While the typical baby shower is an adults-only event, some expectant mothers, especially those with older children, might appreciate having children invited and involved.
Family showers are also great for many of the guests with children, as they can bring them along without worrying about childcare for the afternoon. If a baby shower full of babies or small children sounds like a nightmare, don't fret!; Use these helpful tips to plan a fun and manageable family shower.
Choose a Suitable Location: An upscale restaurant or banquet hall is not the right place to hold a shower where some of the guests are under the age of 12. It is not impolite or improper to hold it at the expectant mother's home if she would like her own children to attend; in fact, it saves her the trouble of carting her gifts home. However, if you decide to host a party in her home, be prepared to handle all of the decorating and clean-up.
Designate a Play Area: Have one specific room set aside for the kids. It should be kid-proofed as much as possible, although the children should never be left there unsupervised. Have a variety of books, soft toys and coloring supplies set out for the kids to enjoy.
Hire a Sitter: It's really not fair, and won't be much fun, to have guests of the shower running to check on their kids constantly. Hire one or two teenaged babysitters to supervise playtime in the kids room. Have the sitters and kids play in the other room while you host adult games and open gifts, then invite them in to share in the food and festivities.
Get the Children Involved: Regardless of their age, there is a game or activity for each child that will contribute to the shower. Have each child finger-paint a special card for the new baby; hang them to dry and present them to the expectant mother after she has opened her other gifts.
Older children might even have fun playing "waitress" and dishing out the cake or serving cold beverages to guests. Don't force them to participate, but allow them to help if they would like. It will keep them entertained and reduce your workload in the process!
Have the babysitters teach the children a song to perform for the shower guests - the children will have a blast and the expectant mother can see what she has to look forward to!
Don't Forget Dad!: Invite male family members and close friends to the shower. Plan co-ed games instead of the traditional mom and baby themed activities. Have a special gift for Dad, such as a personalized baby message shirt or other masculine-yet-baby-related token.
Recruit a Clean-Up Crew: Anytime children have been partying, there is sure to be a mess left behind! Recruit two or three close friends of the Guest of Honor's to help tidy up the rooms used for the shower, put away toys and wash the dishes. Ask these friends in advance if they would mind doing so to avoid pressuring them into feeling like hired help at an event they were invited to attend!