Pass the Parcel Ellie Kelly style

27th Jun 2012


My version of pass the parcel for Buttons Parties is a bit different and I thought I would share it with you today as it may help any go it alone party planners at your next party.

Pass the parcel can cause tears and if you have 20+ layers it can really drag on! My version solves both issues.


How to spot an Ellie Kelly pass the parcel:

– I use tissue paper and each layer is a different colour (not very new or exciting I hear you say)

– I do not add a sweet in each layer. (Now don’t judge me to hastily, there is a good reason for this)

– Not everyone gets a go (again there is a reason)

pass the parcel prizes

pass the parcel prizes


I don’t add a sweet in each layer because after 5 years hosting children’s parties I could see a reoccurring theme once a child had won a sweet. They had to 1. eat it and thus totally forgetting about passing any parcel 2. show their parents, leaving a nice hole in the passing circle 3. think their role in the game was over and start doing something else. All of which put a bit of a dampener on the game for the rest of the passers.

I do not (well unless it is a small party) make enough layers so that everyone gets to open one. I can tell you that 99.9% of the time this had not been a problem and out of the thousands of kids I have played this within the last few years that’s not bad going.  If I were to have 20 + layers to my pass the parcels we would be there till the following weekend and believe me at least 5 children will get bored and wander off.

an array of colours

an array of colours


I will talk you through what I do to ensure none of the above is an issue on the day.

I tell the children before hand.

I ask “who has played pass the parcel before” Then I say “now this is a special pass the parcel because today I’m looking for the best guessers” next I tell them “when the music stops the person holding the parcel has to open just one layer, however before they do everyone else, has to shout out the colour they think is going to be under it” I give them an example of me shouting purple…, purple…, purple. I then say “now there is not a sweet in each layer and we might not all get to open one, but that does not matter because the aim of the game is to the the best guesser. Let’s practise shouting our first guess”

And that’s it no tears and no children getting bored and wandering away.

Plus this version makes me laugh a lot. It’s fast, fun and loud. Every so often just before a layer is opened you will have a sea of kids shouting different colours red, red, red, blue, blue, blue, yellow, yellow, yellow, and then just as you get a tiny glimpse of the next layer each voice unifies and shouts orange……., orange……., orange.

“Ellie Kelly I guessed orange, I knew it was going to be orange” they say. Hehe


Other posts you might like:

pass the parcel video with tips 

party games for 3-6 year olds 

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