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Throwing a baby shower, for yourself or someone else?   Nameberry Style columnist Elisabeth Wilborn of The Itsy Factor today suggests a name-themed shower game that’s a lot more modern and fun than covering the expectant mom’s bump with gift bows.  Plus ten fresh ideas for the perfect shower gift. And click here if you’re shopping for baby shower supplies.

Are you looking for an original group activity for your friend’s baby shower?  Registering for your own and don’t even know where to begin?

We’ve got you covered on both counts.

First of all, baby of course needs a name.  Liven up the party by having your guests play this baby name brainstorm shower game.

Names are crazier and more creative than ever these days.  Anything goes: Names from history, place names, last name names, animal names, hero names, even word names like Ever and Moxie.

To help come up with some fresh ideas, ask the guests to fill in the blanks with names of people, places, and things important in their own lives.  Remember: the more individual and meaningful, the better.  Feel free to improvise here, and please share your answers below!

A.) paternal great-grandmother’s first name + favorite tree

B.) place where you honeymooned + cartoon character

C.) favorite musician’s surname + father’s birth stone

D.) maternal grandmother’s maiden name + favorite color

E.) author of choice + favorite animal

F.) mother’s birth flower + father’s high school mascot

G.) favorite film character + mother’s alma mater

H.) your childhood nickname + grandfather’s occupation

I.) father’s middle name + street where you grew up

J.) children’s book character + paternal grandfather’s first name

Okay, so maybe you won’t really find the perfect name for the baby in this game, Jamaica Tweetybird and McNulty Orange not making it onto your short list.  But you’ll have a lot of fun and learn some new things about your friends in the process.   Plus, everybody loves to talk about names, and this is a non-threatening (to the expectant parents) way to let friends and family get into the baby naming act.

After you move on from the food and entertainment portion of the shower, it’s time for baby gifts!  There is so much stuff in the baby world it can be overwhelming to decide what’s best.  These choices all bear the seal of mother approval.  Here are our top 10 suggestions for every new parent:

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