Pass the Parcel

This well-known classic birthday party game is a favorite with the younger age-group, although we have found that very young children don't understand that they need to pass the parcel on and have suffered an embarrassing tantrum or two as a result!

Pass the Parcel

Age: 5+

Preparation:

You will need a present wrapped up in at least as many layers of gift wrap as there are children at the party. You can economise by using construction paper or newspaper for the early layers. If you are playing with very young children, you may like to add a small chocolate bar or roll of sweets (candy) to each layer. You will also need a CD player or similar.

Play:

Sit the children in a circle and give the present to the birthday child. Start the music. The children pass the parcel around the circle to the child on their left as long as the music continues. When it stops, the child holding the parcel undoes one layer or wrapping (and, if you have included them, takes a treat). The final layer will open to reveal the prize.

Hints:

This game is very popular but needs close supervision with younger children. Some are reluctant to pass the parcel at all and may need some encouragement! You will also need to make sure that the music stops in such a way that everyone gets a turn, and (preferably) so that the birthday child doesn’t win the prize! It is helpful to memorise the last layer of wrapping paper so that you can make sure a suitable child wins the prize – perhaps the youngest child or the shyest child.

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