I’m a grandma! <I say, with a huge grin on my face> Can I just say that so far in life being a grandma is just about as good as I could have ever imagined. I am completely smitten with these little granddaughters of ours! Completely and utterly smitten! And I’ve decided that getting to be a grandma must be God’s way of saying, I forgive you for all the mistakes you made with your own kids, and I’m giving you a second chance with grandchildren. Don’t screw it up!
I don’t know that I have any more patience with them than I had with my own kids. And I can’t say that I let them get away with murder at my house, because I honestly couldn’t live with them expecting to get things all the time. But after grandpa and I have loved on them, and spoiled them just a little, and are pretty much give-out chasing after them for a day or a night, we can send them back to their parents and then go take a nap. And that’s the beauty of grandparenting. 🙂
As far as throwing a baby shower, I take my ques from my oldest daughter Dani. She threw the first baby shower for her sister, and had so much energy and charisma through the whole process. She is just gosh darn good at everything she puts her hand to. She tossed an amazing, fun party together in about an hour (including the decorating), and even between gadding about with her friends, whom she hadn’t seen since high school, and her party turned out so magnificently I can’t even tell you. I’m such a poser!
But, in the shadow of her genius, I tossed a Texas version together – in a bigger house, and a bigger yard, and a slightly plumper guest list!
The party I threw was half indoors and half outdoors on what turned out to be a beautiful south Texas spring evening! Indoors was the food (to keep it cool and away from the bugs), and outdoors were the games. I used old baby food jars, placed tea-lite candles in each, lit them, and scattered them around on the buffet table inside, and the tables outside. The tables outside sat under an Easy-up portable gazebo which was decorated with balloons and streamers and pretty pink ribbon. I covered the outdoor tables with little baby blankets (from when my babies were little – quilted ones, knit ones, crocheted ones, tied ones, store bought and homemade) and used rolled up baby diapers tied with ribbon and Baby Bottle vases for centerpieces, along with some of the little baby food jar tea-lites. Indoors I layered a black and white tablecloth over a solid pink tablecloth for the serving table, and placed a few potted plants and a bouquet of roses around with the baby food jar tea-lites.
I hung up a small “clothesline” across the yard here and there and hung some cloth diapers, onesies, baby blankets, and little bibs on it, with old fashioned clothespins tied with pink ribbon and bows?
I set up a CD player outside that had *lullaby music playing softly and continuously in the background during the party. (*I used the Rock-a-bye Baby and Hush-a-bye Baby CDs. If you’ve not heard of them, they are the songs of country and rock musicians remade into lovely little xylophone lullaby melodies. So sweet for a Baby Shower party, and after the party they make a great parting gift for the mother!)
GOURMET CUPCAKES: I cheated and used a cake mix and baked up 24 cupcakes. Then I swirled store-bought frosting on them in two colors, white and pink, using a zip-lock bag with the corner snipped off. I sprinkled them with pink sprinkles and decorated them with mini York peppermint patties and fresh mint leaves from my garden. Then displayed them in cute little swirly cupcake stands that made a perfect presentation and centerpiece for the buffet.
FINGER SANDWICHES: my neighbor and friend Sharon made some finger sandwiches with cream cheese and green olives, and I don’t know what else, but they were delish.
FRUIT SALAD: I cut a baby carriage shape out of a watermelon, decorated it with pink ribbon, then filled it with chunks of fresh seasonal fruits (melon, grapes, pineapple, berries, kiwi, etc.). I made a fresh yogurt, honey, and lime dressing to drizzle on top.
VEGGIES: I did little individual crudités using little see-thru plastic tumblers, placing a small amount of dip in the bottom, and then arranging cut vegetables (carrot, celery, snow peas, asparagus, bell pepper, etc.) vertically in each.
PUNCH: tea, lemonade, and lots of ice.
These first four games below began right away as guests arrived, but did not have a winner until the end of the party. Each game was set up at a seperate station in my house, and a little pink footprint trail led the guests from first station near the front door (diaper name tags), to the next (Mommy Measure Game), and the next (Pacifier Necklaces), through my house, and ended at the food table near the back door, where a little sign welcomed them to help themselves to the refreshments, and asked them to place one frozen baby ice cube in their drink.
This was the best way I could come up with to be in all places at the same time – greeting guests as they arrived, hugging and welcoming them, pinning a name tag on each one, and then sending them on to some entertainment while we waited for everyone to arrive. By the time the last guests arrived, everyone would have had things to do, food and beverages to nibble and sip, time to mingle with each other, and would be ready for the games to begin.
Dirty Diaper Name Tags: I made little diapers out of white felt or flannel and pinned them closed with a diaper safety pin. Before I pinned the last one shut I smeared a little streak of brown marker in it Then I mixed the marked one in with the others so I wouldn’t know which one it was. As the guests arrived, I pinned the little diapers on each (you can jot their names on them if your guests don’t know each other). At the end of the party I asked my guests to look inside their name tags. The one with the dirty diaper won a prize.
Mommy Measure Game: Using ribbon, string, or a store-bought game, each guest sections off however much length of the material as they think will take to wrap around the mommy’s belly. They’ll cut their piece and then label it with their name, and leave it in the designated place. At the end of the evening, whoever’s piece comes closest to the actual measurement is the winner.
Pacifier necklace Game: This game is played by giving each guest a necklace and announcing that the forbidden word is “baby.” Anyone caught by another player using the forbidden word loses their necklace to the player who caught them. No one is ever out, because even if you lose your necklace, you can gain a necklace back by catching someone saying the forbidden word. The person with the most necklaces at the end of the party wins.
My Water Broke: The day before the party place little plastic babies in ice cube trays, and then fill the trays with water and freeze. Once everyone has helped themselves to cold beverages, have them drop one of the frozen baby ice cubes into their drink, but don’t tell them why yet. (The first person whose baby melts free is the winner).
Once all of my guests had gotten name tags, measured off a length of ribbon for the mommy measure game, gotten themselves a necklace and a plate of food, and dropped a baby ice cube into each of their drinks, I came and explained the rules for the necklaces and the baby ice cubes. These games played in the background of all the other games for the duration of the evening.
These next several games will have winners right away. Try to keep things moving along so no one gets bored, but be somewhat flexible for those players that are a little slower.
What is it?: You will need 10 brown paper lunch bags (numbered 1-10) and 10 random baby items (diaper pins, pacifier, diaper ointment, baby bottle, teething ring, rattle, mittens, nail clipper, thermometer, disposable diaper, baby powder, baby lotion, receiving blanket, onesie, etc. all removed from their packaging), and a sheet of paper for each guest with 1-10 numbered along the left side, and a pens for each. Make sure each bag has only one item in it and is sealed (taped, stapled, and fastened with a pretty ribbon). Pass the bags around and allow the guests to try to figure out what is in the bag. After 30 seconds shake a baby rattle for the guests to pass the bags. When everyone has written their guesses down, Set a nice basket beside the mom-to-be and have her open each bag to reveal what’s in it, placing the items in the basket. Give a gift to the person with the most correct guesses, and mom gets to keep the basket contents.
Nursery Rhyme Fill-in: Make up a sheet of lines from nursery rhymes (get a book from Wal-mart if you need one) leaving out a word or line for your guests to complete. You can either hand out game sheets to each guest and give them time to complete them, then read the nursery rhymes out loud and ask if anyone had something different…OR…you can play this game like a game show where players are seated and the first to stand must give an answer. You can either read the title of a rhyme and let your guests see if they can recite the rhyme, or read part of the rhyme and have them fill in the missing word or line. The first guest to stand up must give an answer. If they are right, you tally them a point. If they are wrong they sit down and the others race to stand up and answer. When you are out of rhymes, the person who answered the most correctly wins a prize.
Baby Food Tasting: With as much class and sophistication as a wine tasting, you will offer this game. Take the labels off a variety of baby foods (12 is good – 3 of each food-group: veggie, fruit, cereal, dessert) and replace with a number. (Make yourself a master sheet as you are doing this, so you remember which is which and can show it to the guests at the end). Give each guest a sheet of paper with 1-12 listed along the left side, and pen, and 12 plastic tasting spoons per person (ask them to not reuse spoons). Pass the baby food jars and give everyone time to make their guesses. They may taste, smell, look at, jiggle, stir, or use whatever way they want to distinguish what food it is. You can provide a list of multiple choices if you want to help them out a little, just make sure some of the choices on the list are different from the foods so it’s not too easy. The person who gets the most right wins.
The Hen Party Game: Perhaps you’ve seen it on YouTube? It is the plunger and toilet paper game. Need two rolls of toilet paper and two brand new toilet plungers. Split guests into two teams. Each team sends a player to the other side of the yard with a roll of toilet paper. She then places the toilet paper between her thighs/knees. The remaining members of the teams line up behind a leader and the person at the front of the line places the toilet plunger between their thighs with the handle sticking out in front of them. At the sound of the baby rattle the two plunger people must run down to their teammate without losing the plunger and attempt to poke the plunger handle into the hole of the toilet paper roll. Once they are successful, the plunger person takes the toilet paper and the toilet paper person runs the plunger back to the team for the next person to relay down the track. The first team to finish wins.
Baby Bottle Game: Fill baby bottles (one for each guest) with cranberry juice or tea. If you want, you could use the previous game’s winning team as contestants for this game to compete in this chugging contest in front of everyone. Just to be ornery, plug up the tip on one of the baby bottles with super glue prior to the party. At the sound of baby rattle players begin chugging from the baby bottles. The one who finishes first is the winner. See also how creative the person is who got stuck with the plugged bottle, and give them an award for being a good sport.
Sniff-a- Poo game: You’ll need 6 clean disposable diapers labeled 1-6 and 6 different snack size candy bars (Mounds, Baby Ruth, Snickers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Way, York Peppermint Patty, Three Musketeers, etc.). Place one candy bar in each diaper and microwave each diaper for 20 seconds. Stir the candy around and microwave another 10 seconds. Give each player a slip of paper numbered 1 to 6 down the left side, a pen, and 6 plastic tasting spoons per person (ask them to not reuse spoons).. Set the six diapers in front of the guests and allow them to look, smell, taste, and touch each “poopy” diaper in an attempt to identify the contents. Take lots of pictures! The person with the most correct answers wins a prize.
After the outdoor games, I invited everyone back inside and asked them to please refill their drinks and plates at the buffet, and then asked them to take a chair (bean bags, rocker, couch, ottoman, kitchen chairs, etc.) in a big circle around my living room to watch the mom-to-be open her gifts. One of the guests graciously offered to make a list of each gift and who gave it, so I gratefully provided the notebook paper and pen. Once all the gifts were opened, and the food and drinks were devoured, I awarded the prizes for the name tags, measuring game, and necklace game, and also gave out the little parting gifts (babyfood jars with jellybeans in them). Then I asked if we could all stand and hold hands and close by saying a prayer for the mom-to-be. I led the prayer but also left it open for anyone else who felt led to pray. One by one each guest hugged the mom-to-be, and started making their departures. It really was a fun party, and I was so blessed by all the compliments… which is why I decided to share it with you.
Prizes (need at least eight)
Little Bathroom soaps in a basket
Chap sticks and Lotions
A Gift Certificate for a specialty coffee (Starbucks or another local place)
A Women’s Magazine
A pretty necklace
Small bouquet of flowers
Assortment of tea bags
Party Favors (as many as you have guests)
Send each guest home with a baby food jar filled with jelly beans and ask them to say a prayer for the momma and baby every time they eat a bean.
Purchase everything you will need for the games. Read through each game carefully and make a list. Purchase all the prizes and party favors – or make the party favors. Purchase all your groceries and try to make everything the day before, if possible. Purchase everything you will need to decorate or make decorations, and make the decorations. Give yourself time to groom the yard (the day before), clean the house (the day before), and do all the decorating (early in the day). Purchase paper plates, napkins, cups, plastic utensils, ice, serving pieces, flowers, balloons, etc. Set up all the games the night before. Set up the food table right before guests arrive, keeping things covered and cold, and in the shade, or keep the food inside (which is what I did to avoid flies). Set out all the table service and place a paper weight on the napkins and plates – or tie them up in pretty bundles.
PARTY SCHEDULE (plan for the party to last about 2 hours)
Guests arrive: pin a diaper name tag on each and encourage them to mingle pointing them to the little pink footprint trail (like a yellow brick road – follow the yellow brick road!).
Make sure each guest gets something to drink and helps themselves to the sandwiches and snacks that have been set out.
Ice Breaker: Introduce everyone if your guests don’t know each other, and maybe tell how they each know the mother-to-be.
Play the games in the order listed on the previous pages. Keep a fairly quick pace with the games and activities, so there is no time for boredom. I tried to alternate sitting games with active games and quiet games with loud and fun games to keep it interesting. And also tried to find games that would be amusing.
Invite guests to help themselves to more food if desired, and make sure everyone’s beverage is full as often as possible.
Award prizes at the end, if they weren’t awarded at the end of each game, and give each guest a small party favor.
Let Mom-to-be open gifts.
Gather around the Mom-to-be to pray for her and the little one, for a safe delivery and a healthy, perfect baby. Allow guests to hang and visit as long as they wish. Hug everyone goodbye and thank them so much for coming. Put away the foods that need refrigeration. Pass out from exhaustion!
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Alternative Games for your party
Baby items scavenger hunt: Hide several Baby items in and around the house. Create a scavenger hunt for guests to find these items. Guests may compete against everyone individually, or you can pair people off in 2-person or 3-person teams. First person/team to find all of the items wins.
Memory game: First guest says a word or phrase, second guest says the first word/phrase and then their word/phrase, the third guest says both previous words/phrases and then adds theirs. Play continues around the table until someone forgets a word/phrase, then they are out. Play continues until one person is left having memorized the whole thing.
Itty Bitty Baby Parts Baby Shower Game: Baby shower games step into the 21st century with this high tech, offbeat Ultrasound picture challenge. You will find that people say the darndest things when they try to identify the itty bitty baby parts in this contemporary baby shower game. Identifying these parts isn’t as easy as it may seem and your friends will be chuckling for days afterwards at some of the oddball responses! People say the darndest things! Itty Bitty Baby Parts baby shower game brings those sometimes hilarious answers out into the open. Your friends and family will enjoy hearing the responses of the other players while they try to identify the images.
Entertaining and affordable. Itty Bitty Baby Parts baby shower game can be purchased from http://www.bigdotofhappiness.com and comes complete with 12 ultrasound picture cards, word lists(25 player sheets for 25 guests), directions and answer page. Itty Bitty Baby Parts (Ultrasound Picture Game) $13.99
Baby Bingo Baby Shower Game: Yea! Finally! A bingo baby shower game with Pizazz! With Pep! With, with… spunkatudinality! In this 20 card version, guests are handed colorful cards with baby themed pictures: a crib, a birth certificate, stroller, baby blocks, etc. The first person to get five in a row and yell “Baby Bingo” wins. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this baby shower game has got to be worth Millions!
There are 2 squares on each card which allow each guest to write in the name of the mom-to-be and her (expectant) due date. The mom will beam with pride and joy every time she hears her name and baby’s due date called during each game.
20 Card Baby Bingo comes complete with:
20 unique bingo cards
80 perforated caller chips
390 heart markers
Master call sheet
Cards measure 5-1/4″ x 6-1/2″ h each.
This baby shower game can also be purchased from http://www.bigdotofhappiness.com.
Diaper raffles are the hot new baby shower activity! Use our baby raffle tickets – baby shower game to ensure your diaper raffle goes off without a hitch! Hand out raffle tickets to each guest who brings a pack of diapers. You could give one ticket per every 5, 10, or 20 diapers they bring. Have them write their name on the tickets and collect them. At some point during the celebration, draw tickets to give away special prizes. Guests will love their odds when they arrive with the all-important diapers! You could pass out tickets for other items as well – bibs, onesies, blankets, and much more!
Baby Raffle Tickets – Baby Shower Game ~ $8.99 each game
(150 tickets per package in six designs) available from http://www.bigdotofhappiness.com.
There are a few different ways to set up a raffle at a baby shower. Tickets for the event can be “sold” based on the basic baby-care items that guests bring, or can be given to everyone who arrives in a manner similar to door prize drawings. One commonly used option is the holding of a “diaper raffle,” where an extra ticket is given for every five, 10 or 20 diapers given. The same could be done with single bottles, onesies, pacifiers or even common goods such as soaps, shampoos and lotions. A winning ticket will be drawn toward the end of the baby shower, though some planners may decide to have multiple drawings and give away smaller prizes leading up to the “Grand Prize.”
Tummy Measure Game by Factory Card and Party Outlet
An immeasurably fun shower game! Our Tummy Measure Game features 150ft – 2 1/2” W plastic yellow measuring tape (number are not printed on tape) with the words “What Size is the New Mommy’s Tummy?” Simply have guests cut a length of the tape by guessing the mommy-to-be’s tummy and the closest fitting tape wins.
Wilton Baby Shower Spin Game by Wilton
Play this fun game at the baby shower. It’s a great way to break the ice and get the party started. Guests spin the bottle and do as the spot on the card asks. Some of the spaces say: Suggest 10 Baby Names; Give Mom-to-be Baby Advice; Relax and do Nothing; Sing a Lullaby; Whistle a Baby Song; Say the ABC’s Backwards; Recite a Nursery Rhyme; Repeat 5 Times: (a tongue twister).
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3