The Saran Wrap Ball Game, also known as the Christmas Ball Game, the Cellophane Ball Game or the Plastic Wrap Game, is a DIY party game that involves unwrapping layers of plastic wrap to uncover exciting surprises and prizes.
This game combines the fun of childhood favourite Pass the Parcel with a fast-paced dice roll game, making it so much fun and a load of laughs!
If you’re looking for fun birthday party games, Christmas party games, or games for any occasion, for that matter, you will love this plastic wrap ball game! It has become a favourite at our kids’ birthday parties and it’s great for a laugh with the family on Christmas day too!
Best of all, it’s an easy game to play and set up! I’m going to share with you how to play, ideas for prizes and some challenging variations too!
Saran Wrap Ball Game Video
What Is The Saran Wrap Ball Game?
The Saran Wrap game involves a large ball made of layers upon layers of Saran Wrap, with small prizes or treats hidden within it. Think of it like a game of Pass the Parcel, except instead of layers of paper, it’s cling wrap.
Players take turns unwrapping the ball, layer by layer, while trying to collect as many prizes as possible.
The catch is that the ball is passed around quickly, depending on the roll of a dice, so players have to be quick to unwrap prizes before the game ball is passed to the next person.
This group game has become a favourite at many parties and celebrations due to its simplicity and fast pace. Unlike Pass the Parcel, which can be a little slow as the gift passes around a circle until the music stops, this game keeps the energy high, with a little friendly competition!
It’s a fantastic alternative to a white elephant gift exchange holiday game and the perfect game no matter the ages!
We switched from Pass the Parcel to this game for our kids’ birthday parties since it got a little dull to make sure the parcel stopped on each person, so no one misses out. With this game, there are enough prizes inside that everyone usually ends up with more than one and there’s no need to ‘rig’ where it lands!
How to Make A Plastic Wrap Game Ball
To play the Saran Wrap Christmas game, you need a few simple supplies:
- A roll of Plastic cling wrap – The Saran brand is a US company. It’s essentially plastic wrap or cling wrap as we call it here in Australia. Any brand will do, although better quality brands do stick better!
I rarely use the entire roll of plastic wrap but if you are playing with a large group of people, more layers is definitely better and also larger prizes will require more wrap too!
Here are the instructions to make your Saran Wrap ball (or watch the video above if you prefer):
- Start with a Big Prize: Begin by wrapping a big prize in several layers of Saran Wrap. This will serve as the centrepiece of the game ball.
- Add Smaller Prizes: Next, continue wrapping smaller prizes or gifts around the big prize. Use different sizes and shapes to keep it interesting. Make sure to wrap each prize in a way that is secure but easy to unwrap.
- Keep Adding and Layering: Keep adding and layering prizes as you go, using more Saran Wrap to secure them. As I’m layering, I sometimes twist and change the direction of the wrap to add to the challenge. Sometimes I also break it off entirely and start a new layer so that they need to find the edge again.
- Continue Wrapping: Keep wrapping the prizes in layers of Saran Wrap until you have added all your prizes or until you reach the ball size you want.
- Decorate (optional): If you want to add a festive touch, you can decorate the game ball with ribbons, bows, or holiday decorations. This will add a little festive touch but also means the first person has to remove those before they can start unwrapping.
Saran Wrap Game Prizes
One of the most exciting parts is the prizes that are hidden within the layers of plastic wrap.
Small prizes work best for this game, otherwise, your ball may end up enormous!
Choosing prizes based on the age of the players is also important and thankfully there are plenty of prizes that suit a game where you have players of all ages playing together. You can also throw in some gag gifts or some people like to add coal cards to some layers, if you’re playing during the holiday season.
Here are some fun saran wrap prize ideas for kids:
- Wrapped lollies
- Lip balm or chapstick
- Nail polish
- Fidget toys
- LEGO Minifigures
- Money – notes and coins
- Temporary tattoos
- Small toys
- Art supplies
- Hair accessories
- Toy cars
- Small games
- Candy canes
Here are some Saran Wrap game prize ideas for adults & teens:
- Mini bottles of adult beverages
- Gift cards
- Scratch off lottery tickets
- Mini perfume or cologne
- USB drives
- Phone Accessories
- Small kitchen utensils
- Bottle opener
- Bottle cork
- Lip balms
- Handmade jewellery
- Cookie cutters
- Hand cream
- Nail file
Of course, it’s important to consider the preferences and ages of the participants when choosing prizes.
For a mixed-age group, you can include a mix of prizes that cater to both adults and kids, but keep them family-friendly so your kids don’t end up unwrapping something that isn’t age-appropriate.
Remember, it’s all about the element of surprise and fun. The prizes don’t have to be expensive or extravagant! Your local dollar store is the perfect place to pick up some cheap prizes.
How To Play The Saran Wrap Ball Game
This game works best with at least 5 players, but the more, the merrier!
Have everyone sit or stand in a circle to begin and designate a person to start with the ball.
If you are playing at a birthday party, this is usually the birthday person. At Christmas parties, it can be anyone at random! The youngest player is a nice starting point though, since it feels pretty special to be the first player!
The game begins when the designated person starts unwrapping the saran wrap ball, while the person to their right rolls the dice.
The person unwrapping the ball must do so as quickly as possible, trying to retrieve the prizes hidden within the layers of plastic wrap.
Meanwhile, the person rolling the dice continues to roll until they roll a 6. Once a 6 is rolled, the saran wrap ball is passed to the right, and it becomes their turn to unwrap while the next person rolls the dice.
The game continues in this same pattern, passing the ball and passing the dice, each time a person rolls a 6.
But there’s no ripping or tearing allowed! Each layer must be unwrapped one by one!
Sometimes it takes a long time for the next 6 to appear, with a person getting to unwrap many layers and prizes. Other times, it’s so fast they barely have a chance to start. This keeps the energy high.
At the end of the game, players keep all the prizes they unwrapped during gameplay.
Saran Wrap Ball Game Variations: Make It Harder!
There are several variations that people have come up with to add an extra level of thrill to the game. We play with a single dice as we are usually playing with younger kids and getting a single 6 is a little easier than rolling doubles.
Here are some ideas to make the Saran Wrap game more challenging:
Saran Wrap Challenge Cards – Coal Cards
Saran wrap coal cards are a fun way to add a little extra challenge to your plastic wrap game.
These Saran wrap game challenge cards are wrapped into the layers just like you do with the prizes, but instead of being a great surprise, they require the player who is unwrapping to complete a challenge before they can continue wrapping.
The challenges might be using just one hand to unwrap or answer a Christmas trivia question, all while hoping the next player doesn’t roll the right numbers on the dice to take over the turn!
Get the printable challenge cards in my store.
Saran Wrap Game With Oven Mitts
If you really want to test your dexterity and coordination, try playing the game while wearing oven mitts. It may seem simple at first, but trust me, it adds a whole new level of difficulty.
Follow the same game rules, but as you pass the ball, you also need to pass the mitts and that player must put them on before they begin unwrapping. Sometimes they don’t even get the gloves on before the next 6 is rolled!
Trying to unwrap the ball while wearing oven mitts is next level making this great for teens and adults!
To make the game a tiny bit more challenging, you can incorporate a rule where players have to roll doubles (getting the same number on both dice) in order to start unwrapping the cling wrap ball.
Otherwise, the gameplay is the same, but you just have slightly less probability of doubles on a pair of dice vs rolling a single 6.
Single Roll Per Player
Another way to make gameplay even more fast-paced and get everyone more involved is to have the dice going around the circle the entire time, with each player only having one roll per turn before it passes to the next.
This means you may end up passing the ball across the circle and in different directions rather than to the right and it doesn’t stall the game if one person is struggling to roll a 6.
Again, this variation is great for older kids, teens and adults who are a little more coordinated at following the Saran Wrap ball game rules compared to young kids.
These are just a couple of examples, but feel free to get creative and come up with your own variations.
Maybe you want to add a time limit, where players have to unwrap as much as they can within a certain amount of time.
Or perhaps you want to introduce some mini-challenges that players must complete before unwrapping the ball. The possibilities are endless!
If you don’t have cling wrap or cellophane to make your giant ball of plastic wrap, you can try playing with wrapping paper, although it’s a lot easier to unwrap so this is where those oven mitts really do come in handy!
More Party Game Ideas
If you’re planning a birthday party or holiday party and need more fun game ideas, here are a load of games to entertain guests of all ages:
Conclusion: The Plastic Wrap Ball Game
This popular Saran wrap ball game is always a good time for people of all ages at any gathering, whether it’s a holiday party or a family get-together.
One of the things I love most about the Saran Wrap Ball Game is its simplicity. It doesn’t require elaborate props or expensive equipment. All you need is some plastic wrap, various prizes and small gifts, a set of dice and a group of enthusiastic participants.
And I bet you won’t ever want to play Pass the Parcel again after this!
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