Answer: Enough to break the ice!
Oh, the pain of hosting a party where no one is mingling. The last thing you want is to throw a baby shower where everyone sits around silently sipping their punch. It can really drag on and you'll start getting anxious. Instead, include some ice breakers in the form of fun games that everyone can play. Here's some ideas to get you started.
Often people at the shower come from different times in the guest of honor's life. She may have friends from college, work and family and they may never have met.
Image by vociferous. on Flickr
The first thing to do is give everyone a marker and let them write their own name tag when they come in. Or you could have all the name tags written out in advance. But it's more fun, and gives girls something to do upon entering, if you let them write out their own tags. And you'll be sure that everyone's name is spelled correctly.
Start out with some very basic ice breakers. One good idea is to have guests create a scrapbook page for the mom to be. You can have scrapbooking materials out at a table and each guest can come and make a page that will go in a scrapbook you'll give to the guest of honor. Have at least four seats so that guests can sit and mingle with each other while making their pages.
Image by brungrrl on Flickr
Have your table set up in an area where others can drag up a chair and participate too. Once the action gets going, everyone will want to be involved. When you've collected all the pages, you can adhere them to the actual scrap book. Send the mom home with it or work on it later when guests have gone.
Another easy idea is to have everyone go around in a circle and say how they know the guest of honor. It will bring up memories, break the ice and also give everyone and idea of where they fit into the overall picture.
Image by Dain Sandoval on Flickr
You can also ask guests to share a little something about themselves like where they live, how many kids they have, where they grew up, or a hobby that they enjoy.
The guests may share an interest or talent that others want to ask more about later.
Don't feel you have to hover over guests and make them talk to each other. Provide areas where there are fun things to do and eat, and you'll get people up.
Image by aftab. on Flickr
Have every guest fill out a questionnaire as to how well they know the guest of honor, guesses on the baby's birth date and time, and other trivia about the family. This can get really fun.
You will also want to have games that are easy to play. One fun one is to have each person unwind a length of yarn from a ball as they come in. Don't tell them what it's for. Then, when the time comes, have the mom to be stand up. Each person has to circle their thread around mom's belly. The person who chose a length that's the closest to mom's actual belly size wins a prize.
There are all sorts of things that you can do to break the ice at a baby shower. The most important thing is for you to be organized, plan well and then show that you're having fun yourself the day of the party. Every guest will be taking their cue from you, so if you're relaxed, they will be too.