This past week I had the honor of hosting a virtual baby shower for my SIL and her hubby and new little one. There are many ways to do this but, for the sake of time, I will mainly write about what I did. :) BTW, the photos are of decoration items I made and then sent to the expecting couple (theme was eclectic).
I decided to host the online baby shower at www.babyjellybeans.com! They are actually a baby website, but their features work well for virtual baby showers too. I LOVE this site - why? They are soooo easy to use and have so many options when it comes to types of pages and colors and accents and floaties and music, etc. And just so you know, babyjellybeans did not pay me to say all that. :)
Here is the link: http://www.babyjellybeans.com/
WHAT DID I HAVE ON THE BABY SHOWER WEBSITE?
*photos of mommy's belly and photos of mommy, daddy, and baby
*photos of the decorations I made and sent to the expecting couple prior to the shower day
*polls (another cool option that www.babyjellybeans.com offers - you can make your own fun polls for people to answer)
SETTING A TIME AND DATE:
We set an actual date for the virtual baby shower so people would have a deadline for sending gifts and messages. Prior to the shower, I sent out an email with details and an invitation letting people know the website address and password so they could leave comments for the parents-to-be during the days prior to the shower date. Then the day of the shower, I sent the website link and password to my SIL and her hubby so they could log on and see all the fun photos and comments posted and polls (I had kept the website address a secret until then). BTW - setting a time is a good idea if you are planning to have a webcam (I did not have the webcam option, but I believe others have done this).
I also sent out reminders regarding gifts, encouraging people to take into account shipping times when ordering gifts so that the items would arrive at the expecting couple's house by the shower date. I had instructed the couple to not open shower packages until the actual shower date as well - building the fun and anticipation as packages began to arrive many days before then.
I chose to actually make some eclectic type of decorations and sent them to the couple prior to the shower (nonperishable types of things: pinwheels, paper wreath, etc.). If you don't have time for this though - consider searching online for showers with photographs that go along with your own theme for the couple. The day of the shower, send them those links or post them on a "shower decorations" page on their website (making sure you give appropriate credit, of course) for everyone to see, letting others know that this is what you would have liked to have been able to do had you been able to throw a "real" baby shower.
Like the above suggestion regarding decorations, you might provide links to food items you would have liked to serve for the baby shower if you had been able to be there. You could also be a little more elaborate if you wish and actually find a bakery or caterer in the expecting couple's area to make and deliver a surprise shower "spread" the day of the virtual baby shower.
What I chose to do was to send some money in a "treat" envelope so that the parents-to-be could go out a day or so before the shower and pick out whatever yummy edibles they might like. They were then to wait until the day of the shower to eat them.
Even at a distance, games are possible. Just use your imagination! Here are some games I posted to the online baby shower I hosted:
**Guess mommy's girth: I posted a picture of the pregnant mommy on a special page dedicated to just that game.
**Guess the number of baby blocks in the basket: I took a picture of a pile of baby blocks in a basket and posted that to its own page as well.
**Guess what is under diaper #1: I hid baby items under a cloth diaper and took pictures of each one under the diaper. I then posted those pictures on a separate game page and gave a song clue along with each item to help people figure out what might be under the diaper (example: pacifier and the song clue was "hush little baby, don't say a word").
Because my SIL had found so many different items at different stores online - she chose to use www.myregistry.com to register. Basically - this is a really, really cool website that lets you easily link to any item you want from any store (even Etsy) and post it as part of an online registry list. When a person wants to buy the item - they click on it in the registry and it takes them to the store as well as opening a window which allows them to check whether they purchased the item at the online store, at a different online location, or at a real store. It then marks the item as received or fulfilled. Very easy to use in my opinion and so convenient!
So there you have it - the makings of a real virtual baby shower (or web baby shower or online baby shower or whatever you wish to call it)! :)
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