Although baby showers are the right place to celebrate babies, that doesn’t always mean they’re the right place for babies. The focus, of course, should be on Mom. And guests who are distracted by their children might distract other guests. But if your circle of friends were all married around the same time, they might all be having babies around the same time, too. Is asking everyone to find babysitters fair? Or should you try to plan a kid-friendly baby shower for parents and kids?
There’s no socially right or wrong answer—as long as you make the attendance policy clear in the invitations and on the party website. But planning a kid-friendly baby shower is much different than planning an adult-only party. You essentially have two groups to account for, without it feeling like two separate parties. Are you up for the challenge?
To help make your decision a little easier, here are five things every kid-friendly baby shower needs. If you can cross them all off—go for it! But if you’re worried about over-complicating a relaxing afternoon, review this list with the guest of honor herself. (Or a best friend, if you’re the guest of honor!)
1) Kid-Friendly Venue
Choosing the right venue for your kid-friendly baby shower isn’t limited to an off-site, rented space. Even if you’re hosting at home, make sure you choose a home that can accommodate children. For example, a two-bedroom apartment probably can’t accommodate all Mom’s friends and their kids. Even the most well-behaved children will be bored sitting and chatting all afternoon.
If you are looking at venues, don’t just take the website’s word. Visit the space beforehand, and make sure there’s room for the kids. This could be a private room, away from other customers. Or even an outside area where moms can still see their children, but are able to enjoy the shower as well. (This is where extra help comes in handy—so keep reading!) Review the menu beforehand, too, and make sure there are foods for both children and adults.
2) Kids’ Corner
The kids will participate in some of the baby shower activities, but not all of them. For example, you can play some fun baby shower games with everyone (see below for ideas!). But the kids will want to do something else while Mom is opening presents. That’s where the kid’s corner comes in handy!
No, it doesn’t have to be a literal corner—or even inside! But some part of the venue should be dedicated to the kids. Backyards, finished basements, and extra living rooms make perfect kids’ corners. You can provide baby-themed coloring books, fun outdoor games, and board games if the kids are old enough.
3) Kid-Friendly Menu
You certainly don’t need two separate menus for your kid-friendly baby shower. Instead, make sure the food you serve isn’t five-star gourmet or spill-able. Finger sandwiches, fruit and veggie trays, and other bite-sized appetizers can be enjoyed by grown-ups and kids alike!
Bonus Tip: Keep the mimosas separate from the other food and drinks, so kiddos don’t mistake it for OJ!
Unless Mom has a craving, avoid serving soups or other messy foods—especially if you’re hosting at home. It’s just one less thing you have to clean up! And don’t forget to get extra plates and napkins. While that’s good advice for any party, it’s especially true for a kid-friendly event.
4) Kid-Friendly Shower Games
Not surprisingly, there are a lot of baby shower games that kids will enjoy. The first that comes to mind is the dirty diaper game. For this game, you melt a different fun-sized candy bar in 5-6 diapers, then pass them around. Guests then have to guess what candy bar they think is in each diaper. The most correct answers wins! (Detailed instructions can be found here.)
You can also host a baby bottle drink-off. Give every guest a half-filled baby bottle of juice or water (or anything, really) and see who can finish theirs the fastest. One variation suggests turning it into a relay team game. Even more traditional baby shower games, like bingo and pin the pacifier on the baby, are kid-friendly.
5) Extra Help
Like we mentioned at the beginning, the focus of any baby shower is Mom. But you, of course, can’t expect other moms to ignore their kids while they’re at the shower. Getting extra help with the kiddos is your solution! This could be a trusted baby sitter, a few parents who would rather not attend a baby shower, or even an older sibling.
Bonus Tip: Ask any helpers to arrive 30 minutes early, so they can get acquainted with the house before guests arrive.
Extra help allows all the moms to relax and enjoy their afternoon, without worrying about their kids. Of course, they can always pop down the hall or poke their head outside. But they won’t need to be watching their children at all times.
Hosting a kid-friendly baby shower can be a lot of fun! Kids are naturally full of joy and laughter, and your baby shower will be joyful because of that. Plus, Mom might like the chance to play with kids, as she’s anxiously awaiting her own. And if you’ve never hosted a kid-friendly event before, call up someone who has. They’ll know what local venues and caterers are kid- and adult-approved.
Have you ever been to a kid-friendly baby shower? What games did you play?