Games People Play: Baby Shower Games to Avoid

May 9, 2007 at 12:10 pm 5 comments

In the midst of the spring baby shower boom, I’d like to put this information out here (much like Jerry Maguire’s mission statement that gets him fired) for shower planners of the world to avoid. As adults, it isn’t necessary to fill every minute of a shower with game after game. One or two are harmless but many shower planners go overboard, panicked at the thought of leaving guests to fend for themselves conversationally and to sit and relax.

Arriving late to a shower last weekend, I sat down to eat my tray of food in the circle of chairs around the mom-to-be and was quickly confronted by the host with a roll of toilet paper, a piece of paper, pen and giant plastic bottle. My enjoyment of the buffet was severely hampered by having to guess the width of my pregnant friend’s belly, how many Hershey’s Kisses were in the giant bottle, identify the assortment of baby items on a tray after seeing it for 30 seconds and on it went.

The main point of a baby shower for guests is good food and conversation. Games that get in the way of these shower pillars should be eliminated. The biggest culprits include:

Guess the messy diaper: Guests pass around diapers that have melted chocolate bars in them. Guests are forced to put their noses in the diapers to determine whether the “mess” is a Butterfinger, Snickers or 100 Grand. Can you think of a better game to ruin your appetite?

Don’t say “cute”: Guests begin the shower with five clothes pins on their shirt. When they say “cute” during the party, a pin must be surrendered to the person who catches them saying the word. There is always going to be the one overzealous lady who becomes the “cute” Nazi and ends up interfering and interrupting countless mini-conversations throughout the living room because she really wants to win the game.

Baby crossword puzzles: This game represents a broader category of games that calls for absolute silence for fear of cheating or group collaboration. Walking into a shower late two weeks ago (can you sense a pattern here), the guests were all hunkered down working on their crossword puzzles for 10 minutes before the grading began. These games aren’t interactive or engaging.

Name the white stuff: Guests must guess what the white substance is in each plastic bag. Could it be baby powder, formula, flour or a popular powder Lindsay Lohan enjoys? Such aimless games like these don’t help the guests get to know each other and don’t give the mama in waiting a chance to talk about her pregnancy or plans for the baby.

Just let the people converse. Games are not to be used as social crutches.


Entry filed under: Commentary, JL's Posts.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mike L  |  May 9, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t see how anybody wins with “guess the messy diaper.”

  • 2. liz stanley  |  May 9, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    too much estrogen in one room can be dangerous especially talking about babies. i prefer baby showers with the men there. it kind of brings things back to reality. there’s no way they would allow the ladies to play ‘guess the messy diaper’. but somehow when its only ladies at the showers things tend to go from bad to worse.

  • 3. lemare  |  May 9, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Two other bad baby shower games:

    1. Baby food taste test.
    2. Diaper Pin taken away from you every time you say the word “Baby”

    I’ve never been at a shower with men, but I agree about estrogen overdrive. I think a shower needs food and conversation and presents. No games. None.

  • 4. Lindsay  |  May 11, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    It is so painful for men to attend a shower. Doesn’t everyone know they hate that and may hate the “new family” forever? Can we also do away with the practice of sending out wedding announcements with a card naming the fifteen places I’m registered at. Just got an announcement from friends we hadn’t heard from in years, but alas, a daughter is to be wed…and she’s registered at bed bath & beyond!!!

  • 5. Michelle  |  December 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Arriving late, and especially arriving late and wanting to stuff your face right away is rude. Especially when the hostess has games and activities planned. If you want to control the shower, you should throw it. Whether it was well planned or not, it took time and effort on the hostess’ part and you wanting to control the order or activities and arriving in the middle of her gametime trying to eat is more intrusive and disruptive than the games. Of course there are bad games, but a a good hostess tries to avoid those and have GOOD, FUN, INTERACTIVE games. A good guest tries to enjoy it though, even if the hostess may not have done the best job, because not everyone has the experience and knowledge to throw an amazing shower, but eveyone who does should be appreciated. Besides, many times there are one or two women who know no one else, or are just bored by the conversation. Games that get them laughing and great conversation for afterwards, during the time usually set aside for eating. Anyway, after eating and talking, people begin to pull away and head home, almost instinctively. If the food came first, not many would stick around for activities. I’ve thrown bridal and baby showers, and well as weddings, sweet 16s and other parties as an event coordinator, and for showers, a few games have always been great and made for memorable showers. I work on word-of-mouth, so they must be good to get recommended!


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