Baby Shower Word Games

wooden blocks with and A B and C

Baby Shower word games are fun and easy to play at baby showers. I have a few activities listed here, most of which are also printable.

Games Available

Baby Word Search
Baby Word Scramble

When I was thinking about the baby shower word games, I wondered why a baby's first words are alomost always "mama" and "dada." So I did some research.

First — Mommy and Daddy are teaching their babies just by their presense and speaking to them— but also, languages in many cultures have apparently made the task easy by creating words for mothers and fathers that feature patterns of repeating sounds, a study suggests.

To arrive at this finding, brain scans were made of 22 newborns (age 2 days to 3 days) while they listened to recordings of made-up words. They heard words that end in repeating syllables, such as "mubaba" and "penana," as well as words without them, such as "mubage" and "penaku."

Brain activity increased in the babies' temporal and left frontal areas whenever the repetitious words were played. Words with non-adjacent repetitions ("bamuba" or "napena") elicited no distinctive responses from the brain. Video: Bilingual babies

This suggests "mama" and "dada" (or "papa") are well-chosen words to teach a baby, and it also indicates that the ability to more easily recognize these sorts of repetitive sounds is hard-wired in the human brain.

The research, led by University of British Columbia post-doctoral fellow Judit Gervain, was published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"It's probably no coincidence that many languages around the world have repetitious syllables in their 'child words,'" Gervain said, citing "papa" in Italian and "tata" (grandpa) in Hungarian as examples.

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Comments, Variations and Stories

Do you have a great story about playing a game listed on this site? Are there variations of the game you would like to share? Tell us!

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We only played the Christmas ABC game tonight, but it was fun and funny! I have 3 more games and quizzes that I will take to my parents' house on Saturday. Thanks again!!
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