at their leisure (or not do, if they’re not into that). Just let everyone know there are prizes at the end, and that the games are there. People will work on them together, compare notes, and have something to talk about or work on in a quiet moment.
So there we have it! Whether you like the sound of one of these or all of them, find a way to incorporate them into your baby shower and your guests will be entertained without the embarrassment. At least half of them will be thanking you for it.
About the Author
Maddison Wallace is head of content at Paperlust. She is a communications professional, postgrad student, part-time librarian, and occasional wedding photographer. She loves words and drinking cups of tea.