Pass the parcel is a fun activity to play during a birthday party or another special event. Learn how to play this gift exchange game plus print this adorable pass the parcel game with rhyming game tasks today!
Pass the Parcel is a classic party game that has been enjoyed by children and adults alike for generations. The game involves passing a wrapped parcel (present) from person to person based on a series of directions or while music plays. The aim of the game is to be the one holding the parcel. The person holding the parcel at the end of each round (or at the end of the game) gets to unwrap a layer of paper to reveal a small gift or prize inside.
The origins of Pass the Parcel are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Britain in the early 20th century. The game of pass has since spread around the world and is now a popular party game in many countries. Pass the Parcel is a simple game that requires no special equipment, making it a popular choice for children’s parties and other social gatherings for adults.
Pass the Parcel is also called the left-right game as the present can jut quickly to the left and again quickly to the right. This gift exchange game can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is a great way to bring people together and create a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Whether you’re playing with friends, family, or colleagues, Pass the Parcel is sure to provide low-cost entertainment and laughter. So, if you’re looking for a fun and easy game to play at your next party or gathering, why not give Pass the Parcel a try?
What is the Pass the Parcel Game?
Pass the Parcel is a game that involves a present wrapped in one or multiple layers of wrapping paper or reusable fabric bags of different sizes. A prize or gift is placed in the center of the parcel. The game is played by a group of players who sit in a circle. The parcel is passed around the circle from player to player.
How to Play Pass the Parcel Game
There are multiple versions of the Pass the Parcel gift game. You can play this gift exchange game with music or with rhyming directions.
To play Pass the Parcel with music, players must sit in a circle. The person who is hosting the party or event should start the game by playing music and passing the parcel to the person sitting next to them. Similar to hot potato only when the music stops, you want to be holding the package. When the music stops, the player holding the parcel unwraps one layer of wrapping paper. The music begins again. With each break in the music, a new layer of the parcel is unwrapped. The game continues until the final layer is unwrapped, revealing the prize or gift inside.
To make the game more challenging, the host can add additional rules, dares, or “forfeits”, such as requiring players to perform a task or answer a question before passing the parcel. This can add an element of fun and excitement to the game. In addition between each layer of the package can be a smaller gift or prize.
Rhyming Riddles Pass
Another fun version of the pass the parcel game is with a series of directions or rhyming riddles. In this game, directions are provided which where to start the package. Then as each new rhyme is read aloud, the parcel or package moves around the circle. You can have layers of the package where with each new player, a new layer can be unwrapped or you can have the package rotate the circle and at the end of the game, there is only one winner. This last person gets to unwrap the entire package.
Rhyming Pass the Parcel Game Tasks
To get a general idea of directions, take a look at these pass-the-parcel game task examples.
- We will start this game with a little rhyme, who has known you the longest time?
- A very important person gets to start the game, pass now to the one with the longest first & last name.
- The first person to your right is wearing blue, Is now allowed to grab the parcel straight from you.
- To be fair we have to share, Pass now to the person with the longest hair.
- We know how time can get away. Pass to the one who had the most recent birthday.
Materials Needed for Pass the Parcel Game
To play Pass the Parcel, you will need the following materials:
- Wrapping paper or reusable fabric bags
- Music player and fun music
- Prize or gift to be placed in the center of the parcel
- Printable Pass the Parcel Game Tasks
- Optional: Small prizes in-between layers
Examples of smaller prizes between the layers of gift wrap can be candy bars, plastic toys, gift cards, chocolates, and lolli pops.
It is important to ensure that the wrapping paper or fabric bags used to wrap the parcel are of different designs and sizes. This will make it easier to distinguish between the different layers of wrapping paper and add an element of surprise to the game.
When Can Pass the Parcel Games Be Played?
What’s great about this gift game is there are many reasons you can play. In fact, we provide a generic list of directions for the game of pass that can played at any time, during any occasion, with any audience. However, there are variations of the game that can be played for special occasions including baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, and even holiday parties. Each of these special occasions can have themed rhyming rhymes.
If you’ve attended a baby shower, I bet there was a fun game. Baby shower games are quite popular and having fun little rhymes are cute both for the mother-to-be and party guests.
For this fun game try switching up the rhymes for the occasion. A set of baby shower pass-the-parcel tasks might include…
- We will start this game with a simple rhyme, pass the gift to the person who has known the mommy to be the longest time.
- Mommy is anxious. Daddy is nervous. Now pass the gift to the person who drove the furthest.
In anticipation of the wedding, many brides have bridal showers. This can be used as a quick bridal shower game for couples or guests of the bride.
To stick to the theme tasks, try some of these pass-the-parcel shower game rules.
- Congratulations on your long married life, now pass to the person who is the newest wife.
- There won’t be time to practice. There won’t be time to rehearse. Pass this to the lady with the most stuff in her purse.
Every single person in the world has a birthday. What’s great about the left-right passing game is it can be used for birthday girls and guys both young and old.
A few rhymes that can be used as game tasks for a birthday party can include…
- What a great gang, this birthday crew. Pass now to the guest across from you.
- Those lovely balloons. I hope they don’t burst. Pass to the mature guest who was born first.
Christmas parties can be held in the classroom, a youth group, or even at an office. Pass the Parcel is an excellent Christmas Party Game that makes an excellent pairing to a Secret Santa activity or even a White Elephant gift exchange.
Try these fun pass the parcel rules when doing this Pass the Gift Christmas game activity for a holiday party.
- Did you know magical food helps reindeer fly? The present now goes to someone who is wearing a sweater or tie.
- Ho, ho, ho this is such a festive game. Give the present to someone with an “C” in their name.
For a Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving party, pass the present is a fun game for all. This themed Thanksgiving Game in true pass-the-parcel style as all you need to pass a holiday-themed gift between a group of friends.
Try these fun pass the parcel rules when doing this activity for a holiday party.
- Did you know wild turkeys can fly? The present now goes to someone who is wearing a sweater or tie.
- Thanksgiving is a perfect time for family and friends, pass the gift to the person with the biggest hands.
There is a fun twist on the pass-the-gift game. For a Halloween party game, you can play Pass the Pumpkin. Players hold a pumpkin (or pumpkin-shaped package) and pass the gift to the left or right as they hear the word in a short rhyming story about fall.
We have two types of pass-the-pumpkin left-right game printables. The first pass the pumpkin Haloween game is a spooky rhyming story about a haunted house.
The other pass the pumpkin game is a cute story for kids about a scarecrow hosting a left-right party game. It can be used for a fall activity, fall festival, Halloween party, or Thanksgiving gathering.
Pass the Parcel is an exciting and entertaining game that is perfect for parties and events. By following the simple rules and using the right materials, anyone can enjoy playing this classic gift exchange game.
Pass the Parcel Party Game Printable
Ready to have your own Pass the Parcel Game? Grab our copy and don’t reinvent the wheel. This printable game set includes an adorable poem with pass-the-parcel game tasks for family, friends, and birthday party guests. This party game printable can be used for adults, kids, teens, and tweens.
Grab this super fun Gift Exchange Game. Also called a left-right game or steal, pass, swap, and unwrap.
It’s a fun and easy party game for any occasion! There are many reasons this Gift Exchange Game can be used.
Try These Pass the Parcel Game Ideas for the following reasons.
- Children’s birthday party games
- Adult birthday party games
- Group games
- Work party games
- Birthday party favors
- Youth Group
- Holiday gift exchange
With all these occasions, this particular pass-the-parcel printable game is meant for general use. It is not specific to a bride, groom, birthday guy, birthday girl, mother, or father-to-be.
Follow the instructions as you play Pass the Parcel with your party guests. Steal, pass, swap, unwrap!
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More Party Game Ideas
Games serve several important purposes in social gatherings and events. Party games play a vital role in creating a lively, inclusive, and enjoyable atmosphere at social gatherings. They facilitate social interaction, entertainment, and memorable experiences for individuals, contributing to the overall success of the event.
Take a look at these other party game ideas fo holidays, the office, the classroom, kids’ birthday parties, and more.
For the Office
Looking for additional office party games? Besides the typical happy hour and visit to your local bar, there are plenty of ways to create a fun office party that are a bit unique and out of the box. Take a look at this Office Scavenger Hunt perfect for The Office fans. Pin to Pinterest.
For a Holiday Party
Did you know more parties happen during the year between the months of November and December? Chances are you are invited to or hosting a holiday party. Take a look at these holiday party game ideas including a Christmas Office Party Scavenger Hunt. Pin to Pinterest.
For the Classroom
Whether it’s the beginning of the year, the end of the year, or holiday celebrations, classroom games are great for all age groups. If you are looking for a few games to play at school, grab these Minute to Win it School Games. Pin to Pinterest.
Having your back pocket full of party games for kids is important when party planning. It keeps the cost of the party down and creates fun entertainment for all. These Kids’ Party Games are a must for young kids all the way to teens. Pin to Pinterest.
For Youth Groups
Coming up with ideas for youth group games can feel like quite the challenge. I mean teens and tweens are hard to please, right? Take a look at this Mall Scavenger Hunt if you are daring enough to take those wild animals into the public. Personalize the scavenger hunt to your local mall or outdoor shopping venue. Pin to Pinterest.
For a Gift Exchange
For a white elephant party or even a birthday party, try a gift exchange dice game. This can be used for a Secret Santa or even party favors at a party. Try in addition some of the candy dice game for the younger kids. Pin to Pinterest.
WHAT’S TRENDING? Looking for a few engaging activities? Grab Minute to Win it Games – Traditional, Outdoor, Water, Back to School, and more! Use these fun activities in the office, classroom, or at your next birthday party.