You Are What You Play

Pass the Parcel

Party Games

Name of Game:

Pass the Parcel


Party Games

Country of Origin:

UK, USA, Iran

How many players?:




Where is it played?:

Wherever the group can sit in a circle


Pass the parcel is a party game in which a parcel is passed from one person to another sitting in a circle.


In preparation for the game, a prize (or "gift") is wrapped in a large number of layers of wrapping paper. Usually each layer is of a different design so they can be easily distinguished. Smaller prizes can be placed between some or all other layers of wrapping.


Music is played as the parcel is passed around. Whoever is holding the parcel when the music is stopped removes one layer of wrapping and claims any prize found under that layer. The music is then restarted and the game continues until every layer is removed and the main prize claimed.


The stopping and starting of the music is usually done by an adult who is not taking part in the game and (ideally) not watching the game.



How to play:

A gift wrapped in many layers of wrapping paper

Materials Needed:

Aim of game:

To be the one to claim the prize

How does it End?:

When the prize is claimed

Variations from other places:

Some play it with only one gift - in the middle. Others with a (smaller) gift at every layer. Still others just a few gifts

Average time needed to play:

5-10 minutes

Age Range:

4 years +