Baby Shower Games Can Be Fun AND Inexpensive

Are you planning a baby shower? Are you trying to figure out what to
do? If so, here are a few fun baby shower game ideas for you.

The key to great baby shower games is to be short and fun. The games
will serve as ice breakers if the guests do not know each other, and the themes
should always be babies. For a typical baby shower in which no full meals
are served, expect to be able to play two or three games.

Icebreaker Games

These games will get your guests interacting.

Who Am I, the Baby Version – In this game, players are each given a piece of paper with the name of a famous person on it. They do not look at the name, but tape it to their forehead. They then must figure out who they are by the reactions of the other guests. In the baby version, consider using only famous celebrity mothers, or perhaps cartoon characters. Be creative!
Who Is That Baby? – Before the party, have guests send you photos of themselves as a baby. Have each guest try to match the baby picture with the correct adult. The person with the most matches wins.
Don’t Say It – When guests arrive, give them each a pacifier on a ribbon which they can wear over their neck. Instruct them that they are not allowed to say “baby” during the party. If another guest catches them at it, the can take their pacifier. At the end of the party, the guest with the most pacifiers wins.
Word Games
Baby Boggle – Come up with a fun sentence about the baby and the mother-to-be. See how many baby related words guests can make in three minutes from the letters. Everyone reads their list, crossing off duplicates, and the person with the most remaining wins. Use a phrase such as “So there’s going to be a new [parents’ last name] in the world!”
Advice Poem – Have someone write down a short piece of advice to the new mother. Then have the next person write down a line to create a poem about advice they have for the new mom. Continue with each guest adding a line, but each time, fold the paper so that the only line visible is the last one that was written. At the end, have someone read the finished poem. It is sure to contain lots of good advice in quite a funny way. This can also be done with guests writing a poem about the mother-to-be. This is especially good at a “Pamper Mommy” themed party.
Time Capsule – Have each guest write a short note to the baby. Seal the notes in a plastic bag and place them in a box for the mother-to-be, telling her she can open them with her child on his or her fifteenth birthday.
Games with Gifts
Assuming everyone is bringing a gift, you can easily create a game around
them.

Baby Box – Ask every guest to bring a small item such as a rattle or a pacifier. As they arrive, place the items in a box which has a small hole cut in the side. After all the guests have arrived, give each person 20 seconds to touch as many items as they can (no peeking!), then have them write down what they felt. The person with the most correct wins.
Active Games
These games will get the guests up off the couch.

Diaper Tower – Have guests stack as many diapers as they can without the tower falling over. Of course, the mother-to-be gets to keep the diapers!
Tree Planting – Have guests help plant a tree in honor of the baby. This is especially nice if the mother-to-be recently moved into a new home. (Of course, get her input on the type of tree she would like.)
Dirty Diapers – Buy ten different chocolate candy bars (Snickers, Hershey’s, etc.). Melt the bars and put each into a separate diaper. Hang diapers along a clothesline before the guest arrive. Give each guest a piece of paper and have them smell all the diapers (take lots of pictures!). The winner is the guest who correctly identifies each candy bar.
Other Games
Are You Hungry? – Before dessert is served, bring in a tray of various baby
foods, with the labels removed. Number each bottle and have the guests
look at each (no tasting or smelling!) and write down what they think it
contains. The winner is the person who identifies the most correct
foods.

Pacifier Pass – Have everyone put a pen or pencil (or chopstick) in their mouth. Place a pacifier on the end of one of the pencils. Guests must pass the pacifier around the circle without using their hands. If a guest drops the pacifier, they are out. The winner is the last person still in the circle.
Bottle Race – Time guests drinking juice from a bottle – the fastest time wins! This is best done as a race, with white grape juice or something else that won’t stain. And once again, the mother-to-be keeps the bottles.
Gifts for the Winners
Gifts for the winners of the baby shower games can vary, but something
inexpensive like shower gel or coffee will do nicely. Or guests can rack
up points for each game they play (100 to the winner, 90 to second place, etc.)
and at the end of the night the grand prize winner can take home something a
little nicer, such as a restaurant gift certificate or bottle of wine.

While you can buy baby shower games from most party stores, the games that
are the most fun are those you create with the mother-to-be specifically in
mind. A new mother will also appreciate it if any of the games result in
baby items she can keep, and the guests will love a door prize.

One way to get something every mother needs: tell guests that there is
going to be a raffle, and the cost of entry is a pack of diapers. They can
enter as many times as they would like. Then either buy or make a gift
basket. For instance, the prize could be a bottle of wine, pasta, sauce,
parmesan cheese, and some yummy cookies in a basket. It could also be a
gift certificate to a restaurant or spa. This will keep the new mother in

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Classic Game Review: Clear For Action

Clear for Action (CFA) is an excellent game of sea battles in the swashbuckling era of sailing ships. Two to eight players can fight a multiple ship battle with up to four ships on each side or you can play solitaire against the computer in a two-ship duel. The game disk includes twelve historical battles. You can also design your own ships to recreate historical or hypothetical engagements.

CFA is a very detailed simulation of fighting sailing ships. On each turn, you can plot course changes for each ship on a map display, and then the program executes simultaneous movement. The players then fire broadsides and reload their guns with different types of shot. If ships are grappled orders can be given for boarding actions on a ship deck graphic display. All orders are entered through the joystick; play is very smooth. A typical game will last 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the size and number of ships. While containing much realistic detail, the game remains very playable. The program handles most details automatically, and with the excellent documentation you can plan your strategy intelligently. For example, gun sizes range from mighty 68-pounder carronades down to 3-pounder shooters, and you may choose from five different types of shot. You may aim at the enemy’s hull or rigging, all with drastically different effects. The scale of distance points on the map grid display varies from 20 meters to 200 meters, depending on the distance between the ships. The largest map covers an area of several square miles. Each game turn represents one minute of real time, and the speed of ships and reloading time are scaled accordingly.

Crew morale and crew quality are key factors in this game. Historically, wooden ships rarely sank during a battle, but the crew might surrender if they suffered severe losses. Morale is reduced by casualties, and also to a lesser extends by damage to different parts of the ship. If morale drops below 50 percent, the ship will be in danger of surrendering. Additionally, crew quality affects the speed of reloading, sail-handling, manoeuvring ability, and also “scuffling” ability in boarding actions. You do not have enough men to operate the sails and all guns simultaneously.

Hence, you must shift crew members to the deck, the tops, or the port or starboard guns, depending on where you think they will be most needed. As it takes time to relocate them, you must anticipate future developments. For example, if you have few men on the deck, you may not be able to tack or to repel an enemy boarding party. This game is very easy to play, but strategy can be complex. The computer opponent is excellent, and I hope more designers will strive for this quality of solitaire capability. My only complaint with this game is that the computer can only fight two-ship duels. I hope Mike Stradley will develop a second edition which can handle eight ships in solitaire play. In a two-ship game, if you have the weaker ship, you should probably aim for the enemy’s rigging, and try to run away.

Ships are much faster sailing downwind than into the wind. Momentum is also a factor; ships accumulate speed sailing downwind, but will decelerate rapidly when they turn upwind, tack, or back sails. Most guns are not very effective at long range, but firepower increases sharply at 300 meters or less. Therefore, it is probably better to engage the enemy from a favourable windward position, as last minute manoeuvres at short range can have decisive results. Selection of shot and of the optimum range for engaging the enemy are also very important. If you have the stronger crew, you may want to load grape-shot, and try to close for a boarding action. Rifle fire from the tops is very effective in boarding actions.

Carronades are very effective at short range, but useless at long range. If you have more long guns, and the enemy has more carronades, you may want to try to stay at long range and pick him apart. If you are trying to escape, dismantling shot is very effective against the enemy rigging at short range. CFA is an entertaining game, which I recommend for both experienced and novice war gamers. Good luck, and may your swash never buckle!

Play Ship Control [http://www.swfplay.co.uk/action/ship-control/] online for f

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