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This game goes by several names, including Salad Bowl and Fish Bowl, and for the baby shower, we add a baby-centric focus to it. If you love taboo and charades, you’ll find this game to be an off-the-charts combo of the two that takes fun to the next level!

To play in person, all you need is some paper, pens, and a bowl of your choice (any big, light bowl will do, just make sure it’s not a family heirloom!). Split your guests into 2 teams, give each one 6 small pieces of paper and a pen, and ask them to write down 6 words or common phrases related to babies or pregnancy (i.e. diaper blowout, car seat, etc.). Then, ask the guests to fold their pieces of paper and put them into the bowl. Set a timer for 1 minute and have the first player randomly take a piece of paper from the bowl and explain the word they got, without saying any parts of the word itself. Once his or her teammates correctly guess the word or the phrase, the player sets aside that piece of paper and grabs the next word from the bowl, trying to explain as many as possible until the minute runs out. The team gets one point for each correctly guessed word, and then a player from the opposing team starts their turn.

To play virtually, go on the free fishbowl game platform and click on “Host Game” button on the top of the screen. That will generate a link and a code that you can then share using the chat box on your Zoom meeting. Your guests can follow that link to join the game, and once they log in and write their names in the portal, you’ll see them pop up on your screen. After everyone joins, simply click on “Everyone’s Here” to start the game. Each guest would then need to submit their 6 baby-or pregnancy-related words through the game’s portal. Then the portal will automatically split folks into 2 teams (or you can do a manual team assignment if you prefer), and you’ll see the simple play instructions. When the first player is up to start the turn, he or she will see one word on the screen at a time and will need to explain it as quickly as possible until the minute is up.

Basic game flow and playing tips

  • First round is verbal explanations only: players shouldn’t use gestures or props to help their teammates guess the word.
    • Once a teammate said a certain word, the player can go ahead and repeat it to help them continue explaining if needed.
    • If the player cannot get their teammates to correctly guess the word, they can choose to skip it by putting it back into the bowl (or clicking “Skip” in the online portal).
  • The teams take turns explaining until all words have been successfully guessed. To start the next round, all words go back into the same bowl.
    • When the player empties out the bowl but still has time left on their turn, the clock is immediately paused, all pieces of paper go back into the bowl, and then that same player starts the next round using their remaining time and the fully re-stocked bowl!
  • Second round is charades, meaning that the players will be acting out the word or the phrase, without making a peep.
    • At the start of the turn, it’s helpful for the player to show on fingers how many words are contained in the phrase they are about to explain.
    • Because the words for this round are exactly the same as the words from the first round, guests already have a good sense of all the possible answers, making guessing much easier and faster than in a typical charades game!
  • Third round is called password, which means that the player can only say a single word – and nothing else! – to get their teammates to guess the answer. The player can repeat the password they choose as many times as they want, but they cannot say any other words.
  • Fourth round (optional for the virtual version) is gesture. In this round, the player can only show a single gesture to indicate the word while not making a sound. As with the password round, the player can go ahead and repeat that same gesture as many times as they like, but they cannot use any other gestures to explain that word
    • While this may sound tricky, by this round, everyone has the words nearly memorized, making guessing go lightning fast!
    • Note: to add the fourth round to the virtual game, after you clicked on “Host Game,” open “Settings,” scroll down to Rounds, click on + sign, and type in “Gesture” as the name of the fourth last round. Then click on the + sign again to save this change, and you’ll see that the game now will run for the 4 rounds.
  • At the end of the game, tally up all the points, and the team with the highest score wins!