“Look for the bare necessities. The simple bare necessities. Forget about your worries and your strife. I mean the bare necessities. Old Mother Nature's recipes. That brings the bare necessities of life...” (Baloo from The Jungle Book, Walt Disney, 1967)
I’m sure I don’t really need to introduce that silly bear from Walt Disney’s version of the Jungle Book. He is cute, cuddly and just plain silly but he is completely lovable and he does know that everyone needs those “bear necessities.”
And those “necessities” are very important for any new parent so a baby shower for either a mother to be or for both expectant parents is a great way to help the soon to be busy parents gather up the “bear necessities” of parenthood.
When it comes to decorating for a Bear Necessities baby shower, you have to think bear. No it doesn’t have to be a Jungle Book theme but if you want to go that route by all means, do so. I would decorate in greens and yellows since I think of bears in lush green forests with the sun trickling through the leaves hanging above. You can create a very picturesque venue with the proper use of decorations.
If you want streamers, by all means do so. Instead of having them draped up in the classic X ceiling pattern, yes you know what I am talking about and I have to admit I have been found guilty of that pattern more than once, drape them around the room on the walls at the height of the ceiling. Make sure you pull them out about an inch from the wall to give the illusion that they are against the wall but still have movement. You can tie them off in each corner with balloons or you can simply allow the yellow streamers to flow down the wall like the sunlight that will be trickling through your green underbrush.
Now that you have your sunshine, you will need your woods. Use lots of large dark green plants as decorations in your room. Also add a few small plants to tables, and bookshelves. Next you will want to place teddy bears around the room to give your decorations the “bear” in the necessities.
Lastly, hide little necessities around the room. Don’t make them impossible to notice but have them slightly obscured. Things like diaper creams, bottles, wet wipes, etc. Don’t forget to add a few funny things like Tylenol (only have these out if there are no children at the party), ear plugs, and a daddy diaper changing kit (rubber gloves, and a clothes pin). These are cute little extras to have in the room and the decorations can be used for a game I described in the game section and they can be given to the expectant parents later.
Also: main decorations section
Invitations can take so much time. You have to figure out exactly what you want, how much it is going to cost and where you are going to get them and they can seem like such a hassle but they don’t have to be. Just know exactly what you want for your shower and run with it, if a company doesn’t make it, make it yourself or have it custom ordered.
For the Bear Necessities shower, you can go with pretty well any type of theme, just try to have a bear or something distinguishing it as a necessities shower. The fun thing about this theme is that you can change it up. You could do a jungle book theme, a Teddy Bear’s Picnic or even do a Paddington theme since they are all bears and will fit very nicely with a Bear Necessities shower. Make sure that you list what the shower theme is so the guests can purchase the appropriate gifts.
Also: main invitations section
When it comes to the gifts, basically anything can be applied here but I tend to think of the smaller items as being the bear necessities. Yes, cribs, car seats and strollers are always a necessity but you don’t have to think along those lines. Instead, think of things that were life savers when you had your own children or if you don’t have children, ask someone who does what their most prized baby necessity was. This gives the gift a very personal touch and you can tell a little story about why it is such a necessity. In fact, you can ask all your guests to get up and explain why their gift is a bear necessity (make sure you give them warning in the invitation). I know for me it is a bottle heater. With my first child, I saw a bottle heater and said...okay, maybe I shouldn’t write what I actually said and in my defence I blame hormones on the words that spewed from my mouth over some little item. When I had my second child and was unable to breastfeed, we purchased a bottle heater. I have to say that it was amazing and I can’t remember how I managed without one. So although it isn’t a necessity; a 3 am feeding makes it a luxury and I was able to convince myself that it was indeed a necessity for my sanity and my ability to sleep.
With that being said, you can understand how you can turn a bear necessity (or luxury) into something not only practical but very personal.
For the guests, why not give a nice pampering gift basket filled with hand lotions, bath beads, maybe a spa gift certificate or one of those hand held massagers. We all know that pampering ourselves is a necessity so that we can stay healthy and happy and your guests will appreciate that you are thinking of them.
Prizes can be little handy items that you pick up at a dollar store. Things like bottle openers, key tags, storage bins and other things that make life a little easier.
Bear Claw anyone? Okay, food can be buffet style and you can make just about anything. Try to keep in mind things like allergies when you plan your meal. If you are going with the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, have food that you would see at a picnic; sandwiches, cold salads, watermelon, veggies, chips, etc. If you are going with a Paddington Bear theme, you will need to have marmalade since every bear loves marmalade. Add some scones with that marmalade and you will have a wonderful treat.
If you want a cake, you can order a bear shaped cake or go with a teddy bear decoration on the cake.
Also: main recipe section
If you can remember, I mentioned the necessities hiding around the room or rooms that you are using for your shower, right. Since they are already there, why not have a scavenger hunt. You can either have your guests work alone or in pairs, give them a pencil and paper and ask them to search around the room for hidden bear necessities and to write down what they found. The player(s) with the most items wins the prize. If you want to stay stationary, try playing Draw The Baby contributed by Jacqeline Lisette, but instead draw a bear instead of a baby.
Also: main games section
Do you have an idea to add to this theme? Send it to us!