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Toy Commercials Are Stuck in the Past


Plenty of modern parents want their kids to play with whatever they like. But in ad-world, dolls are for girls, and trucks are for boys.

By Stéphanie Thomson

Matt Chase / The Atlantic; CSA Images / Getty

Last month, I ran a tiny media experiment in my own home: I recorded all of the toy commercials that my 3-year-old daughter watched in a one-week period, looking for patterns in how she was being advertised to. What I saw in those 28 ads was like something dreamed up in a Mad Men–era boardroom: girls preparing plastic food, boys gripping monster-themed action figures. Researchers told me that such gendered toy marketing shapes how kids play—and what they learn.

Across the roughly eight hours of content we watched together—all of it Nickelodeon programs aimed at kids 2 and older—68 percent of the toy commercials foregrounded either only girls or only boys playing with the product. The all-girl commercials tended to use pastel colors, or pinks and purples; they mostly advertised dolls and plush toys, and products related to beauty and fashion. The all-boy commercials, in contrast, drew on colors such as yellow, green, red, and blue. Many of them promoted toys based on characters from video games—a Mario action figure, for instance, was tasked with rescuing Princess Peach—or toys related to transportation or adventure.

About 32 percent of the ads featured both boys and girls, but even some of those relied on lazy gender stereotypes. One advertisement for a kids’ camera showed boys playing with a blue version and girls playing with a pink one.

This clear gender divide doesn’t reflect how my daughter actually likes to play. Her Christmas gifts included a pop-up soccer goal, a Spider-Man costume, and a purple, sparkly unicorn dress—and she loved all of them. Rather than limiting her to conventional “girls’ toys”—baby dolls, pink play ovens, tea sets—my husband and I let her form her own tastes. This isn’t a heroic or even unusual stance: In one 2017 Pew Research poll, 76 percent of respondents said it’s a good thing for parents to encourage their daughters to play with toys associated with boys; 64 percent said the same about encouraging boys to play with toys associated with girls. But toy companies apparently haven’t gotten the memo.

Admittedly, my analysis isn’t very scientific; it only shows what one toddler saw in a given week. And it doesn’t take into account the chaotic advertising environment where many kids now watch programming—YouTube. In some ways, toy marketing is less gendered now than in the past: Big-box retailers such as Target are doing away with pink and blue toy aisles, and brands such as Disney no longer explicitly categorize their products as “for girls” or “for boys.” But researchers told me that many toys are still packaged and marketed using implicitly gendered cues—and kids still pick up on those associations. Lisa Dinella, a psychology professor at Monmouth University who researches toys and gender, puts it this way: “If a kid watches a commercial where a little girl is nurturing a doll and there’s not a boy to be seen, that’s sending them the message that this toy is for girls.

I certainly don’t mind my daughter playing with toys that are stereotypically associated with girls; I wouldn’t want to overcorrect and deprive her of the fun and learning those toys offer. But I hope that when she uses them, it’s not at the expense of all other toys. Really, I just want her to be able to decide how she plays without excessive influence. I want that for all kids.

After all, decades of early-childhood-development research have shown that a toy isn’t simply a toy. “Play leads to learning, and learning leads to life choices,” Dinella told me. So when entire categories of toys feel off-limits to kids of a particular gender, they are denied the developmental opportunities those toys provide. Boys, for example, are more likely than girls to play with building blocks and puzzles—and research suggests that that kind of play might be linked to gender differences in spatial abilities. Girls, for their part, are more likely to play with toys such as dolls, which may be associated with social skills like comforting—skills that most parents want to foster in their children, regardless of their gender.

Christia Spears Brown, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky who studies how children learn stereotypes, points out that the toys themselves aren’t inherently gendered. Marketing them in a gendered way, though, is an effective strategy for toy brands. For one thing, it allows them to create slightly different versions of what is essentially the same toy. Take that camera sold in blue and pink: If you have a son and a daughter, you might feel that you’re on the hook to buy one of each rather than a single one for them to share. That’s a common tactic, Brown told me. And more broadly, advertising campaigns tend to be successful when they target highly specific audiences.

That’s the crux of the issue: It doesn’t really matter what parents say they want for their kids, or what research tells us might be best for them. “The goal of toy manufacturers isn’t to promote healthy child development; their goal is to sell products,” Susan Linn, a psychologist and the founder of Fairplay, a nonprofit advocating against advertising directed at children, told me. “Companies gender-stereotype because it’s lucrative.”

What’s a parent to do in response to a multibillion-dollar toy industry? Stopping kids from seeing gendered commercials feels like swimming against the tide. Rather than trying to censor the content, Brown thinks we’d be better off educating our kids. “Instead of giving them blinders, give them a shield,” she told me, “so that they can interpret it as a stereotyped message instead of interpreting it as ‘Oh, this is the way things are supposed to be.’”

Even parents of very young children can use that approach. I told Brown about one particularly irksome commercial for a toy nail salon that featured tween girls in pink and sequins. Just a few weeks before we watched it, my nephew had proudly showed his multicolored nails to my daughter. Now, I wondered, would she think nail-painting wasn’t for him? She’s at a formative age, just starting to pick up on the concept of gender. But Brown reassured me: You don’t need to have a conversation “about the patriarchy” with a 3-year-old. She suggested just slipping in short statements at opportune times. I could have said, for instance, “I bet boys would also like to paint their nails!’”

Plenty of parents, she pointed out, already take little moments to introduce their kids to big concepts—kindness, respect, resilience. Grown-ups can also provide antidotes to harmful marketing messages “in microdoses, to help kids understand the world in which they’re living.”

42 Fun Baby Shower Games You'll Actually Want to Play

As with any party, the best baby showers are those where the conversation is lively and time seems to fly. And nothing does that better than a few well-chosen baby shower games. We’ve rounded up our favorites, from co-ed baby shower games that all your guests will enjoy, to easy baby shower games you can pull off in a moment’s notice and even unique baby shower games that’ll impress even the most jaded of guests. Scroll down for a roundup for fun baby shower games ideas, and get ready for some entertainment!

In this article:
Best baby shower games
Co-ed baby shower games
Unique baby shower games
Easy baby shower games
Baby shower games for men
Baby shower games for large groups
Baby shower games for kids

Image: Beaucoup d' Amour Events & Weddings / Brooklyn D Photography

Best Baby Shower Games

The best baby shower games are first and foremost fun. After all, what’s the point of playing if it isn’t? But more than that, many of these baby shower games made the “best” list because the put the focus on just on baby but on the mom-to-be as well, and often the guests too. This way, everyone has a chance to be the center of attention. Hint: Have more than one baby shower prize ready for each game, just in case!

Who Knows Mommy Best?

This fun baby shower game has friends and family members vying to prove who knows the most about the mom-to-be. It calls for very little prep and is easy to play with a big crowd, making it one of the best baby shower games around.

What you need: Paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Find out as much as possible about the mother-to-be’s childhood. Write your questions and her answers down on a sheet of paper, and don’t show anyone.

How to play: Read your list of questions out loud and have guests write their answers down on paper. Whoever has the highest number of correct answers wins.

Real guests say: “Most of the shower is about the little guy or girl to come, so it’s nice to focus on mom for a bit too. She is the one being honored!”— Randi G.

How Old Was She?

Here’s another baby shower game that shines a spotlight on Mom. This one does take a little bit of prep, but everyone is sure to get a kick out of seeing childhood photos of the guest of honor. (Awkward school pictures, anyone?)

What you need: Several pictures of the mother-to-be all at different ages, plus paper and a pen for each guest.

Before the party: Ask the guest of honor for past pictures of herself at different ages. Arrange them on a poster board or table with a number next to each.

How to play: Ask guests to write down how old they think the mom-to-be was in each picture. Whoever gets the most right wins.

Are You That Baby?

In need of baby shower games ideas that don’t put the mom-to-be at the center of so much attention? (After all, not everyone craves the limelight. ) This fun game flips the focus onto guests!

What you need: Poster board and tape (or cork board and tacks), a copy of your guests’ baby pictures (ask for one in the invite), paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Arrange and adhere your guests’ baby pictures into a collage on a poster or cork board. Keep a secret master list of who’s who.

How to play: Ask guests to jot down their guesses as to who’s who in the pictures. Whoever gets the most correct wins.

My Water Broke!

This is a classic, and for good reason—it’s a fun baby shower game that’s easy enough to pull off and gets everyone at the party involved (and brings out people’s competitive streaks).

What you need: Tiny plastic baby dolls (one for each guest) and an ice cube tray (or other small containers).

Before the party: Put a plastic baby into each cube, then fill with water and freeze.

How to play: Give each guest a drink with a baby-filled ice cube in it. The object of this baby shower game is to melt the ice and get the plastic baby out—in whatever way guests can think of. Whoever gets their baby out first shouts “my water broke!” and is the winner.

Real guests say: “It was fun to watch the ladies chisel their way to their water breaking. But hint: Don’t allow hot beverages on the table during the game. People can be sly!” —Joyce D.

Find the Guest!

The best baby shower games serve as ice-breakers and encourage your guests to mingle and get to know one another—and this one does just that!

What you need: A computer and printer, and paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Write up a list of various fun facts that could apply to many of your guest. For example, “Went to so-and-so college,” “owns a Volvo,” “has a child under 3,” etc. Have a copy of the list waiting on each guest’s seat.

How to play: Each guest will have to get to know each other quickly to find people who fall into the various categories. The person who meets enough guests to be able to tick off the most fun facts wins.

Guess the Candy Bar

The “Guess the Candy Bar” baby shower game is renowned. Some people love it, some people would rather pass. Either way, it’s probably one of the funniest baby shower games ever conceived.

What you need: Diapers, a variety of mini-chocolate bars, and pen and paper for each guest.

Before the party: Melt different kinds of mini-chocolate bars and pour one kind on each of the diapers.

How you play: Have guests sniff (or even dip a finger to taste) the chocolates and guess which kind is on each diaper. The winner is whoever guesses the most chocolates correctly. Weird? A little bit. But then again, who can resist the power of chocolate?

Guess the Baby Food

Who has the most sensitive nose among you? (Our guess is the mom-to-be—pregnancy has a way of heightening your sense of smell. ) This fun baby shower game puts people’s sniffers (and food knowledge) to the test.

What you need: Unlabeled jars, pureed baby food and paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Fill each of your unlabeled jars with a different kind of baby food (and make sure to keep track!).

How to play: Distribute paper and pens to guests, then ask them to smell each jar of puree and jot down which foods they think are inside. (If you want to make it especially tricky, have them do this blindfolded!)

Real guest say: “My daughter—she’s 7—especially loved this one, because she can understand food! Haha. In fact, she won the game.” —Kimberly D.

What’s Mommy Craving?

Pregnancy does more than just amp up women’s sense of smell—it can also spark the funniest food cravings. This baby shower game has guests guessing what’s been on Mom’s menu of late.

What you need: Paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Mom-to-be describes all the strange things she’s been craving, one by one, without actually saying the name of the food. The guests write down what they think each one is. Whoever has the most right wins.

The Left Right Game

In this popular baby shower game, it’s not just the mom-to-be who gets presents! It’s fast-paced, exciting and ends in a fun prize for the lucky winner.

What you need: A story that heavily features the words “left” and “right” and a wrapped prize.

Before the party: Either write or download the Left Right story and print it out, then wrap up a prize that’s small and light enough to pass around.

How to play: Have your guests pull their chairs into a circle. Once they’re situated, give a guest the wrapped prize and start reading the story out loud. Every time you read the words “left” or “right” (and the story will have plenty of mentions), guests have to pass the prize either to their left or right. The person holding the prize when the story ends gets to keep it!

Emoji Anagrams

Looking for modern baby shower games? It doesn’t get more millennial than this. The baby shower emoji game takes the classic anagrams game and gives it an up-to-date twist, using emojis instead of words.

What you need: A list of emoji anagrams and a pen for each guest.

Before the party: Print out or order lists of emoji anagrams for each guest.

How to play: Instruct guests to try and guess the (baby-related) words or phrases that are written out in emojis, and fill their answers out on the sheet. The person who gets the most correct wins.

Image: Haleigh Nicole Photography

Co-ed Baby Shower Games

Just about all the baby shower games in this article can be enjoyed by everyone—male or female. But if you’re hosting an event for men and women and plan to have both Mom- and Dad-to-be present, these are some of our favorite baby shower games for couples and coeds.

The Mommy or Daddy Game

Looking for the best baby shower games for couples? This one might just top the list. Guests take a fun Mom vs. Dad quiz, and then the mom- and dad-to-be weigh in with their responses. You can prep a quiz sheet and have prizes at the ready, or just have people shout out their answers and keep things casual—whatever floats your boat.

What you need: A computer and printer or copy machine, and paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Type out a list of 10 to 20 questions that can be answered with “mom” or “dad” (Who’s never changed a diaper before? Who has always gotten at least eight hours of sleep every night?). Print it out and have enough copies for all the guests.

How to play: Hand out the list of questions to each guest. Once everyone has jotted down their answers, invite the mom- and dad-to-be up front, read the questions out loud and have them give their responses. Whichever guest answers the most correctly gets a prize.

The Price Is Right Baby Shower Game

Everyone knows that having a baby is expensive, but how much do baby supplies really cost? See which guests are savvy shoppers with this spinoff of The Price is Right. It’s one of the most popular baby shower games around.

What you need: Paper, pens and a computer and printer or copy machine.

Before the party: Write a list of baby items and specific quantities (say, a box of 88 Pampers Swaddlers) on a sheet of paper and make enough copies for all your guests.

How to play: Have each guest write down what they think each retails for, then have them total their guesses. Whoever gets closest to the correct total without going over wins. (This sweet printout is illustrated with whales, for those on the hunt for nautical baby shower games.)

Blind Diaper Changing Challenge

As the modern saying goes, “real men change diapers”—so put the skills of your coed crew to the test in this fast-paced and funny baby shower diaper game.

What you need: Two life-size baby dolls, two blindfolds and one diaper for each guest, plus two extras.

Before the party: Place a diaper on each doll.

How to play: Have guests separate into teams. Each team gets a doll, blindfold and diapers. The first person in line for each team must put the blindfold on, remove the diaper on the doll and replace it with a new one. After the first team members are done, the next person in line goes, and so on. The first team to finish wins.

Watch What You Say

If you’re a big Mad Libs fan, you’re going to love this cheeky coed baby shower game. Get ready for lots of laughs (and maybe even some blushing).

What you need: Paper and pen.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Write down the exclamations the mother-to-be says when opening her presents. (“Oh how cute!” “Look how tiny!”) Once she’s done, hold up the sheet of paper and announce: “This is what she said the night the baby was conceived. ” Then have her read it aloud for all the guests to hear. It’s an especially fun baby shower game if the dad-to-be is present!

Baby Bump Balloon Pop

This game gives new meaning to the phrase “she’s about to pop.” Especially entertaining with a coed group, this is a team-based baby shower game that gets everyone up and moving.

What you need: Balloons and pins for each guest.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Nothing feels more festive than baby shower games with balloons—especially when you’re making lots of noise. For this one, separate guests into teams and give each a balloon. When the host says “go!” the first person from each team must blow up their balloon and stick it under their shirt. Once they’re done, the second person on each team does the same, then the third, and so on. Once all team members have balloons under their shirts, the first person must pop their balloon, then the second, and third, etc. The team who blows up and pops their balloons the fastest wins.

Hello, My Name Is…

While some baby shower games make a point of helping guests learn one another’s names, this one pretty much does the exact opposite—to hilarious effect. If you choose to penalize people a penny every time they slip up, baby might just end up with a little nest egg!

What you need: Name tags (one for each guest), a marker and a piggy bank.

Before the party: Mark each name tag with a baby-related word.

How to play: Have each guest put on a name tag when they arrive. During the shower, people can be called only by their name tag name. If a guest calls someone by their first name, they have to put coins into a piggy bank for the baby.

Do You Know What It Is?

Nope, we’re not talking about the sex of the baby—we’re talking about the items in the mystery grab bags. It’s a great baby shower game for guys and girls alike.

What you need: 10 paper bags, 10 baby items (pacifier, spoon, etc.) and paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Put one baby item into each bag and number them 1 to 10.

How to play: Give each guest a sheet of paper and a pen, then randomly pass the bags out. Guests have to write down what they think is in each bag without opening them. Once everyone has made a guess for each bag, the mom-to-be will open them one at a time and reveal what’s inside. Whoever guesses the most right is the winner.

Place the Pacifier In the Baby’s Mouth

Pin the Tail on the Donkey is a classic party game, but this modern take is the baby shower version. It’s a perfect baby shower game for kids as well as adult men and women.

What you need: A picture of a baby, a blindfold, a picture of a pacifier, a copy machine and tape.

Before the party: Enlarge the baby picture if necessary and hang it up on the wall. Make enough copies of the pacifier picture so each guest has one (you might want to resize the pacifier so it fits the baby). Attach a piece of tape to each.

How to play: A la Pin the Tail on the Donkey, blindfold each guest and see how close they can place their pacifier picture to baby’s mouth. Whoever gets the closest wins!

Image: Theresa Wooner Photography

Unique Baby Shower Games

When it comes to baby shower games, you’re probably thinking, “I’ve seen them all before!” (And what you haven’t, Pinterest certainly has.) But there are still a few unexpected choices—especially if you’re having a themed baby shower. Scroll for a roundup of the most unique baby shower games.

Free Dobby!

Searching for some Harry Potter baby shower games? Then this unique baby shower game is for you, especially if the mom-to-be would prefer not to be at the center of games. It’s simple, it’s sweet, and it’ll set Mom up with tons of baby socks.

What you need: A large poster with “Free the House Elves!” written on it, and a basket.

Before the party: When you send out your baby shower invites, make a note that guests should bring a pair of baby socks to “free the house elves.” Those who read the Harry Potter book series will understand, and everyone else will have fun choosing the most adorable pair of socks for baby anyway. As you’re setting up, place the basket on a table and hang the poster over it.

How to play: Okay, this is one of those baby shower games you don’t really “play”—but it’s fun anyway. Have guests deposit their baby socks in the basket, and at the end of the shower, present the sock stash to the mom-to-be (who will soon appreciate them once her little one arrives).

Do You Know Your Disney Babies?

Whether you’re hosting a Disney-themed baby shower or you know the parents-to-be are just big Disney fans, this fun baby shower game will have guests rushing to recall their Disney trivia.

What you need: Paper, pens and a computer and printer or copy machine.

Before the party: On the left side of a piece of paper, make a list of the names of Disney mom characters (Sarabi, Kala, Perdita, Elastagirl) and leave the right side blank. Make enough copies for all your guests.

How to play: Ask your guests to write the correct kid’s name next to each mom (for example, Simba next to Sarabi). Whoever gets the most correct wins.

One-of-a-Kind Baby Shower Onesies

This creative group baby shower activity is bound to yield some unique results.

What you need: Plain onesies (and other articles of clothing, if you wish) in various colors, tacks, thick cardboard sheets, fabric markers, stencils and iron-on letters and graphics. (A lot of people swear by the Cricut machine to create vinyl and iron-on cutouts.)

Before the party: Tack each onesie to a piece of cardboard for support and prepare any iron-on and fabric fusion options you’re planning to offer guests.

How to play: Make the onesies (with attached cardboard) and decorating items available during the shower for everyone to use. This way, baby has a set of unique clothes, and mama will always remember the day.

Rubber Ducky Raffle

If you’re on the hunt for baby shower games ideas that are fun but don’t force guests to get overly interactive, we’ve got a good one for you. It’s cute, it’s quick and involves a whole bunch of prizes.

What you need: Ten or so rubber duckies (or however many prizes you want to give out) and an equal number of prizes, plus a roll of raffle tickets (you can make them or buy a roll online) and a large tub.

Before the party: Write the numbers of 10 raffle tickets on the underside of the rubber duckies. Right before the party, fill the tub with water and set the ducks afloat.

How to play: As guests arrive, give each one a raffle ticket. Throughout the baby shower, select a rubber ducky from the tub and read off the winning number, and invite the guest with the corresponding ticket to come collect their prize.

Easy Baby Shower Games

As these easy baby shower games prove, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to have loads of fun.

Don’t Say Baby!

Also known as the Clothes Pin Baby Shower Game, this game turns a well-used baby shower word taboo: Baby!

What you need: Clothespins for every guest.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: As each guest arrives, have them clip the clothespin onto what they’re wearing. Whenever a guest is talking to someone who says “baby,” they take that person’s pin and puts it on themselves. Whoever has the most pins at the end of the party wins. (An alternative is to use pacifiers on a long string instead of clothespins.)

Real guests say: “I’ve planned a lot of showers, and this is a great all-guest game, even for big groups. The kids at my parties especially loved it for its interactiveness.” —Roland H.

Name That Baby Tune

This is an upbeat and super-easy baby shower game that calls for zero prep!

What you need: A playlist of baby songs and pen and paper. (Spotify, anyone?)

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Play one children’s song at a time and keep track of who can accurately guess each song name the fastest. Whoever has the most correct responses wins.

The Animal Gestation Game

If you’re hosting a baby shower that’s all about animals, you’ll need some jungle-themed baby shower games. This pick, which tests guests’ knowledge of the animal kingdom, is super-cute!

What you need: Paper, pens or pencils.

Before the party: List a slew of animals down the left side of a sheet of paper and the average number of days that they’re pregnant on the right side, but not in the same order. (You can also print a ready-made one out.) Make a copy for each guest.

How to play: Ask guests to pair each animal with a length of gestation. Whoever matches the most correctly wins.

The Nursery Rhyme Quiz

The baby shower nursery rhyme game is a super-popular pick these days. Who doesn’t love a good dose of nostalgia?

What you need: Paper, pens and a computer and printer or copy machine.

Before the party: Type out a list of nursery rhyme snippets, leaving out key words and phrases, and make enough copies for all your guests.

How to play: Ask your guests to fill in the blanks. The person who completes the most correctly wins.

Diaper Raffle

The one thing new moms use the most? Diapers! This easy baby shower game lets guests go home with prizes in hand and the mom-to-be feel like she’s well-stocked.

What you need: Raffle tickets, a box or pail and a prize.

Before the party: When you send out the shower invitations, explain that anyone who brings a box of diapers to the shower can enter the raffle to win a prize.

How to play: As guests arrive, issue raffle tickets to those who brought diapers. Midway through the shower, pull a ticket (or two) and award that ticket holder a prize. Don’t forget to gather the diapers for the mom-to-be before she leaves (she’ll need all of them!).

How Many Baby Items Can You Name?

Babies need a lot of stuff. This easy baby shower game (read: no prep) asks guests to think of as many baby items as they can off the top of their head before the timer buzzes.

What you need: Paper and pen for each guest and a timer.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Each guest must write down as many baby items (bottle, pacifier, blanket, etc.) as they can think of in one minute. The person who comes up with the most items wins.

Baby Shower Games for Men

These days, baby showers aren’t just for women. Sometimes called “manshowers” or “Dad-chelor parties,” these celebratory events honor the dad- (or dads-) to-be and the coming baby—and yes, they often involve fun games and activities. The following are some of our favorite baby shower games for men.

Daddy Knows Best

This is a perfect baby shower game for men, since it puts all the attention on the dad-to-be and tests just how well his friends know him.

What you need: A smartphone and a computer (or a TV screen that hooks up to your computer).

Before the shower: For this baby shower game (crafted by Kris Jarrett of Driven by Decor), you’ll need to come up with a list of questions to ask the dad-to-be, and then video the conversation with him. Some great ones are:

  • How many diapers do you think your baby will go through in the first year?
  • Will you or your partner more likely be the parent who says “no”?
  • What year do you think you’ll buy your first minivan?
  • What are you most looking forward to about being a dad?

How to play: At the baby shower, gather everyone around and play the video of the dad-to-be so all can see, but pause after each question so guests can guess the answer. “Talk about entertaining baby shower games! We all got some great laughs out of this one. And the video makes a great memento for the couple to watch years down the road,” Jarrett says.

The Baby Name Game

One of the common fights among expectant couples is about what to name baby. Have your guests help brainstorm some options with this funny baby shower game.

What you need: Paper and pen for each guest and a timer.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Have each guest write any baby names they can think of in the allotted time. To make the game more difficult, you can also choose a particular letter the names should begin with. The person who comes up with the most names wins.

The Baby Bucket List

Having a baby opens up a world of fun firsts and new adventures. This game gets everyone thinking about a bucket list for the new parents. Best of all, you don’t have to do anything ahead of time, making it one of the easier baby shower games to pull off.

What you need: Pen and notecard for each guest, and a bucket.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Ask guests to write down at least one thing the new dad should do in baby’s first year. The suggestions could include things they wish they did with their kids, things they want to do if/when they have a baby, or things they think the parents-to-be will enjoy doing with their child—for instance, trips to take, moments to remember, advice that’s often forgotten. Collect all the notecards and present them to the dad-to-be by the end of the party.

Bottle Race

With a room full of men, you can’t go wrong with this funny baby shower game, also known as the Baby Shower Drinking Game. You can use any sort of beverage here, but we’ll be honest, beer is a popular choice.

What you need: A baby bottle and a beverage for each guest.

Before the party: Fill each bottle with the beverage.

How to play: Each guest takes a bottle and drinks as fast as possible. The one who finishes first wins a prize. (This one’s especially fun if the drink of choice is booze!)

Image: 222 Photography

Baby Shower Games for Large Groups

Having a large group gathering at your shower? The more, the merrier! Baby shower games that everyone can play simultaneously—like guessing games—are the most practical way to go.

The Baby Shower ABC’s

This classic baby shower game is fast-paced and exciting, and perfect for a big crowd. Plus, it calls for very little prep ahead of time!

What you need: Paper, pen, timer and a computer and printer or copy machine.

Before the party: Write the alphabet vertically down the left side of a sheet of paper. Make enough copies for all your guests.

How to play: Hand out a sheet to each guest and for each letter, have them write down a word that’s associated with babies (example: B is for bottle). Whoever writes the most words in one minute is the winner.

How Well Do You Know Your TV Children?

Calling all TV buffs! How many famous children from popular shows can you name? We’ve made this baby shower game extra easy for you, providing you with the questions (and answers) below.

What you need: Paper, a pen and a computer and printer or copy machine.

Before the party: List the questions below on a sheet of paper, and make enough copies for your guests.

A. What was the name of Fred and Wilma’s child on The Flintstones?
B. What were the names of Ross Geller’s two children on Friends?
C. What were the names of the three kids on The Simpsons?
D. What were the names of the four children on Family Ties?
E. What were the names of the five Huxtable kids on The Cosby Show?
F. What were the names of the six kids on The Brady Bunch?

How to play: Hand out the questions and ask your guests to respond to as many as they can. Whoever answers the most correctly wins. (The answers are: a. Pebbles; b. Ben and Emma; c. Bart, Maggie and Lisa; d. Alex, Mallory, Jennifer, Andy; e. Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy; f. Marcia, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Peter and Bobby.)

Oh Baby, A Playlist!

There are a ton of songs out there that mention the word “baby”—but how fast is your recall? This is an easy baby shower game to play with a crowd, but it’s still high-energy and loads of fun.

What you need: Paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Each guest must write down as many songs they can think of with the word “baby” in the title. Give the guests a time limit—five minutes max—and whoever has the most (real!) songs written down is the winner.

What’s in Your Purse?

A woman’s purse is a mysterious thing—but not for long! Here, guests reveal what’s in their bag for game points to win a prize. Since you don’t need any props to play, it’s an ideal baby shower game for large groups.

What you need: A computer and printer or copy machine, and paper and pen for each guest.

Before the party: Make a list of things that people might (or might not) have in their purse and assign a number of points next to them. For instance, lipstick is one point. Hand sanitizer is three points. Print out enough lists for everyone.

How to play: Give each guest the list of objects. If a guest has it in her purse, she should circle the corresponding number of points. Then have guests count up their points, and whoever has the most wins. If you’re looking for more modern baby shower games ideas, just convert this one to “What’s on Your Phone?”

Baby Shower Scramble

This baby shower game is a fan-favorite. After all, who doesn’t love solving a puzzle–especially when it’s baby-themed?

What you need: Paper, pens, a timer and a computer and printer or a copy machine.

Before the party: Decide on a few baby words, then jumble up the spelling on a sheet of paper to create anagrams. Make a copy for each guest.

How to play: Place a sheet of paper at every seat, and at some point during the party, put aside a minute to see how fast people can unscramble them. The person who figures out the most words in a minute wins.

Image: Laura Olivas / Getty Images

Baby Shower Games for Kids

Many baby showers include kids on the invite list—and while many of the best baby shower games are kid-friendly, not all of them are totally appropriate. These fun, interactive, PG picks make perfect baby shower games for kids.

Yum, Applesauce!

It’s not just toddlers who can’t get enough of applesauce—big kids love it too! They’ll get plenty of giggles out of this funny baby shower game that’s likely to get a bit messy.

What you need: Large plastic garbage bags, scissors, jars of applesauce, baby spoons and blindfolds.

Before the party: Cut holes in the bottom of the bags so they can be worn like a poncho.

How to play: Separate guests into teams of two. Have guests put trash bags over their clothes, then blindfold everyone. Give a jar of applesauce and two spoons to each team and have them feed each other. Whichever team finishes their applesauce first is the winner.

Pass The Pacifier

Here’s another high-energy, team-based baby shower game the kids are bound to get a kick out of.

What you need: Straws and pacifiers with handles.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Separate guests into teams of four or five and have them stand in a line with a straw in their mouths. The first person in line puts the pacifier onto their straw. When the host says “go!”, the first person passes the pacifier to the next person in line, straw to straw, no hands allowed. Have them continue down the line. Whichever team reaches the end of the line first wins.

Find the Socks!

This is one of the rare times when kids will actually want to help pair socks—so take full advantage!

What you need: 14 pairs of baby socks and a timer.

Before the party: No prep needed.

How to play: Put all the baby socks, unpaired, in a pile on the floor. Each guest must match as many socks as they can in one minute. The person who matches the most socks is the winner.

Baby Shower Grab

Who can work quickly and carefully under pressure? You’ll find out in this fun baby shower game. It’s great for adults and kiddos alike.

What you need: Baby clothes, hangers, baby clothes pins and a timer.

Before the party: Clip multiple baby clothes onto a hanger using the clothespins. Place the hanger, with clothes, on a hook. Have one hanger of clothes for each guest.

How to play: Have each guest place one hand behind their back as they try to remove as many pieces of clothing as possible without dropping the clothes or the clothes pins. Whoever can get the most off in under a minute wins.

Pass The Dirty Diaper

This is hands-down one of the best baby shower games for kids. After all, this baby shower diaper game is actually a riff off the classic children’s game of hot potato.

What you need: Chocolate, a diaper and a music playlist.

Before the party: Melt the chocolate and pour onto the diaper.

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle and passes the “dirty” diaper around as the music plays. Then: hot potato! Whoever’s holding the diaper when the music stops is out of the game. Last guest standing is the winner.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Baby Shower Etiquette: How to Plan a Baby Shower

22 Baby Shower Invitation Wording Ideas

24 Sweet Baby Shower Decoration Ideas

Psychologist told what food dictatorship and forced feeding of children can lead to. However, even today, when there are no problems with food, obsession with food and the desire to overfeed your child do not leave parents.

Today, family and crisis psychologist Ksenia Ivashkovskaya will tell the readers of Yakutia what food dictatorship and forced feeding of children can lead to. nine0004

– Food is the source of life and building material for growth and development. In order for us to eat, nature endowed us with taste and smell, that is, the ability to enjoy food and distinguish spoiled food from edible. Under natural conditions, these abilities were enough to eat healthy.

Today, our pleasure is the marketing goal of food manufacturers, so useless or harmful food has become tasty. It is difficult for children under a certain age to understand this. But the packaging and advertising are made very clear. And for us, adults, the children's uneven appetite gives trouble. nine0005

When we don't have an appetite, we just don't eat. And when a child has no appetite, our sense of responsibility prevents us from not feeding him. But it's not always about appetite. The children's nervous system is such that the child can get very carried away, ignoring hunger signals, and ask for food when the stomach already hurts. Gastritis on the mucous membrane of a child's stomach occurs easily, it's true. The taste conservatism of children is also famous, some prefer only one dish. All these features of the child's eating behavior and thinking can make nutrition a headache for the family. nine0005

Hard times are the cause of many troubles

– Why do adults force children to eat a lot?

- There are many answers to this. For many families, hunger is a birth trauma. Those who have lived through hunger and fed children in deprivation, who have seen crime and cruelty because of food, are well aware that food is everything. It is value, happiness, peace of mind and most importantly pleasure. And although these times are left behind, emotionally and bodily for a person this is still the case. Even decades of abundance may not relieve food anxiety. An adult who is malnourished will do everything so that the child does not experience such sensations. nine0005

Now these are the grandparents of the war and post-war times and those parents who were malnourished in the 90s. Feeding is the greatest manifestation of love. A person who loves to eat loves loved ones and takes care of them in the way he understands.

Another answer is that adults can judge a child's body as thin without regard to age, metabolism and constitution. For example, in a family, all children can be very thin at the age of 7-10 years. And even if the family constitution is obvious, adults from generation to generation are struggling with this thinness. Even if they themselves were thin and did not suffer from hunger. This period of thinness can be repeated in adolescence, and the child will again try to feed. nine0005

There is one more thing: our stereotypical ideas about a healthy child are used by the mass media. They understand that a kid with sharp knees on the screen or in the picture will not inspire confidence in the consumer, so the child must be of average build. Thus, the anxiety of parents is constantly fueled, who compare and are constantly convinced that the thinness of their child is not normal. But a baby with round cheeks allows a sense of duty and conscience to be calmer: the child is full. In order to find out how much your child needs enhanced nutrition, it is worth taking a blood test, it will give the very exact information: are there enough building materials and trace elements and what needs to be added to the diet. nine0005

Less often, but there are some economic reasons, for example, the unwillingness of an adult to leave the rest in a saucepan or it's a pity to throw the product out of the plate: once the money has been spent, you have to eat it all. And there is another reason why food is another kind of child obedience.

Decide for yourself - from birth

- At what age can a child decide how much to eat?

- Immediately after birth. If there is enough breast milk, and the baby sucks normally, you can find out the amount eaten when weighing. If there is not enough milk and the baby is malnourished, then it is worth reviewing the mother's diet. If the baby is tired of suckling and is malnourished because he does not take the breast correctly, this must be observed individually and can be corrected. nine0005

From 4-6 months all complementary foods are given just to get to know the tastes. This is where most of the violations of food education begin. A very responsible mother, together with a grandmother traumatized by hunger, can be too persistent.

Children's preschool institutions have five meals a day, which makes it possible for a child who did not want to eat at the last meal. At home, food is often three times a day and dense, for the baby's stomach it is too rare and difficult. nine0005

The human body knows when it cannot take food. And the stomach is our insides, how can everything that other people want to put into it can penetrate there without our consent? These are our personal boundaries - to choose food and decide how much to eat. Nutrition in childhood through force is a frequent story of those people who are used to swallowing and enduring in their lives and many other things that are unnecessary for themselves. If you try to believe that eating is part of a person's relationship with the world, then it becomes clear: this area needs to be freed from violence. nine0005

– Can a child protect his/her own boundaries in such situations?

- Maybe, but up to a certain degree of pressure. Sometimes food violence has less to do with food than with obedience, power, the adult's authoritarian personality. If I say, “Eat!”, then you will eat. If you don’t eat, you don’t obey, which means you don’t love me, you don’t appreciate my efforts. It's hard not to break down here. Eat in a state of fear, guilt - what could be worse for digestion? An adult in whom a child’s rebelliousness in food causes anger should ask himself: what is this anger really about? Maybe it's about something else besides food, and this issue should not be decided at the table. nine0005

Incentives and their types

– Do you remember Dragunsky's story “The secret becomes clear”? Deniska's mom wouldn't let him leave the table until he finished his porridge, and she also promised to take him to the Kremlin. ..

- In reality, children under pressure become even more inventive, and adults get the problem of lying. A child who does not allow to stuff into himself what he does not want is a psychologically healthy child.

I would worry about a child who chokes doomedly. This is a bad sign. But with promises of rewards for food, the situation is ambiguous. For example, a meal often ends with dessert, and it is rare for a child to be unfamiliar with the sweet taste. And sugar eliminates the feeling of hunger. Therefore, the dilemma is: the child wants sweets more than the main unsweetened dishes, and after sweets he will not want to eat at all. Here the path to the sweet really should lie through a full-fledged dish. Therefore, it is normal to say: you will get sweet when you eat. nine0005

– Can food be used as a reward method?

- In a world where sweet prizes are awarded for winning or learning a rhyme, learning candy doesn't seem out of the ordinary. There really should be rewards for efforts. We, adults, can also reward ourselves with ice cream, a delicious lunch after some success. It's not an eating disorder. An afternoon snack or tea after homework is a great way to end things.

– What are the consequences of forced feeding? nine0004
- This will ruin the child's relationship with food. Eating can be deprived of pleasure, accompanied by depression and anxiety. And in general, people often hate the very dishes with which they were fed all their lives. Food must be accepted by the stomach with desire and readiness. When there are enough enzymes in the stomach, when the intestines have digested the previous food and are relatively free. To do this, you need to listen to yourself, your body.

You can read even more articles on the personal page of the psychologist @psycholog.ivashkovskya

5 cases where a comma before "how" is not needed

Chalk keeps getting rid of unnecessary commas. Extra commas extort not only false introductory words, but also the cunning union “how”. Many people know that a comma seems to be placed in constructions with the conjunction "how", but not always. And it's hard to say when this "not always" happens. We are talking about at least five cases when it is better to refrain from using a comma before “how”.

Correct: Aristotle went down in history as a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. nine0005

Perhaps the simplest rule, but the most common in terms of the number of errors. You do not need to put a comma if the union "as" means "as". You probably remember that we separate comparative turns with commas. But it can be difficult to distinguish a comparative turnover from the meaning of “as”. "Aristotle went down in history as a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great." Did you enter as who? - Pupil of Plato and teacher of Macedonian. There is only one recipe: carefully read the sentence and try to understand whether there is a comparison here or not. nine0005

Correct: Acting like a girl!

The most difficult thing is when a turnover with the conjunction “how” acts as a circumstance of the course of action. That is, we can easily ask a question to the circumstance and mentally try to replace the turnover with an adverb or a noun in the instrumental case (by whom? by what?). It is even more difficult to distinguish a comparison from this "circumstance of the course of action." A popular example cited by Rosenthal and other reference books is: "The path meandered like a snake." How did the path meander? — The path meandered like a snake. Or "at school we studied Chinese as an elective." Studied how? - Optional. Well, in our example: how are you behaving? - Girlish. nine0005

Correct: Before each parent-teacher meeting, Petya walks around like pins and needles for a week.

Also, a comma is not put if the comparative phrase is part of the predicate or is closely related to it in meaning. Literally speaking, if you remove this phrase, then the sentence loses its meaning. And it becomes unclear what the author wanted to say: “Before each parent meeting, Petya walks around like on pins and needles for a week.”

This also includes comparative expressions that have become stable expressions over time: understand as a hint, pale as death, take it for granted, pour like a bucket, life flowed like clockwork, feel at home, hungry like a dog, and so on. Of course, it is impossible to know all phraseological expressions, so it is not a sin to turn to a dictionary or Google to assess the degree of their stability. nine0005

Correct: Both adults and children love Harry Potter books.

A comma is not needed before “how” and in some compound conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence (“since the time ...”, “since ...”, “as ...”), and with a double union “ like…and…” For example: “While the children are resting, teachers continue to work”, “Vasya successfully passed the exam in both physics and chemistry”, “Outstanding people such as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk also once studied at school” .

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