Advantages of having a party at home

Alternative pass the parcel ideas

Advantages of having a party at home

Having a party at home isn’t to everyone’s taste. Some don’t want the bother of having to organise it all, some people hate having mess to clear up or afraid their best items may get damaged

It is easy for anyone to put their own twist to Pass the Parcel. If you want to try something a little bit different, or want to incorporate it into your own party theme, it needn’t always be just passing a parcel – you can spice it up a little.

Here are a few ideas to get your imaginations going:

The first few are for the 5 to 12ish age range.

Dressing up. 

One idea we love, and works well with small groups, is to fill a draw-string bag full of fun dressing up clothes, these could contain things like red noses, deely boppers, animal noses, wigs, hats, shoes, scarves, long socks, the louder and sillier the better. At many charity shops you can pick up all sorts of fun dressing up clothes for very small outlay. An oversized jacket can look very funny on a small child, as can high heeled shoes.

Place all the items into the draw-string bag, it has to be non see-through, or maybe something like a box with flap with a small opening. As the music stops one item gets drawn and worn. You could suggest to the children that with each item they have to wear the item stand up and do a little action to go with the clothing or perhaps get them to parade round the outside of the circle like a catwalk.


A different take on the above is to write out actions on a slips of paper, fold them up and place in a small drawstring bag. You could even simply write them on the reverse side at the back of a note or sticky pad. Each time the music stops the child has to remove one note and do the task written on the paper. It could be fun things like eat a chocolate, or not so nice things such as eat a tomato or read a paragraph from a very difficult book, or moderate things such as brush someone’s hair, anything that you can think of. Charades can also be played this way too. Use films or books you know all the children will have seen – or a fun one would be that they had to impersonate someone they all know such as a film star or a teacher!

Picture treasure hunt. 

Here’s another, similar to the above and a neat little idea. Take pictures of objects from around the room, house or even garden and print onto a piece of paper, cut them out, fold them and place them into the bag (see above). Depending on the age group you can either make the pictures very obvious or take a close up shot of part of an object to make it more difficult. Each object will have a number hidden on or by it. Once they have matched up the object to their picture they then have to find their number matched with a ‘goodie’ pre-prepared on a table. If it does get very difficult you may have to play hotter, colder to help chivvy them along a bit. Of course this is going to be easier for children familiar with the surroundings.

Play the fishing rod game.

This can be easily made if you haven’t got the children’s toy already. The children pass a stick round. The stick, with some string or cotton with a magnet attached has to fish for a few lightweight card ‘fish’ with paper clips on them. If the group is large it is best to have more than one rod – in fact it makes it fun when they become competitive and the magnets get attracted to one another. Number the fish, and again reward with prizes. Alternatively, have them face down and write tasks on them.

Pass the silly hat.

Each time the player has stand up to sing the same song whilst wearing the hat – great for a themed party and you could even get a backing track ready. Make it contemporary but silly and tell them the loudest wins. Wear earplugs.

More traditional but still with a twist. 

A parcel is handed round but along with the odd treat there’s a forfeit. These can be anything from cleaning a pair of shoes, eating a gherkin/pickled onion/any green vegetable, sweeping up with a dust pan and brush. They will need to be short and sweet, cleaning the car might be pushing it.

One of our favourites. 

A pass the parcel with a treasure hunt. In each wrap is a clue to where the ‘treasure’ is. If you want to personalise it so that only one child goes to search for it, add a child’s name to the top of the clue. This makes it more orderly but you will have to decide who keeps the treasure. Will it be the child whose lap the parcel landed on (and read out the clue) or the child who went to find it? Or leave two ‘treasures’.

We sell Themed Treasure Hunt Pass the Parcels here.

For younger ones have a lucky dip instead.

It is still possible to have use some of the elements of pass the parcel. Have the lucky dip in the centre and pass an object round the room instead, this will solve the problem of having to unwrap one layer which young ones find difficult. Instead pass something like a teddy – when the music stops you could say, “Teddy says go and see, if you are going to be luck-y”

For very young ones just have a lucky dip. Life is too short to get them sitting in a circle!

If you have played similar party games to Pass the Parcel or can think of another please do let us know – we love to share (except chocolate).