By Penny Warner with Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kits
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Make your next baby shower as unique as the new baby you're about to welcome by planning a party that fits the mother-to-be's personality and interests, and then shower her with a fun time!
When it comes to the guest list, consider holding a co-ed baby shower. Many mothers-to-be don't want to leave daddy out of the fun! So, invite the father-to-be as well as husbands and boyfriends of guests to join the party.
Turn the party room into a make-believe nursery.
- Hang up a clothesline filled with baby clothes.
- Decorate the room with helium-inflated balloons in pink, blue, or yellow, and float them on the ceiling; turn them into a centerpiece bouquet for a table centerpiece; or tie them to the backs of chairs with matching ribbon. Draw funny baby faces on the balloons or write baby name suggestions!
- For a centerpiece that doubles as a gift, fill a basket lined with a receiving blanket with baby items, such as baby lotions, rubber duckies, pacifiers and plastic bottles.
Games and Activities
For party games, there are lots of creative ways to let everyone in on the fun, especially if you have a co-ed shower.
- You can hold a game of baby-themed select and sketch. Simply divide guests into teams and take turns drawing and guessing baby-related words and phrases.
- Another fun idea is to have all the guests bring baby pictures of themselves to hang on a party wall. Then, let the guests guess who is who.
- Another game is to match Hollywood stars with the names of their babies. To make it extra challenging, include those stars whose children have traditional names along with those who have more unique names.
- Another great activity is to invite guests to help make a special "baby's first year" keepsake book for the mom-to-be. Each guest selects a milestone, such as "baby's first bath" and "baby's first food," and creates a scrapbook page using various craft materials. Assemble the pages and place them in a book for the new mommy to keep. All she has to do is add photos of her little one to complete the hand-made book.
For your menu and refreshments, consider carrying your party theme to the goodies you serve. So if you're going for a "pretty in pink" shower to welcome a baby girl, offer a dessert table with candy and pastries in varying shades of pink. Or, if you are feeling extra ambitious, carry the color theme to your entire menu - serve salmon as the main course, pink punch and blush wine for your refreshments, and strawberry ice cream for dessert.
Favors, Prizes, and Gifts
Send guests home with disposable cameras filled with pictures from the party, a box of chocolates, clear baby bottles filled with pink or blue jelly beans, teddy bear key rings or flower seeds to plant. Give them baby-related movies, such as "Nine Months" with Hugh Grant or "Father of the Bride II" with Steve Martin.
Penny Warner has more than 25 years of experience as an author and party planner. She has published more than 50 books, including 16 specific to parties. Additionally, Warner writes a weekly newspaper column on family life, penned a column for Sesame Street Parents magazine and has appeared on several regional and national TV morning programs. Her latest book, HOW TO HOST A KILLER PARTY, debuted in February 2010 from NAL/Penguin.
Balloon Time is the leading brand of consumer helium balloon kits in North America. Balloon Time kits feature a helium-filled tank, latex or foil balloons and ribbon, and are available at national retail chains, party goods and grocery stores nationwide.