Ideas for the Party Human

Posts Tagged ‘baby showers

Interrupting the Games segment to insert a baby shower which we gave for my daughter.  She’s having a boy, but this could easily be adapted for a “little princess.”

THEME:  “Someday my [little] prince will come.”  (Disney Princes)097

INVITATIONS:  We designed a sort of “royal proclamation” which we printed on parchment paper.  You can see the wording here:

Publication1

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Envelopes and pens; plain onesies in different sizes and fabric markers;  sheets of stationery; small notebook for advice; team number centerpieces, Jeopardy-style game on bulletin board, and prizes; place to put gifts and notebook to record them.

FOOD:  We decided to try to find a food from each of the Disney movies with a prince involved.  This was a little difficult, and some are kind of a stretch, but you can see our layout here.  Some of the ones we thought of:  Pumpkin Cookies (Cinderella), Crackers (Aladdin), Nutella (Tangled), Watermelon (The Princess & the Frog), Fishy  Crackers (The Little Mermaid), Gummy Worms (Lion King), Berries (Bambi), Apple slices (Snow White) and Grapes (Hercules).  The cake and punch fit in with several of the other movies.

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The focal point is the castle cake.  Since I am not a great cake decorator, we kept it simple.  I borrowed a friend’s sheet cake pan and made a round layer cake to put on top of it.  Ice cream cones for towers, sugar cubes for crenelations, wafer cookies for windows, chocolate Neccos for siding, and Hershey bar and licorice for drawbridge and door.

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DECORATIONS:  For colors we used royal blue and red, since those are good boy colors.  We borrowed the white tablecloths, then cut plastic dollar-store tablecloths in half for the toppers.  We found these cardboard crowns at Hobby Lobby and spray-painted them and decorated them with stick-on jewels.  On the other side we wrote the team number for that table.  The wrapped boxes are just for looks.  We also put a few of the letter sheets (see Blow-by-Blow) and pens on each table as well.  102

At the front of the room, we placed a borrowed wooden cradle with a decorative pillow and crown in it.  The canopy I had from my daughter’s wedding reception.

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We also found pictures of every Disney prince online, printed them out and put them up around the room.  We created the banner on our computer and strung it together with ribbons.  As a gift, two of my younger daughters put together a “diaper cake,” which didn’t turn out quite as we hoped.103

A few costume pieces of armor or swords set around the room finished the decor.

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BLOW-BY-BLOW:  As guests arrived, we had them put their address on an envelope to help us with the thank-you’s.  Their gifts were placed in or around the cradle.  104

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Then they could decorate a onesie, write a piece of mothering advice in the little notebook, or write a letter to the little prince.  We decided to have letters for every birthday until the baby was as old as his mother is now.  So we placed sheets of stationery around the room, and each one had a different year written in the corner.  They were to write a letter to Baby Charles that he would receive on that birthday.  We also had people get food and visit while this other stuff was going on.  After people had finished these activities, we played a Jeopardy-style game with questions about the different Disney princes.  The winning team received a bag of Hershey’s Treasures to share.  We then cut the cake and served it.

After the game, Queen Sara sat up by the cradle and opened her presents.  We gave her a crown and a sash to wear.  One of her sisters recorded the givers and gifts, so she could write her thank-you’s.107

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THEME:  Class on baby care for a first-time mother-to-be

INVITATIONS:  The invitation should look official, like an invitation to take a college course.  Use calligraphy or a flowing script font on your computer, and print  on a nice bond or parchment paper.  The guest-of-honor is invited to take the course, and the guests may be invited to come and participate as “associate professors of motherhood.”

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Name tags for each guest; a crossword puzzle using names of baby items and pencil for each guest; a baby doll, diaper, stopwatch, two diaper pins and a blindfold; a sheet of blank paper for each guest; prizes, if desired, such as baby items like candy pacifiers, outlet plugs, baby shampoo, etc.; an elegant diploma for passing the course.

FOOD:  Serve foods that babies like:  milk, applesauce, graham crackers, juice, animal cookies, etc.  Another idea is to make nut cups in the shape of diapers.  This is done by cutting small rectangles or triangles of baby-print fabric, folding and pinning them like diapers with tiny safety pins (leaving leg-holes too small for mints or nuts to fall through), and setting them upright as if an invisible baby was sitting in them.  Then grasp each with tweezers and dip briefly into melted wax to coat, setting them out to dry and harden.  These little “diapers” can now be filled with mints and nuts, or whatever small snacks you desire.

DECORATIONS:  Decorate in pastel colors and cut pictures from parenting magazines of mothers doing things with babies.  Make a collage or hang them around the room.  Set out familiar items like bottles, baby powder, diapers, bibs, baby blankets, pacifiers, stuffed animals, baby toys, etc.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:   As guests arrive, give them name tags reading “Prof.   (their name)  .”   Welcome the mother-to-be as a new student, and “orient” her by giving her the crossword puzzle to do.  (All other guests will do it, too, and the first one to correctly complete it may be awarded a prize.)

Next, the “instructors” will demonstrate their prowess in the Blind Diapering Contest.  Set a baby doll, cloth diaper and two diaper pins (closed) in the center of the room.  Each contestant will have a turn to be blindfolded and see how fast she can correctly diaper the baby doll.  You (the hostess) will time each one.   Last of all, the guest of honor will try it–“to see if she has learned anything”–and the contestant with the best time may receive a prize.

Now it’s time to settle down and get a little more serious.  Give everyone a blank piece of paper on which to write some word of advice for the new mother.  (It can be funny or serious, whatever they prefer.)

After the advice is in, present the “successful student” with a lovely diploma (“suitable for framing”!) and celebrate her “commencement” by commencing  to open the presents.  Do this in the usual way, recording the gifts and givers and passing the gifts around to be admired.  You might also suggest the “professors” tell the mother-to-be what each item is used for, perhaps making up silly uses–like putting the diapers on her head during the baby’s bathtime, to protect her from splashes!

To complete the evening, serve the refreshments.

Variations and Comments:  It is important to make sure that this is all done in the spirit of fun.  The mother-to-be should have such a rapport with the other guests that she would never feel she was being belittled, mocked or teased for her lack of knowledge or experience.  In fact, some of the “professors” might not be mothers yet themselves, so they really would not be able to “instruct” her.  If done in the right spirit, the atmosphere will be humorous and light-hearted, and no one will be offended.

 

THEME:  Children’s Nursery Rhymes

INVITATIONS:  An invitation for this shower could have a picture of a nursery rhyme character on the outside, and the message could be written in rhyme, adapted from a Mother Goose rhyme, such as:

“Hey, diddle, diddle, the cat with the fiddle

Is playing a lullaby;

So come to the shower for  (woman’s name) ,

Whose baby’s coming is nigh.”

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  A chair for each team; a baby doll and blanket for each team; prizes, if desired, such as candles, plastic rings or small bells.

FOOD:  Serve food from the nursery rhymes, such as tarts, plum pie, homemade bread and butter, pudding pie, curds and whey (cottage cheese), plum cake and sugar candy, etc.  Try to serve them in appropriate dishes.

DECORATIONS:  The Mother Goose Shower can work with any colors you choose, especially bright ones.  Trace pictures of nursery rhyme characters from children’s coloring books and enlarge them at your local copy center.  Then color them and use them on walls, tables, etc.  Streamers and balloons are fine, but you can also set out items that will recall familiar nursery rhymes, such as a cat and a fiddle, a dish and a spoon, a miniature lamb, a candlestick, a pumpkin shell, a pail of water, a pipe and bowl, a large shoe, a plastic spider, a clock and toy mouse, a hard-boiled egg with a face drawn on it, etc.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  When all the guests have arrived and you have stowed their gifts, make sure everyone knows everyone else and then divide them into two teams for the first game.

To play the Diddle Diddle Dumpling Relay,  the two teams line up on one side of the room.  Opposite each team, at the other end of the room, is a chair.  On a signal, the first player on each team runs to the chair, takes off a shoe and puts it back on before running back to tag the next player.  The second player does the same, and the relay continues until every player on one team has completed the action.  That team is the winner and may be awarded a prize.

Next is the Baby Bunting Relay.  This is similar to the relay above, except the  players on each team must run to a doll and swaddle it correctly in a blanket, before tagging the next player who must then un-swaddle it, etc.  The first team done wins, and you may choose to give them a prize.

The players can relax a bit for the next game.  For the ABC-Nursery Rhyme Game, you can keep the same teams, but the players get to remain seated with their team during the game.  You might flip a coin to decide which team will go first, and then the other team sings the alphabet while the starting team quickly chooses a nursery rhyme.  At the end of the alphabet song, the starting team must sing a nursery rhyme, then they sing the alphabet while the second team decides on a nursery rhyme for their turn, and so on.  The first team to be unprepared with a nursery rhyme to sing on their turn, or to sing a rhyme already sung, loses.  You may choose to give the winning team a prize, if desired.

Now the guest of honor may open her presents.  As always, have someone record each gift and who it was from on a piece of paper for the mother-to-be.  Pass the gifts around to be admired, and then serve the refreshments.

Variations and Comments:  With a little ingenuity, you might create all kinds of games from nursery rhymes.  You could have an egg toss (to commemorate Humpty Dumpty)  or a relay going up and down a hill with a pail of water (no tumbling required).  Or, you could have  a quiet game where players have to fill in the blanks with the correct words from nursery rhymes.  The possibilities are endless!  But you might want to get a hold of a good book of nursery rhymes before you start planning.

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THEME:  Gender-related for baby girl

INVITATIONS:  Use pink construction paper and decorate by gluing on cinnamon sticks and hard candies.

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Paper and pencil for each team; baby doll with diaper and two diaper pins for each team; clothesline or string stretched across all or part of the room, doll clothes, clothespins, a small basket and a stopwatch; prizes, if desired, such as bags of candy or jars of spice.

FOOD:  Anything sweet will do.  Perhaps you could serve a spice cake with pink frosting, decorated with candies or flowers.  Also set out bowls of mints or other small candies.

DECORATIONS:  Like the boy’s shower above, decorate in distinctive feminine style.  Pink should be the main color, and you can use pictures or posters of little girls, as well as large (real or artificial) lollipops.  Set out dolls and other girlish toys.  Bouquets of flowers would be a nice touch, too.  Be sure to keep a table or corner clear for the gifts.  If the baby has been born, have a pretty, frilly place to put her as the real guest-of-honor.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:   When all the guests have arrived, introduce everyone and seat them in two teams lined up for the first game.

To play Add-A-Word, give the first player of each team a pencil and paper.  On a signal, the first player of each team writes on the top of her team’s paper a word associated with babies.  She quickly passes the paper and pencil to the second player, who must write beneath it another such word which begins with the last letter of the preceding word.  As soon as she writes the word, she passes the paper and pencil to the third player, who writes a word beginning with the last letter of the second player’s word.  Play continues until the last player adds a word.  She takes the list and pencil to the head player, who stands and waves the paper to indicate her team has finished.  The first team to complete a correct list wins the game.  The team finishing second checks the first team’s list to make sure the words are spelled correctly, begin with the correct letters and have something to do with babies.  If any word is questionable in one of these three areas, the second team may challenge the first team’s players, who will have to defend the word satisfactorily for it to count.  If the first team makes an error, the second team wins.  You may choose to award a prize to the winning team.

The next game is Diaper Relay.  Use the same teams as in the previous game and have them stand in two lines at one end of the room.  At the other end, opposite each team, place a baby doll, a small diaper and two diaper pins.  On a signal, the first player in each team runs across to her doll, diapers it and carries it to the next person on her team.  The next player runs across the room, unpins and removes the diaper, and runs back to her team, leaving the doll there.  The third player on the team does the same as the first player, diapering the doll and bringing it back.  Play continues in this manner until one team has made use of every player.  The first team finished wins, and you may choose to award them a prize.

The last game is a Laundry Contest.  You will not have teams for this game but will time each person individually.  For the contest, each person must hang all the clothes in the basket on the “clothesline,” then remove them, fold them and put them back in the basket.  The contestant who can do this in the shortest amount of time wins and may receive a prize.

Now it’s time to open the presents.  Seat everyone in a circle so the presents can be passed around and admired.  Record each gift and giver for the new mother.

Serve the refreshments when all the gifts have been opened or while they are being opened, if it’s a large gathering.

Variations and Comments: Instead of doing the Diaper Relay, you may wish to do a Braiding Relay, using two dolls with long hair and a rubber band or other fastener for each of them.  This relay would be similar to the Diaper Relay, except that the players would be braiding and un-braiding the dolls’ hair, instead of diapering and un-diapering as explained above.

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THEME:  Gender-related–for a baby boy already born (or if the doctor has confirmed his sex prior to birth)

INVITATIONS:  You could use blue construction paper, cut  in the shape of a diaper, to write the message on.  Decorate with rubber stamps, stickers or freehand drawings of snakes, snails and puppy dogs.  Then fold like a diaper and tape in place. 

MATERIALS FOR ACTIVITIES:  Several boy’s toys, such as dump trucks and wooden blocks;  small slips of paper on which you have written different  words or phrases having to do with babies–such as an item, like “diaper”, an event, like “labor”, or a phrase, like “bathing the baby”; advertisement puzzles you have made by cutting  out magazine advertisements of well-known baby products, gluing onto cardboard or stiff paper, cutting into several pieces and placing the pieces in envelopes; prizes, if desired, such as marbles, gummy snakes, stationery with puppies on it, etc.; pad of paper and pen.

FOOD:  When planning refreshments for the shower, be certain to ask the mother if there is anything she cannot eat.  Within those parameters, try to carry your theme through into your refreshments.  For instance, you could have a cake decorated with cookies, crackers or candies  in appropriate shapes, like snakes, puppies, cars, etc. Use  blue icing and serve blue mints.

DECORATIONS:  Of course, your theme will dictate the type of decorating you do.  For the Boy Shower, you can use streamers and balloons in blue, pictures and posters of little boys on the walls, and boy’s toys set out on display.  If the newborn guest of honor is present, have a central cradle, bassinet, etc. to place him in to be admired.

BLOW-BY-BLOW:  After the guests have arrived and given their gifts to you (the hostess), the games should begin.  Since the guest of honor at the shower is either well advanced in her pregnancy or still recovering from the delivery, games should generally not be too strenuous.  You can adapt these three as needed.

            Toy Relay is a game you create using whatever boy-type toys are available to you.  One example is for competing team members to roll a dump truck across the room to a pile of blocks, fill the truck with the blocks and return it to the starting point without spilling any blocks.  The next team member in line then repeats the process, in reverse order; the first team through wins and may receive a prize. 

            Next is “Baby Charades.”  Divide guests into small groups of two to four and give each group one of the slips of paper.  Assign an area where each group may plan and practice its pantomime without revealing its assignment to the others.  Allow each group three to five minutes in which to prepare its presentation.  The performers may pantomime by syllables or by acting out.  Request one of the groups to present its pantomime while the other groups try to guess the word or phrase.  Any group that guesses correctly wins the honor of presenting its pantomime.  If the groups fail to guess right, the players announce their assignment and select another group to offer its presentation.

            The final game is Advertisement Puzzles.  Each group (keep the same groups as for Baby Charades) should sit at a table or countertop, if possible, or at least have a large, firm surface on which to assemble their puzzle.  Hand out the envelopes to the groups and give the signal for them to remove the cut-up advertisements from the envelopes.  The guests work to reassemble the ads as quickly as possible, and the first group to succeed in correctly completing the puzzle wins the game and may receive a prize.

            After the games, it’s time to open the presents.  As with the bridal showers, someone should sit by the guest of honor and record the gifts (and givers) as she opens them.  After they are recorded, the gifts are passed around the room for all to admire.

            When the gifts are opened, serve the refreshments.  

                                                                             

Variations and Comments:     If the baby shower is for the couple’s first child, it might be a nice gesture to invite the new father or father-to-be as well, to allow him to feel more a part of it all.

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     Now we come to Chapter Four of my party book:  Holiday Themes, Showers and Anniversaries.      

            For many of us, parties connote celebrations for special times.  Somehow a holiday or milestone event is made more memorable by festivities shared with friends and loved ones.  For this reason, I have dedicated this chapter to celebrations uniquely suited to holidays, showers and anniversaries.  In the party descriptions that follow, you will find a wide variety of offerings.  Some events are for family gatherings, some for teens or young single adults, others for couples.  Each party, however, can usually be adapted easily to fit any kind of group.

            Starting with Valentine’s Day, Iwill take you through a year of creative holiday parties, followed by descriptions of bridal and baby showers and wedding anniversary celebrations.  Again, I would be happy to hear from you about some of your unique, special celebrations.


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