Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Okinawan Baby Shower Lost in Translation

I've taken on a new challenge...I decided to host a baby shower for my Okinawan friend, Kanae. 

Though they don't have baby showers in Japan like we do in the states, she's seen lots of them on TV shows and movies and she's intrigued by the whole idea. In fact, she stressed to me that she wants a really typically "American" one with balloons, streamers, matching everything, and "Baby, Baby, Baby!" all over the place. 

I'm happy to oblige her, and I think it will be fun, though I have to admit, this is the first one I've ever hosted.  

In addition, to all the other baby shower stuff, Kanae wants games. LOTS of games. But here's the problem... all of her guests are Japanese speaking, and have varying levels of English. That means I need games that are not language related AND are relatively easy to explain and play.

This is where YOU come in, blog readers! 

Have any simple fun baby shower games to recommend for non-English speaking women who don't have a concept of baby shower games?  Isn't there something with a plastic baby frozen in an ice cube? What about toilet paper baby? Is there really such a thing as a blind taste test with baby food? 

Please help!


Kristin said...

Hi! I just threw a baby shower last year and we played a game where you put safety pins in a bowl of rice, you blindfold the person and see how many pins they can pick out in a set time. Everyone thought it would be super easy, but it was pretty funny to watch everyone stumble:) Just a suggestion!! I'm sure she'll have a blast! You seem like such a super sweet lady, I enjoy reading your blog!

aviva5271 said...

I read this and was about to say the EXACT same game as Kristin! Great minds think alike. It's hard to find that safety pin in the rice, i'll tell ya.

You could get a baby doll and have a contest to see who can diaper it the quickest. (get some Japanese diapers in town, of course)

Have people cut off pieces of ribbon to guess how big around mom's belly is.

Or do a memory game with a tray full of baby items (binky, pin, bottle, etc.), let them look at it for 1 minute and then see how many they can remember & write down.

I love baby shower games..hehe, if you couldn't tell.

Mishka said...

I was at a mixed American and Japanese babyshower recently and we had a "drinking cranberry juice out of a bottle quickest" contest. Get three or more bottles (3 ouncers are good) and put about an ounce of juice in each one (more than that takes too long). Then have a contest to see who finishes first with them starting at the same time. Then you can wash out the bottles and give them to the mom to be afterwards.

Harry said...

How about the game where everyone gets a diaper pin... and if you catch someone crossing their legs or arms, you get to take their pin. Winner is the one at the end of the part with the most pins.

Heather said...

A game at a shower I attended was definitely one that needs little translation, and would work well here. The hostesses purchased several different articles of baby clothing, then hung up a clothesline across the room. Each guest was then given a doll to hold with one hand, and we were given 30 seconds to hang as many articles of those clothes as we could, one-handed. The mommy-to-be took those clothes home with her, of course.

Carrie Stuart said...

I LOVE throwing baby showers! I actually brought a game I made on foam board in case I host any here. It is the ultimate fun baby shower matching game involving candy bars, and definitely would NOT translate well...darn it! Anyway, I love the suggestions so far. I would also add the one where you make little miniature diapers out of pink and/or blue felt and little brass safety pins. You place a little dab of mustard inside of one, and at the end of the shower, everyone opens theirs and whoever got the mustard wins. I brought a few with me, I'll show you next time I see you if you want. I like the ribbon around the belly can also be done with yarn or (my fave) toilet paper. Something I do for Summer showers is a baby buggy carved out of a watermelon filled with fruit salad. Too bad watermelon is SO expensive here! Good luck! I hope they have a great time, especially the mom to be.

Larissa said...

I have played the same game as Kristin - easy to understand and play. I love the yummy candies you can order that look like pacifiers and have a similar texture to Smartees. I'm sure the ladies will love seeing whatever you put together. I think the baby-buggy watermelon would be a hit if you can pull that off. Can't wait for you to blog about it!!!

mathewvlasak said...

Get a bottle of Jack Daniels black label (fifth or a quart depending on the number of guests) and a couple of cases of Japanese beer, I might be stretching my memory but I would recommend Asahi Super Dry (the big bottles).
Everyone should start with a shot of Jack Daniels at the beginning of the party...every half an hour everyone does another shot until the party is over.
Similarly, the beer is kind of a filler in between shots (Maybe set up an alternate beer pong/quarters table in the corner). After about a half an hour everyone will be feeling pretty good and intuition will take over.
The upside is that You won't have to worry about any "play date" structured BS.
I would also recommend a karaoke machine for when everyone is feeling "pretty good" and have McP. film the whole event and make DVD's for all of the party attendees.
This is just a thought from one of your Husband's former Squadron Mates who has read too much P.J. O'rouke over the years.
I hope you have an Outstanding Party,
Mat Vlasak

Mary and Sean said...

Wow! You guys are amazing! So many good ideas here...

Kristin- love the rice bowl idea!

Aviva- Ribbon game is perfect!

Mishka- great idea with the bottles and funny too

Harry - The diaper pin game is great because it's ongoing and I don't have to monitor it the whole time

Heather - clothes pin idea is genius and serves 2 purposes- game and decoration.

Carrie - I really want to carve the watermelon. Hope I can find a cheap one

Larissa- thanks for the tip about the candies. Cool hostess gift

Matt- I'll probably have that shot right before and after the party

Carrie Stuart said...

Hey Mary,

I posted a pic of the watermelon on my blog. If you want to (and you can find a watermelon you are willing to buy) I'll come over and demonstrate it for you. We could do it a day ahead and keep the shell in the fridge and you make the fruit salad that morning (just save the watermelon "guts" to cut up and add along with fresh pineapple, strawberries, other melons, grapes...whatever you like.) and add the grapefruit "wheels", etc. right before you serve. Viola! Instant baby shower! I've been making these for 15 years, but it really just takes once to learn, I promise!

Carrie Stuart said...

Maaarryyy...guess what I bought for you at the Kadena commissary today? A beautifully oval-shaped watermelon that did NOT cost an arm and a leg (only about a finger...but just the pinky one). Hopefully you have room in your fridge. I do right now, but with 4 kids...who knows for how much longer. Score!

Carrie Stuart said...

Oh no! I thought it was in a week or so. Oh well, I guess we'll be enjoying some watermelon. Hopefully they will get some more closer to your shower. Now you know to check Kadena, anyway.

Mel said...

I did a baby shower about a 1.5 years ago and I bought a bunch of onsies in different sizes and colors along with fabric markers and had everyone decorate one and made a contest out of it. New Mom got to take them home for the baby to wear.

One actually ended up framed b/c it was so cute.

Mary and Sean said...

Love this idea! I'm going to look around and see if i can find those markers here... thanks!


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