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Pass the parcel etiquette
Who wins the prize - birthday child, or guest?

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15 replies to this topic

#1 Pobbs

Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:59 PM

Went to a birthday party recently where the birthday child won the prize for pass the parcel. The person in charge of the music was watching the game so the birthday child winning the prize was deliberate [not accidental, which might happen if the person in charge of the music had their back turned].

This was the first time that I had been to a party where pass the parcel was played and the birthday child won the prize.

Do you think that's bad form?

#2 Becca1605

Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:06 PM

I went to a party at Platform 1 (train place in adelaide) and the birthday party won the prize.  this wasn't the parents but the person running the party.  Until then I hadn't come across that before.  We usually make sure each child gets a layer, and leave the last one to chance.

#3 Loveoneson

Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:06 PM

I say....Pass the Parcel should not be allowed at parties.   biggrin.gif  I now put it in the too hard basket  huh.gif   We did it a couple of times for DS ( he will be 8 soon ) and each time, we placed a small prize in each layer ( such an overkill ) then the final prize was given to the person who had the parcel at the end - person in control of music didn't look!

#4 Mel1609

Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:12 PM


Pass the parcel is as follows - person doing music should not be watching. Each layer is just that - a layer ! No prizes or treats on each layer. The last layer holds the prize, and it's all down to chance. That's the point of the game, people - good old fashioned excitement !!

If little Johnny can't handle not getting a freddo when he unwraps his layer, then life is going to be tough for him ....

#5 katbalou

Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:29 PM

I hate pass the parcel, and inwardly groan when it's announced at parties.  Always ends in tears of some description.  Some of the variations are a bit weird.  One we went to they only had a prize in every second layer.  To see the look on the face of the kids who didn't get anything, when the one before did.   One I went to recently was very inventive as there was no music, but when it got down to the last layer she said, "OK, for this one I'm just going to stand here and throw it."  ohmy.gif Before anyone could react, she had done just that and needless to say several of the smaller children came out the worst for wear.

I'm hopeless at organising kids games - apart from the odd treasure hunt (where we make sure all the kids get something).

But I disagree strongly that the birthday child needs to win it, or any party game.  They should have just as much chance as any.  I've never been to a party where they actively organised it.

Edited by katbalou, 11 September 2011 - 06:32 PM.

#6 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:50 PM

I did one over the weekend at my DD's party. I had enough prizes for 1 per kid and a few extras and one big one in the middle. For the first little trinkets each (little girly things) if they already got one and it landed on them, I asked them to pass it on to the next person who hadn't won something. Then the last few rounds those who got seconds were completely by chance. But I also did 2 pass the parcels at one time both a bit thinner, to speed it up. Everyone got something, but not every single layer and a few people got an extra. It worked well and no tears.

ETA definitely not the birthday kid who should win it - should be entirely by chance.

Edited by Katakacpk, 11 September 2011 - 06:50 PM.

#7 cward

Posted 12 September 2011 - 01:02 PM

I have vowed never to do pass the parcel again.  A few years ago at my DD's 6 year old party I did pass the pasrcel.  I made the assumpution, wrongly obviously, that they were old enough to realise that there wasnt a prize in every layer.  I had a few prizes scattered about and then something bigger at the end. All done by chance, person doing music not watching.  Well the tears and tantrums from some kids I just could not believe it.  So never again in my house.

#8 Imaginary friend

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:10 AM

I guess the problem lies in the fact that there are so many variations on this game - I havent done it as a prize in every layer, or actually any of the outer layers - but I have 'cheated' and made sure every child gets to unwrap a layer and the birthday child gets to open the final layer with the prize inside - however the prize is always something that gets shared by everybody - so really there is no 'advantage' to getting it.
The prize will be a multi pack of freddo frogs or similar and gets shared out one each - any left over to the adults.

I have found this works fairly well for younger kids, say, up to about 6 or 7 - I think they have outgrown the game after this age anyway.

#9 bubblegummum

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:21 AM

The birthday kid wins has certainly been around since my eldest was little in the late 90s.  I really hate it.  It's exciting for a guest to win a prize.  The birthday kid is already getting presents and doesn't need another.  I do the ptp with a sticker or freddo frog or lollipop in each wrapper - I think even that is slightly ott  but it tends to hold their interest and the kids love it.  

I normally get one of the parents to stand with me while I do the music so they can tell me that the parcel is not near my dd when it gets to the end so that she doesn't win it!

Edited by bubblegummum, 14 September 2011 - 09:22 AM.

#10 kp0507

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:29 AM

I made the mistake of doing it the 'old school' way for DD's 4th birthday and  got tears from the kids and looks from some of the parents that said 'What's your problem!' lol. I wish we could  just let the kids learn that there's a winner and some non winners and that's the luck of the draw!

#11 Cat's Pyjamas

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:30 AM

I went to a 5th birthday recently where all children had a turn at unwrapping and the birthday child won the prize which was a bag of Freddos that he shared with everyone.  many of the kids were younger so I think this was ok.

#12 woodelf

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:32 AM

I do the ptp with a sticker or freddo frog or lollipop in each wrapper - I think even that is slightly ott but it tends to hold their interest and the kids love it.
  I actually find that every child getting a freddo in each layer loses their attention.  DS2 gets his freddo and leaves the game.  I have seen games where there are only 3 kids left playing cause the rest already have a freddo, usually that they want to eat ASAP and need to find an adult to open it for them.

#13 Sares83

Posted 14 September 2011 - 09:37 AM

I don;t mind who wins the prize but I always make sure everyone playing gets to open a layer and gets something.

#14 partygeek

Posted 27 September 2011 - 11:03 AM

Pass the Parcel is one of the best party games ever to be invented. As a party entertainer for the past  years, we have perfected the art of pass the parcel to ensure all enjoy this fabulous party game. Literally ever age will enjoy Pass the parcel if it is facilitated well. I wrote an article for Pass the Parcel techniques which you can read for info.

Hope this helps

#15 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:20 PM

We do it old school here for DD1 and with random prizes throughout (not every layer) for DD2 since she's only little and most of her guests are too.

I explain at the start that not everyone will get a prize, but there will be other games and I'm sure that everyone will win a prize during one of the games and if not, they can come and see me before they go home and we'll work something out. We always have between 15-20 kids at each party and we've only ever had 1 kid have a sook about not winning, and she was complaining about not winning the main prize (and is a tyrant who gets her own way all of the time).

When DD1 was younger I used to put a bunch of prizes in the last layer, stuff like whistles or little party hats or something so each kid got one at the end.

ETA the reason we do old school (as in not everyone even gets a layer and the only prize is in the middle) is because once you have 20 kids doing it, it's bloody boring waiting for each child to unwrap their layer and the kids all know they're getting it, so they're bored too.

Edited by CaptainOblivious, 01 October 2011 - 07:35 PM.

#16 WowWowWubbzy

Posted 29 October 2011 - 03:50 PM

Rediculous.   We went to a party recently where the host actually had a boys parcel and a girls parcel but not only that they had a list and the gifts were bought specifically for the child that they stopped on.

It was a real over kill and I think it was probably very expensive but these were rich people too so maybe they're used to it.  

I love pass the parcel normally - when it's done properly.  - the host shouldn't ever get the (a) gift - the partys for them!

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