Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Party Rule #3: Entertain the Masses

Unless you are Houdini-talented, or catering to a room of 5 year olds, I do not recommend whipping out your magic skills for this one. So how do you keep people interested and mingling at your party? Depends on what you're doing and who is involved.

The best. games. ever. for a non-occasion party (informal but larger gathering) come from the Wii. I am seriously in love with this little contraption-and I am definitely not a "gamer" (though if you are Hubby reports you will probably not enjoy the Wii as much).

Pro: Regardless of your video game feelings, you'll almost definitely have fun playing group games on the Wii....my favorites being Rock Band (2 guitars, drums, and a mic let everyone play...or take turns playing on teams) and Mario Party 8. which are both great games for multiple players where everyone can have fun and a little friendly competition. Also pro: once the guests go home there are approximately 1,001 educational/physical fitness games for the kiddos to play!

Con: Probably not an ideal game for grandma-unless the grandma in question is a very, very young hip and active grandma like MY kids' grandma who actually introduced us to the system-or for little ones, so pick your crowd wisely. Also con: at very large parties not everyone would get to play at the same time.

So what do you do at occasion parties? Occasion parties usually have themes, so it depends on the occasion. Let's say the occasion was, for instance, I don't know.........a co-ed baby shower. [That thought just occured to me for no particular reason. :)]

The theme here is obviously "someone is popping out a kid!" so it's going to be baby-centric, but with a co-ed shower it gets a little tricky. Some "traditional" baby shower games are definitely not "guy friendly". The top three guy-shower no nos are:

Guess-How-Fat-The Pregnant-Lady-Is: You know this game. The one where you use toilet paper or ribbon or (God forbid) a measuring tape and then place bets on just how big around "planet mommy" is. First of all, it is my personal opinion that this game shouldn't be played at any baby shower-no preggo wants to take bets on her shamoo like appearance-but it especially isn't fair to the guys in the room who always "lose" (even when they win) when it comes to guessing a woman's weight or size.

Sniff the Diaper: Let's face it-guys are not nearly as enamored with all things baby as we ladies are. They are not interested in baby poop. Not even if it's really just baby food smushed into a pair size one Pampers.

How Many Baby Items Can You Name: Guys are at a distinct disadvantage here. Unless you are going to count "that thingy with the thing and the strap on it" as an acceptable discription of "baby sling".

So what are good games for a co-ed shower? Here are my favorites:

Let's Make A (Playdough) Baby: Each person (or couple) gets a ball of playdough, and the mom-and-dad-to-be leave the room. The people/teams then have 5 minutes to "make a baby". They can try to make it realistic, or funny, or whatever-the whole point is to grab the new parents' attention. After 5 minutes the new parents will come in and pick their favorite "baby" and the winner(s) get a prize.

Parent Swap: (This is an outdoor relay race.) Couples line up on different ends of the yard-dads on one side and moms on the other. When the timer (usually the pregnant lady) says go, the dads grab one potato from a sack of 10lb potatoes. They shove the bag under their shirt, and put the single "potato baby" between their knees. Holding the sack of potatoes with one hand they cross the yard and "deliver the baby" (drop the potato between their knees into a bucket at the mom's feet). They give the mom the sack of potatoes, and she dumps it into the bucket. Then, holding the bucket of potatoes with both hands she "goes to work", crossing the yard and then piling the potatoes into a stack at the other end. First couple to finish wins!

Dressing Baby: Teams of two stand one on each side of a naked baby doll. When the timer goes off, they have to dress their baby together...but each person uses only their "inside" hand. First couple to completely dress their baby wins!

In the end there will be hits and misses in the entertainment department at every gathering. Just keep people involved and eventually you'll find something that everyone loves. My favorite party game?

Blogging about it when it's all over.

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