PRIME TIME WITH KIDS: Baby shower game of recalling read-aloud children’s books

By Donna Erickson

Guests at a baby shower play a game of recalling titles of favorite “read aloud” children’s books

“Hey … are you looking at my answers?” asked a young woman standing in front of a wall display of 20 colorful book covers (with titles blocked out) of classic children’s read-aloud books.

“Umm, no, not exactly,” said the guy elbowing in next to her. “Just checking your penmanship,” he replied with a smirk.

Standing on the sidelines of the game wall, another person leaned in my direction and whispered, “Give me a hint — what letter does that one start with?” pointing to a book character wearing a yellow hat. “A? B? C?”

Sound like a class of eager elementary kids trying to score high on a test? Well, no, not at this gathering.

Competitive adult partygoers from millennials to baby boomers were challenged at a family baby shower to recall the titles of books they have read or heard read umpteen times, and write them down. Some were easy and jumped off the page, like the classic “Goodnight Moon,” while others were tricky.

“Oh,” said a grandmother. “I do know this one! It’s Harvey, no, Harold … wait, wait … Horton! Yes, ‘Horton Hears a Who!’ by Dr. Seuss. Do I get extra credit for the author?” she pleaded.

Here was a party game that engaged everyone. Play it at a baby shower, or make a variation for a children’s birthday party. It will be a hit.

Here’s what you need for a game of 20 read-aloud book titles:

  • 20 covers or inside pages from tattered children’s books you no longer use, or scan and print sheets (for personal use only). Black out titles and authors.
  • 4 lengths of ribbon measuring 1 inch by 60 inches
  • self-stick round stickers numbered 1-20 with a marker
  • double-sided tape
  • one answer sheet and pen for each guest, numbered 1-20, with spaces for writing the titles and authors
  • books represented in the game (optional)

Here’s the fun:

Set the four lengths of ribbon on your work surface. Beginning 6 inches down the ribbon, tape the center backside of the 20 covers and pages to the ribbon, five in each ribbon row. Trim pages and papers, if you wish, and affix numbered stickers to each one.

Hang the four ribbons from a curtain rod, or attach to a wall with removable tape.

To play, hand out numbered sheets and pens to guests. Ask them to view the book covers and fill in the titles and authors.

After 10 minutes, reveal the answers. Pass around original books as you go. I do give extra credit for authors.


Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

© 2018 Donna Erickson; Distributed by King Features Syndicate


PRIME TIME WITH KIDS: Baby shower game of recalling read-aloud children’s books–