If someone tells you that there’s a party game that would be as equally effective for 2-year-olds as it would be for 14-year-olds and that it could work for any age group in between those two, you’d probably be unconvinced. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all game… right?
Turns out, there is. With this version of the classic party game Pass the Parcel, you can entertain kids of any age.
Below I show you how to play this game that’s such a hit with children.
You should get a good five to eight minutes from my version of Pass the Parcel, and if you wish to make the party game slightly longer, simply add a layer or two. I have found the layering outlined below to be the sweet spot where I can get enough engagement without overstretching the game.
Stuff You Will Need for the Parcel
- A prize
- Wrapping paper
- Forfeits – printed or written on pieces of paper
- Appropriate music
The prize should reflect the age range of the children who would be playing the game. It should be small enough to wrap yet large enough to look exciting.
I have used many prizes over the years and I find puzzle and colouring books work well. The books are cheap and you can pick them up from a pound store usually in multi packs for a pound.
Take care to make the wrapping colourful and exciting. Don’t wrap the parcel in a newspaper as newspaper wrappings are messy and not very appealing.
A good idea is to get some plain parcel paper or brown paper and have the birthday child paint or colour it during the run-up to the party. This is a fun activity and when the game is played on the day, it makes it all the more special.
These are what make the game fun.
Hidden in most of the layers are interactive action forfeits that the children do. They get great reactions and they add to the enjoyment. (Believe me, the kids love them!)
To get the most out of the game, do the actions with the children and comment on how well they are doing. (Make sure to use their names!)
Below are the actions I use in my Danger Pass the Parcel. I do them in this order:
- Jump on one leg
- Act like a monkey
- Pull a funny face and make the birthday child laugh
Wrapping Your Parcel
It’s best to not wrap the parcel too well as little hands can struggle to get the wrapping off. I suggest loose wrapping using minimal cellotape to allow little gaps where hands can fit into.
I wrap the prize and put the “funny face action” on the first covering. The next wrap has the “monkey action” stuck on it and the wrap after that has nothing. The next-to-the-final wrap has the “jump on one leg action,” and the last wrap is what will make the whole present look appealing.
Children do not like baby songs and nursery rhyme music so avoid using these when playing the game. Instead, use up-tempo modern music with few words. I personally use the Crazy Frog version of “Popcorn” for my Danger Pass the Parcel party game and it works great.
Tips on Making It Memorable and Interactive
The secret of good children’s entertainers is not in what they do but in how they do it.
If you want to get the kids fully engaged, then interact at their level. Make yourself part of the game and do it with them.
Also, don’t speak in a sing-song voice when you talk to the children. Speak as if you were speaking to an adult but in a language that kids can relate to.
And don’t forget to use facial expressions to let the children know you are being funny. Children often read the body language of adults so integrate your body into the fun. Get down on the floor with them. Drop the barriers we develop as adults and become a child again. It is the most freeing and amazing gift you could ever give yourself, let alone the children.
If you want to see how I do all of the above, look at the video again and study how I interact with the kids.
I hope you like my version of Pass the Parcel. I hope you would use it to bring smiles to children. I make children smile and laugh for a living and it is the best and most rewarding job in the world.