Pass the Parcel
A great traditional party game for kids.
Ages: 6 to 10
Group Size: 5 or more
Supplies: Music player with lively music, One gift-wrapped parcel for every 8 to 10 players, Shareable gift (optional),
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You will need a music player and some fun, lively music.
You will also need to prepare at least one parcel (see “Tips for Parcel Preparation” below).
If you are playing with a small group, one parcel is enough. But for a bigger group, we suggest having multiple parcels (one parcel for every 8 to 10 players) to liven up the game.
How to Play
Have everyone sit in a circle.
When the music starts, pass the parcel from one person to the next.
If you have a big group, pass multiple parcels at the same time. Try to keep a distance between two parcels, but it’s ok even if one parcel “overtakes” another.
When the music stops, the person holding the parcel unwraps one layer of wrapper and keeps the gift item revealed. If there is another layer of wrapper underneath, start the music again and continue with the game. The game ends when the “grand prize” is revealed.
Tips for Parcel Preparation
How to Prepare Each Parcel
– Wrap one grand prize in one layer of wrapping paper.
– Next, wrap one small gift together with the above (wrapped grand prize).
– We suggest using a wrapping paper of a contrasting color from the first layer so that it is easy to unwrap during the game. For example, if you’ve wrapped the first layer using a red paper, use blue for the second layer, red for the third, and so forth. Sealing each layer with only one piece of visible sticker or label (instead of transparent sticky tape) also makes the parcel easier to unwrap during the game.
– Continue wrapping one small gift under each layer of wrapper until you have about 8 to 10 layers of wrappers for each parcel.
Suggestions For Gifts
– Choose gifts that you think your players will like.
– Make sure that the “grand prize” is different from and better than the smaller gifts.
– If you are playing with a mixed-gender group, select gender-neutral gifts.
– Choose gifts that are light so that the parcel does not end up being too heavy for the kids.
– Vary the small gifts so that there is an element of surprise with the unwrapping of each layer during the game.
– To make the game fun for everyone, make sure there are enough layers, so everyone gets to unwrap at least one layer. Ideally, each player receives one small gift during the game.
– Separately, you may also like to prepare a shareable gift (for example, a bag of candies) to give to all those players who did not receive a small gift during the game.
You may like to include a note with a fun and simple (and not embarrassing) forfeit together with each small gift. However, be sensitive that some players may be shy; encourage everyone to join in and allow other players to jump in to the rescue.
If you prefer not to use so many pieces of wrapping papers, use an opaque drawstring bag and put many small gifts inside the bag. The person who gets the empty bag wins the “grand prize”.
Here are some variations of this game that can help introduce or reinforce a Bible lesson: