This past weekend was super-busy for this crazy zoo house! My brother and his wife are expecting a baby in a few weeks and we are all so excited about the addition of a new little one to our family. They live quite a distance from us back out on the east coast.
I reached out to my sister-in-law about the possibility of doing a baby shower for her (since I have some knowledge of zoom and had a plan of what that could look like) and she agreed. It has to be hard at this time when some in-person celebrations that would normally be so joyous and exciting are just off the table for so many. So this past weekend was the weekend and we did it– a small Zoom Baby Shower. Now I can cross that off of my life list–LOL!
Turns out, I am uniquely and strangely qualified for doing this kind of party. In my current work, I do a lot of facilitating of virtual conversations, and my first job ever (back when I was a teenager) I worked at a resort and led all kinds of games.
Let me just take a minute to tell you about this crazy job that I had. Picture it– a beautifully appointed resort situated in the gorgeous Pocono Mountains that was hugely popular back in 1970. Fast forward 25 years– that is when I worked at the resort. To say it was outdated, was a bit of an understatement. It was the cheesy kind of resort that had tri-colored carpets and heart shaped beds with mirrors on the ceiling. Back then, it was my job to help seat people in the morning and tell them about all the activities I would be running for the day. I ran billiards tournaments, board games adapted to big groups, trivia, pool parties and then in the evening, I changed into an evening gown and was the emcee for the band and ran games and lip-synch contests during their breaks. I had a whole lip synch routine worked out to the soundtrack of Fame. And, even better, I was paid waaaay over the $5 minimum wage at the time…to the tune of $8 an hour– which was big bucks for a teenager back then.
So, for this virtual party– I did bring all of my conversational and emcee knowledge to the table! All in all, it was pretty successful and so I thought I would share with you what I did in case anyone is looking to do a virtual baby shower in the midst of this pandemic for anyone they love!
There were a couple of things I was looking for to make sure that it could be successful.
With those guidelines in mind, I set out to create a template. The template was set around the four iMovie videos that I created. The first video was a Movie Trailer that is super-easy and quick to create in iMovie (called Fairytale). It requires a bunch of pictures of the couple (which I mostly got from their wedding pictures and pictures on Facebook and Instagram. The second video, was a pregnancy video. The mom-to-be is a fantastic photographer and did a great job of taking pictures of her growing belly during the pregnancy. For the third video, I requested 10 (but received 20) baby photos of each of them and created a quick baby photo video. It is always so hard to choose from those sweet little baby photos– and in my experience everyone loves looking at babies! Finally, the last video took the most time. I asked people to provide me with a 10 second video of some Advice– it could be parenting advice from your own experience, or something that you thought was important when you were growing up.
Then, I did some research into games. I ordered a bunch of cute pre-prepared games on Etsy and went through them carefully to see which ones could be done in a group format rather than individually. The key was to make certain that the games were engaging for a group and not just the individual. I also just wanted to make certain that I could pull up the game on the screen and anyone who forgot to print it out would still be able to play.
We decided on a Disney game that matched parent to child, a Who Knows Mommy Best? game that asked the mom-to-be lots of questions, a Baby Traits game– which traits did Mom want the baby to have from each partner and finally an Emoji Pictionary.
Format of the Shower
These are some unprecedented times and it breaks my heart that it is difficult for families to get together. I hope that this outline for how I pulled this baby shower together helps someone who was struggling with how to make it happen for someone else. While it wasn’t a typical shower, I think everyone had fun and it allowed people from all over the country in different time zones to be able to participate and share love and good wishes for the mamma-to-be. Good luck with your planning!
What virtual events have you tried to pull off during this unusual time?