Theme Idea 1: Diapers Wild! A Poker Party and Shower

Here’s a couples shower idea that will certainly pack a full house — a Poker Tournament! Bring Las Vegas-style poker right into your living room. This is definitely not your mother’s baby shower. Keep a few traditions — like betting on baby’s birth date and weight, passing out cigars (bubblegum, of course), and opening presents.

Invitation Ideas and Script

There are lots of ready-made poker-party invitation options available nearly everywhere. Have some fun when wording the invitation by using poker terminology.

Diapers Wild! A Jack and Jill Poker Tournament

We’re celebrating Baby Smith’s arrival and this is no bluff

Ante up—We’ve got dealers and diapers in spades

You may know how to hold ‘em, we’ll show you how to fold ‘em

Saturday, April 4th at 7 P.M.

It will be a full house, be here for the big finish!

Menu Ideas and Options

When men are on the guest list, think hearty menu. One surefire hit is the classic sub sandwich. A six-foot Italian submarine sandwich (which serves up to 30 people) will be the star of the buffet table. Pair it up with potato salad, potato chips, coleslaw, or a green salad, and then serve sandwiches for dessert — ice-cream sandwiches (either store-bought or handmade with chocolate-chip cookies, mmmmm), of course!

Diapers Wild! Shower Menu

Color Palette and Décor

Poker night conjures up the image of green-felt table tops, red and black poker chips, and colorful decks of playing cards. To create this look in your home, start with a roll of green felt to use as tablecloths for the playing tables and food table. Green plastic or paper will also work.

Although the giant sub sandwich is almost décor enough, give the table a poker face with a few casino-esque touches. Arrange clusters of red carnations and baby’s breath tucked into die-cut gift bags shaped like a hand of playing cards (it will be your secret that they are in small plastic containers hidden from view). Alternate with pots of marigolds in the same bags to punch up the color.

Deck the table with chocolate poker chips, gold coins, play money, and loose cards. String Christmas-style lights around or take the lights over the top with strands of lighted red dice. Bowls of peanuts, pretzels, and red and black licorice will keep players holding, not folding.

Essential

Customized playing cards are easy to order and affordable, and they make great party favors and remembrances that can actually be used. Order them with a phrase like “Diapers Wild!” or “Baby Needs New Shoes!” with baby’s name and the shower date, or send in a photo or other artwork to be printed on the back of each card.

The Perfect Game or Activity

The main activity for this party is the poker tournament. For seasoned players, a tournament can take all night; however, a quick-fire tourney can be done in about an hour. To set up a poker tournament for up to 30 people, you will need:

  • Poker Tournament Rules and Procedures (see here)

  • 10 standard decks of cards, unopened

  • Poker chips in three colors

  • Poker tables to seat six to eight comfortably

Fact

Here are the common poker chip colors and point values: Red = 5, Green = 25, Black = 100, Purple = 500, and Yellow = 1,000 — you only need three colors of chips for a standard at-home game — red, green, and black. If you are using the three colors, start each player with 1,000 points worth of chips, broken down as follows: 20 red, 20 green, and 4 black.

There are a number of websites and books that give detailed instructions for setting up home tournaments. It is not necessary to choose a complicated plan — remember, it’s a game. Stick with the standard poker rules, (this is no time to get fancy) and keep a copy of the rules at each table for quick reference. Rule books are available for download online.

Another fun activity is taking a gamble on guessing when baby will be born. All you have to do is create this simple chart.

Betting on Baby Chart:

  1. Draw a grid with enough squares to accommodate a guess from each party guest. For example: If you have 30 guests, draw a grid five squares across and six squares down.

  2. Across the top, label each column with a date starting a day or two before the baby’s due date and ending a day or two after the due date.

  3. Down the left side, label each row with a baby weight in pounds and ounces. (You can also estimate time of arrival if your group prefers.)

  4. Each guest chooses a square that represents the date and weight that they want to “bet” on. Write in the guest’s name and phone number or e-mail address.

  5. Notify the winner when the big day arrives!

Gifts That Work with This Theme

This kind of shower is a perfect opportunity for guests to go in on a group gift. Consider pooling your resources and purchasing big-ticket items like:

  • A jogging stroller
  • Baby bike trailer
  • Baby furniture — a changing table or rocking chair

Favors

No poker tournament would be complete without the dealer visor. Order these green plastic visors and customize them the with theme “Diapers Wild!” on a laser-printed label or with puff paints. A sweet favor that won’t be a gamble is the Sin City Sucker — a dice-shaped lollipop in flavors like Pina Co*Slot*a, Orange You Lucky, Cherry Cherry Cherry, and Grape of Spades (see Resources).

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