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Communication Game

Words of Wisdom

Send guests a blank note card in each shower invitation and ask them to write down, from their experience, advice for a happy marriage. Each guest can read aloud his or her advice as the bride unwraps the gift the guest brought. Have some tissues on hand for sentimental types.

This game is fun for couples showers, and more than one couple should play.

Relationships are all about communication. But what happens when the language of love hits a language barrier? Lots of fun and laughs. For this game, the hostess assembles two identical sets of small items and a pair of trays for each couple playing. There should be lots of common things, like string, coins, toothpicks, rubber balls, forks and other items that are easy to duplicate -- but less familiar items that at least half of the happy couple won't be able to identify by name work well to turn up the fun. The sets can contain different items for other couples playing the game.

On one tray, the hostess carefully arranges the items, holding them in place with spray adhesive. The arrangement should be elaborate and layered, with items at angles, overlapping each other and wrapped or tied together with the string. The second set of items is dumped into the middle of the other tray. They are the same items, but the form may be different. For example, there are toothpicks and balloons in both sets. The toothpicks are whole and the balloon is deflated in the dumped pile; but on the pre-arranged tray, the toothpicks are broken in different places and angled or separated, while the balloon is half blown-up with something unidentifiable inside.

In the playing arena, the bride and groom sit back to back with their eyes closed as the trays are presented. One partner gets the pre-arranged tray; the other partner gets the tray with the pile. The objective is to talk each other through the arrangement so that the unarranged tray ends up looking just like the arranged one. Couples get about 10 minutes to work through the problem. The timer starts when they open their eyes.

After the buzzer, guests compare the arrangements on the trays and decide whether the bride and groom communicate effectively or if they need more practice. If several couples play, guests can vote for a winning pair. The hostess presents them with a prize designed to foster communication, like a pair of toy walkie-talkies.

Find out what you can learn without words on the next page.

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