If you're in the midst of planning your own or a friend or family member's baby shower, you might be interested in arranging some meaningful activities or gifts to bestow upon the parents and baby. Not that there's anything wrong with playing the diaper pin game or guessing which candy bar is melted in the "dirty" diaper -- those are fun and playful things to do at a baby shower, for sure! But it's also nice -- and meaningful -- to both guests and the guest of honor to participate in activities and create items that will have an impact on the parents and baby long after the party is over. The following suggestions are perfect for either a baby shower or blessingway.
Books for babies. I had the pleasure of this wonderful gift at my own baby shower with my first child. All the guests were asked (via the invitations) to bring a favorite book with a special inscription to baby. The most special part of this gift was the original childhood books brought in from mine and my husband's family members. Other guests brought in favorite childhood books, which also were treasured. As baby grows older, it's fun to read the special inscriptions written before she was even born.
Positive messages for mom. This can be done casually in a go-around-the-room style, or more formally with written messages put into a jar or journal and then read aloud or taken home to be read later. Ask that participants only provide encouraging words rather than advice that is condescending or fearful.
Postpartum helper sign up sheet. This is meaningful and practical! Create a sign up sheet for postpartum needs, like grocery store run, light housework, bring a meal (perhaps add a few lines for this one!), tend to a napping baby so mom can rest, take older siblings to the park, run an errand, light yardwork, etc. People are always eager to help new parents, but often don't know what's needed most -- this is a great solution!
"Dear Baby" notes. This can be done in a variety of ways (just search Pinterest for "baby shower notes to baby"), whether it's on individual cards or strips of paper to be hung in baby's nursery or to be made into a book. The idea is to have a place for guests to write a message to baby. It can be free form on a blank notecard or fill-in-the-blank style with pre-printed prompts or questions.
Quotable inspiration for parents-to-be. This would involve some preplanning, but the payoff is worth it. The event host asks all guests to provide an inspiring poem, quote, or line of scripture for the expectant parents in advance of the shower or blessingway. The host then takes the messages and compiles them into either a photo book (with pictures from the shower or pictures of each guest at the shower, along with their chosen lines), a blessing ring, a clothesline banner, or another similar keepsake.
Affirmation flags. This is a fun shower activity for guests that leaves the guest of honor with a treasured item. Invite guests to create affirmation flags (also known as "prayer flags") for either the upcoming birth or parenting journey (best to choose one or the other and stick with a theme). Lay out a stack of fabric squares and fabric markers or paper and colored pencils or paints and ask guests to create a flag to be hung as inspiration for the parents. Provide examples of text to put on the flags to give guests a better understanding if they are unfamiliar with a prayer flag. For ideas, search Pinterest for "affirmation flag" or "prayer flags."