Inside: Looking for baby shower activities ideas that are NOT games? We’ve got you covered with plenty of things to do at a baby shower besides games (because let’s be honest – games are probably on their way out).
As soon as the ‘We’re Pregnant!” announcement comes, it’s not long before the baby shower plans are in the works. Whether you’re a close friend, sister, or mother to the mom-to-be, there’s so much that goes into planning the perfect baby shower, one worthy of welcoming this sweet new life.
Most people fall somewhere on the spectrum of “love ‘em or dread ‘em” when it comes to baby showers, and often, what makes it or breaks it for many people are the games.
That might be hard to believe (she said sarcastically), but alas, it’s true.
There are many ladies that get a slight twitch when they envision sitting at a baby shower and playing games for 2+ hours, no matter how good the prizes might be.
Some are more introverted or just may feel awkward at that kind of forced interaction.
There are others who may know the mom from work or some other less intimate environment and may not be part of the inner circle of family and friends. This also may cause someone to feel a little uncomfortable, especially if she doesn’t know anyone else who is attending.
(Confession: I’ve declined invites to showers for this very reason.)
Or maybe it’s you, the shower planner, who isn’t fond of games. Or even the mom-to-be. But since the planning of the baby shower has landed on you, you are on the hunt for alternative baby shower activities.
Look no further, friend (or aunt or cousin). I’m about to give you all kinds of baby shower activities (NOT games) today that will cause baby game haters everywhere to rejoice.
Side Note: What’s the difference between baby shower games and baby shower activities? Games typically have a winner and need to be done together as a group, whereas activities do not have winners and do not require simultaneous (and often forced) group participation.
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Factors to Consider for Baby Shower Activities
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When you’re planning a shower and starting to set up the agenda for the festivities, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
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What kind of space are you working with? A restaurant? A hall? A home?
All of these will need to be considered when coming up with activities for the baby shower. Certain activities will be more conducive to smaller or larger spaces, especially as many require tables.
Length of Time
This goes for the length of the shower as well as the length of activities. Some activities can be done quickly – within minutes. Others will take more time.
Figure out what activities are ‘musts’ – such as opening gifts (if you’re going that route), a meal or dessert, etc., then choose your activities around essentials.
If you’re doing activity stations (more on that below), many things can be done simultaneously.
Some activities are very low budget (like printable cards). Others will require more materials (like decorating onesies).
Know what your budget is for planning the shower, plug in the essentials (food, rentals, etc), and then plan your activities with your remaining budget.
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The preparation for the activities below varies. Some are very low-prep (and require minimal skills from the guests). Others require quite a bit of preparation beforehand.
Those who are throwing the shower should discuss all of this ahead of time.
All of the preparation can be overwhelming if there are several high-prep activities, or if just a few people are handling ALL the preparations.
As much as you can, enlist the help of those close to the mom-to-be if more hands are needed in the preparations, even if those individuals aren’t throwing the shower.
Delegation is your friend here!
The Desires of the Mom-to-Be
Get some input from the mom-to-be. Do not – I repeat – do NOT throw a surprise party.
This doesn’t mean she’ll be planning the shower herself, but maybe there’s something she always dreamed would be at her shower – like advice cards from all the experienced moms.
Try to incorporate her known wishes as much as you can, especially if she’s in the “I hate baby shower games” club.
Related: 25 Inexpensive Baby Shower Gifts – Both Practical & Affordable
15 Things to Do at Baby Showers Besides Games
The best way to keep things fun, interactive, yet without awkwardness or force, is to set up stations all around the room if that’s possible.
This gives the ladies something to do if conversation comes to an awkward stall, or if they just enjoy being up and about, or just enjoy making things.
Giving women a chance to get up and move around at their own leisure instantly creates a buzzing, active, festive atmosphere.
I also love the station idea because women can come and go as they want, choose the activities they want, and no one is forced to participate if they don’t want to.
At the beginning of the shower, whoever is welcoming the guests should also give a brief explanation of the stations, the agenda or schedule for the shower, and any other important information.
It might also make sense for some of these activities to be right at the entryway, as the women walk in, depending on which activities you choose. Some of the activities can even be set right on the tables for the ladies to do at their own seats.
This is a fun way to give out prizes without forcing a game. As ladies are entering, have them grab a ticket.
At a certain point in the shower, call out numbers and distribute gifts accordingly.
Many people choose to do this activity as a diaper raffle also. In this case, guests would be asked to bring a package of diapers, and when they arrive, they would get a raffle ticket after they drop off their diapers.
It’s a fun way to help the new family stock up on an item they will most definitely need. Just be sure to clarify on the invitation any diaper requests, like brands or sizes to avoid.
Related: Should I Put Diapers on My Baby Registry? What to Consider Before You Do
2. Photo Booth
Photo booths have been growing in popularity for all kinds of events in recent years.
Set up an area with a pretty backdrop, some fun props, and let the guest take all sorts of fun pictures.
Add a hashtag and encourage ladies to share on social media of your choice for a fun way to see everyone’s pictures.
Variation: Include a chalkboard where guests can write a message to mom and/or baby and take their picture with it.
3. Onesie & Bib Making Station
I love this idea! Have a selection of onesies and bibs with an array of iron-on transfers.
Each guest can visit the station, pick a transfer, and iron it on right there.
This serves as not only a fun activity but as a practical gift for mom to take home as well. Babies go through these so quickly when they’re little (spit-up and blow-outs galore!) that having back-ups is much appreciated.
Etsy sells these types of kits to make things a little easier.
4. Stamped Burp Cloths
This is another useful activity that will make mom smile when she sees them after the baby is born. Guests can use stamps to decorate burp cloths that can be used as the baby grows!
(Stamps are also another alternative – and cost-effective – way to decorate bibs and onesies as well, if you didn’t want to go the iron-on transfer route!)
5. Creative Dessert Stations
This is a yummy area where guests can decorate a cookie or a cupcake. Cookies can be in the shape of all the baby things like rattles and pacifiers.
You can have fun embellishments to put on top of cupcakes. Or you can set this up as a candy bar for women to fill a bag or container of their favorite sweets.
Bonus: You can also use these desserts or candy bags as the favor for the baby shower.
6. Rock Blessings
This is a really cool idea, especially if the family is more of the outdoorsy type.
Each person would decorate or write a blessing, prayer, or Bible verse on a river rock using paint pens!
7. Advice for Mom Cards
Have each attendee fill out a card giving the mom-to-be his/her best advice, from their own experience or something their mom swears by.
If the guest happens to be single or not a mom yet, they can share something they observed that their own mom or dad did as a parent.
There are also versions of this idea with a fill-in-the-blank format to make it easier on guests who may be stumped with advice to share, like this one or this one!
This can be set up at each table or at a separate station.
8. Family Tradition Cards
I especially love this because we tend to always think of the baby stage at a shower, but these newborns have a whole lot of life ahead of them!
These cards give the mom creative ideas for all kinds of traditions she can begin with her child – for birthdays, holidays, etc. Not only that, it gives the guests a chance to reminisce about their own childhood or share what they love doing with their own families!
9. Diaper Message Activity
Every mom knows about the late night diaper changes that seem to be endless!
For this activity, have guests write a fun, silly, or encouraging message with a Sharpie on the outside of the diaper for mom to read during one of those late night changing sessions.
While she might feel like a zombie, at least it might get her to squeak out a smile.
Pro Tip: Remind guests to write the message higher up on the diaper so it doesn’t bleed in case of a leak-through.
10. Guest Book Station
Instead of a traditional guest book, have the ladies sign and leave a message on something else that the mom can display.
It can be the matting inside a large frame, a large wooden letter of the baby’s first initial, or even something beautiful like this heart dropbox frame guestbook alternative.
Guests can even create a tree with their thumbprints (with an option to sign their name on top).
11. Decorate Blocks
This is another spin on an alphabet and numbers craft. At this station, wood blocks would be set out along with instructions for how to add colors, patterns, pictures, numbers, letters, etc. on the sides of the block.
This can be another way for the mom to remember friends and family as the baby grows and begins to play with them.
This blog shows you one beautiful way you can do this.
12. Numbers and Letters Book
This is a fun activity you can have guests do throughout the shower. Have a table set up with various printable alphabet and number sheets.
Leave markers, color pencils, and crayons on the table and have guests color the sheets so they can be used to create the baby’s first number and letter book!
This will be a sweet keepsake for the baby and a fun memory as well. This blog post has clear instructions if this is the way you want to go.
13. Fill-in-the-Blank Printable “Well Wishes for Baby”
This is something you can set up at each table or design at a station. Similar to the advice cards, you can print out fill-in-the-blank well wishes cards for the baby and have each guest fill it out.
This is something mom or dad can read with the child as he or she grows older. So much good advice and wisdom are tucked in these cards!
Here is a free printable version, or you can purchase them from many Etsy shops as well. You could also use generic blank cards.
Alternative: Bring several board books to the shower – one per guest at least – and have guests sign a note to baby directly on the inside cover. You could also ask guests to bring one to cut costs.
14. Craft and Sip
This is the one activity that isn’t really a station but would be arranged for the entire group to be doing the same thing, at the same time, with the instructions coming from someone in the front of the room.
You could do a wreath, a chalkboard art tutorial, decorating a coffee mug, making a simple pair of earrings. The possibilities are endless, but try to keep them on the practical side.
Here, you might bring in someone who runs a sip and craft or sip and paint business and have her lead everyone through the activity. Or, if you have a friend who is especially crafty, you may ask her if she’d be up for running this kind of activity.
This might be something you’d choose if you didn’t want a lot of prep or set up of several different stations.
A craft and sip may cost more, but if someone else is leading the activity, it can be easier on those who are hosting the shower. Plus, with this one, the craft is the favor, so it’s one less thing to worry about.
15. Have a Co-Ed Shower
Why not throw a party for the mom and dad? When it’s a co-ed get together, the whole ‘games-at-a-baby-shower’ expectation disappears.
I’m sorry, but it’s true: no one ever expects men to sit around and do the kinds of things women do at showers.
Once you add the males to the atmosphere, it just becomes a party to celebrate the mom, dad, and soon-arriving newborn. The focus is usually on food and gifts, with no extra games or activities needed!
Editor’s Note: At my baby shower, my mom cut out the pieces for a Sun Bonnet Sue quilt. Guests got to piece together their own unique Sun Bonnet Sue figure and iron everything in place.
Guests also could write a Bible verse or encouragement/prayer on the square as well. My mom took the squares home and put them together for a finished product.
This makes such a great gift!
Related: The Best Bible Verses for a Baby Shower (Unique + Classic Options)
You Can Throw An Awesome Baby Shower Without Games
It may seem that games are a given at showers, but clearly, that is not the case! There are plenty of fun, meaningful ways to fill the hours at a baby shower where games are omitted.
Baby shower games have their place for those who love them, but for those who aren’t fans, no worries.
Baby showers are no less festive without games. And some might even say, they’re better off. 😉
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Kate is a former high school English teacher and current SAHM to her 5-year-old twin boys. A lifetime New Yorker recently transplanted in Tennessee, she keeps busy by learning her new way of life in the South, doing home decor and DIY projects, blogging at A Hundred Affections, substitute teaching, and figuring out how to survive in a house outnumbered by boys. And she loves Jesus very much.