Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck

A couple months back I hosted a baby shower for my sister. After it was over, I was totally exhausted, but threw up a couple pictures for a post: Baby Shower in Brief. Then this amazing thing happened. People started tweeting about it, someone pinned it on Pinterest, it got repinned, and now I'm getting traffic to my blog with search terms like, "Pin the Tail on the Uterus" and "Uterus Game Template". So while I don't want to become the crazy sperm and uterus blog lady (too late), I wouldn't mind being the driving force behind ending the ritual of crazy-boring baby showers. So here it is, The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck. (That link, by the way, goes to a  PDF with this whole blog post, plus some extra tips if you actually wanted to do any of this stuff, AND a template for creating the highly coveted uterus. You're welcome.)

The Goal: Host a party. Make it fun. Have people bring adorable stuff for the baby and mommy.

The Challenge: Baby showers can suck. No one wants to watch a woman open onesies and bottle sets and nipple cream for two hours. NO ONE!!!

The Plan
  • Co-Ed - Men and women were invited (and were told the party would be non-sucky).
  • All day - Our shower was from 11 am - 6 pm. People could come and go like an all day BBQ. Come by, have a beer and some food. Drop off a gift. Hang out with Mommy and Daddy-to-be. Take off whenever you're ready to leave.
  • Unwrapped gifts - Guests were encouraged to bring their gifts unwrapped and told there would be no "mass unwrapping." We set the gifts out on a display table for all to coo over, but without having to sit through two hours of unwrapping.
  • Opt-In Games - We had plenty of baby-themed games, but all were selected because they could be set out somewhere and guests could choose to play if they wanted to play and completely ignore if they weren't interested.

The Games
As stated above, all games were opt-in, meaning that they were set up so that people who wanted to play could play, but be easily ignored by non-players. Turns out, this was a fairly competitive group, so once we announced a winner for one game, people were ready to start on the next one.
  • How Many Candies
    Large baby bottle shaped bank filled with candies. Guess how many are in it.

  • Baby Word Scramble
    I chose 20 baby-related words and "scrambled" the letters. Here's a hint: if you pick your own words, alphabetize the letters in the words, even BELOTT is hard to figure out.
  • Baby Face
    I took head shots of mom and dad a week before the party and made sure they both were looking straight at the camera. I used Photoshop to crop the pictures so that they fit on an 8 x 10 and that their heads were the same size. I added "cut" lines to cut slices for each of their foreheads, eyes, noses, mouths, and chins. I printed the pictures on card stock, cut the slices, and laid them out on a table for guests to "construct" a possible baby face. Warning: the resulting faces can be creepy!


  • Cute as a Button
    I used a paper punch to punch out a bunch of card stock buttons. (I wanted bottles, but couldn't find a paper punch on short notice.) I "hid" them around the apartment in very obvious places such as on tables, in picture frames, in plants, etc. Guests were told to collect the buttons and the guest with the most buttons won.
  • Sooooo Big
    Guests cut a length of ribbon as long as they think the mom-to-be is around. Note: I used yarn because I had pink and yellow on hand. Ribbon would have been much cuter.
  • Beer BottlesI bought six baby bottles and filled them with six different beers. Guests had to guess what the different beers were.
    Tip: Let guests know what the six beers are. We didn't and our winner only got two right. Also, provide Dixie cups to drink out of or all your guests will have to drink out of the same baby bottles. Eewww.
  • Play-Doh BabyI bought "party-sized" Play-Doh. It comes in a big bag with a bunch of small containers of Play-Doh. Guests were told to build a baby using one container. Mommy and Daddy chose their favorite baby for the winner.
  • Who's Watching the Baby?
    When guests arrived, they were given a small baby doll. They were told that they could either hold on to it, put it down, or pass it on to someone else. Any babies put down could be scooped up by other guests. Guest with the most babies wins.

  • Baby Chug
    I bought several of the cheapest baby bottles I could find. We filled them each with 3 oz of beer. Guests attempted to be the first ones to empty their baby bottles. Not allowed to remove the nipple in any way. Tip: Baby bottles empty slowly, even when you're trying. Could easily have gone with 2 ounces. For non-drinkers, you can use apple juice instead of beer.

  • Pin the Sperm on the Uterus
    I wanted a version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey that wouldn't send guests scurrying to other rooms. No one wants to be blindfolded or spun around. I finally came up with this alternative. My awesome husband assembled a construction paper uterus and construction paper and ribbon sperm. Guests were told to write their name on a sperm and stick it onto the uterus (so their name didn't show). Once all the sperm had been "placed," Mommy was blindfolded and spun (just once) and had to stick an egg on to the uterus. Closest sperm to the newly placed egg won.


All in all, it was really a fun, fun day. We did play lots of fun baby-related games, but mostly what people did was hang out, drink some beer, eat some food, and talk with friends. The baby games, those were just fun on the side.

I hope all of your parties are also a fun-for-all. And in case you want more tips on how to create the games or especially that super fun uterus, here's the whole post again in PDF form:

The Rubyspikes Guide to Hosting a Baby Shower That Doesn't Suck (The PDF)



UPDATE:
By popular request, here is the anonymized invitation that was sent to guests:


People have also asked where I found the baby dolls. The ones pictured were found at Walmart.

214 comments:

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