How to Play the Hilarious Saran Wrap Game at Your Holiday Party
As an Amazon Associate, Hip2Save earns a small commission from qualifying purchases in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
Love funny Christmas party games? Try these Saran wrap ball game ideas!
Need a FUN-for-all-ages game?
You’ve gotta check out this popular Saran wrap ball game that’s sure to take over every holiday party this Christmas and New Year’s Eve! Participants essentially unwrap fun prizes layered inside a giant ball of plastic wrap. It creates so much laughter and silly fun, and the best part is anyone can join in at any age!
It’ll become a fun tradition that’s sure to liven up the PAR-TAY!
This Saran wrap ball game is easy to customize for each crowd.
For instance, if it’s a kids’ party, you can include small toys and trinkets geared toward them. If it’s a more mature crowd, you can throw in some money, lotto cards, and funny gag gifts. And if the entire family is participating, just create a ball with fun items ALL will enjoy! I promise there’s nothing funnier than aunt Karen getting rowdy over a $5 bill. 🤣
Hip Tip: Be sure to check out stores like the Dollar Tree, or re-purpose leftover Halloween candy if you have any. You may even already have small gifts, nail polish, travel-sized beauty items, etc. in your gift closet at home!
**Ahem** Isn’t that a lot of plastic?! 🌎 🤯
The biggest caveat of this fun game is the amount of not-so-eco-friendly plastic wrap being used to create the ball. While the clingy wrap is what makes this game difficult, there are other materials you can use instead. You can re-purpose newspaper and some pieces of tape, grocery paper sacks, paper packaging fillings, or painter’s tape instead as a more eco-friendly option if you don’t want to use plastic wrap.
Another idea is to use oven mitts to create more of a challenge when trying to peel back the layers, especially when using these plastic wrap alternatives.
Saran Wrap Ball GamePrint
- plastic wrap
- set of dice
- party favors
- lotto tickets
- key chains
- small gift cards
- squishy toys
- small containers of playdough or slime
- hand warmers
- cozy socks
- holiday noise makers
- travel size beauty products
- bath bombs
- hair accessories
- and other fun fillers
Start by placing your prizes on a roll of plastic wrap or other wrapping and just keep rolling and layering.
You can even make sure the most expensive gift is in the middle by wrapping that first, and then wrapping everything else around it.
Instead of wrapping in a continuous roll, create some separate sheets, so it’s a little more challenging!
How to play the Saran Wrap ball game:
Grab a set of dice, your wrapped ball, and friends & family who want to join in!
- Have everyone sit in a circle, and decide which direction the ball will go, and also who will start.
- One person starts unwrapping the ball, while the next person sitting next to them rolls the dice. Once he/she rolls doubles, they’ll get their turn to unwrap the ball, and the dice will then go to the next person.
- The whole point is to roll doubles quickly to get your turn, and players get to keep the goodies they unwrap.
- The person who ends up with the ball at the end gets to keep the big prize at the center of the ball.
Try these FUN variations on the Saran wrap ball game!
- Have participants wear mittens or oven mitts.
- Wrap ball using Press-n-Seal instead of plastic wrap. It’s harder to unwrap!
- For little kids, use a timer instead of dice to make sure everyone gets a turn.
- Wrap your items in newspaper or another eco-friendly packaging.
- Play Christmas music and start/stop the music instead of dice.
- Wrap the items first in paper to make gifts more of a surprise.
- Try placing a blindfold around the person unwrapping the ball.
Read these CREATIVE Saran wrap game ideas from other Hip2Save Readers:
“We played this last year at Christmas and put our ultrasound picture in the middle. We told the family there was an extra special prize in the middle! It’s how we told the family we were expecting our first child!” – Kathryn
“I also use a mix of plastic wrap, foil, wrapping paper, and a diaper for the center. I have found that if you do one continuous piece, some people know to grab an end and yank real hard and they get a lot of prizes. By using different mediums and layers, the ball lasts a bit longer so everybody gets several turns!” – Kay
“We do this at my work Christmas party every year. It’s the highlight of the night. Because there are 50+ people, we are split into 2 teams. My boss wraps a piece of paper in various items, paper, duct tape, electrical tape, painter’s tape, fishing line, etc., and we have a race between the two teams to see who finishes first. The winning team gets bragging rights, and whoever unwraps the piece of paper saying you win gets a special prize!” – Sarah
“We do 3. An adult, teenager, and lil’ ones usually. This year, since things are different, I’m doing individual ones for the lil’ ones and teenagers. And 1 for adults to share. We put lil’ alcohol bottles in our adult one. It’s funny watching adults swap and trade when it’s all done.” – Crystal
“We played this at my company Christmas party once and it was awesome! It was all adults so to make it more difficult (and hilarious) each person had to wear a pair of fuzzy socks on their hands so it was THAT much harder to get the Saran wrap off. I got some good laughs! I work in an animal hospital so seeing an entire room full of people in scrubs with socks on their hands while frantically trying to peel away the Saran wrap was amazing.” – Chris
“We did a variation of this game at our work Christmas party and it was so fun. Instead of Saran wrap, my boss used different size wrapped boxes … smallest being gift card size and largest was the size of a toaster box. Whoever rolled a double had to put on a Santa’s hat on their head and mittens on their hands before trying to unwrap the gifts. Whoever opened up the last box won the prize.” – V
Maximize your holiday fun and print our FREE Christmas Bucket List!
Use cheap steam wrap. We do this every year and it’s a riot! Everyone loves it. (If you use nice wrap, it’s pretty tough for little people!)
We played this game last year and the kids LOVED it! I wish I’d have thought of the timer idea for the little ones tho… Great idea! That or, we should have had the older kids wear gloves to make it harder for them! 😉♥️
Yes so fun!
Santa is doing this!!! We have small stockings so this will sit nicely under the tree and that way they can’t fly through the presents!! Love it!!
Thanks for the idea of Santa leaving it. Gave me the idea of having our Elf leave it when he leaves for the season.
This looks like such a fun idea!! I’m going to make one for my family and another for my in-laws and nephews for our holiday get together! Love that you can make it cost as little or as much as you want. Thanks Hip2Save 😃
Oh fun! Love that idea!
This sounds so fun!! ❤️❤️👏 Thanks! I am going to share this with my family 😃
Yay! Have fun Shelly!
We did this for a teenager cheerleading Xmas party and it was a hit!!! Filled it with all the cheap and free candy and makeup deals I got from Hip2Save ❤️ we did the dice, you unwrap until someone rolls doubles and pass it on. so fun to watch.
We played this at my company Christmas party once and it was awesome! It was all adults so to make it more difficult (and hilarious) each person had to wear a pair of fuzzy socks on their hands so it was THAT much harder to get the saran wrap off. I got some good laughs! I work in an animal hospital so seeing an entire room full of people in scrubs with socks on their hands while frantically trying to peel away the saran wrap was amazing.
Haha so funny!
We did this last year and decided it needed to be a tradition. We made it harder by having the teenagers and adults do it with pot holders on. We also did 3 balls. 1 for the small kids, 1 for the teenagers, and 1 for us adults. It was so much fun!
That’s a great idea! Thanks Lisa!
Oh sweet, I know what to do with the Costco industrial plastic wrap I bought a few years back. It is the never ending roll of plastic wrap that is still like 75% full after all these years. I bet it makes a ball the size of a person😂
We also have this Costco roll of Saran Wrap, the one time I send the hubby to Costco. 🙄. Great idea to use some of it up!!
Lol I bet! Ha
This is exactly what dad had on hand last year, using it again this year.
Would it be possible for people to post other ideas of games they play at their holiday parties? it would be great to get some other ideas:) thanks!
Yes I agree we need lots of ideas!
Put in a papet bag: scissors, tape, toilet paper, constuction paper, etc. Pick a team and have them pick a leader. The leader becomes the tree and the team decorates with what is in the bag. We did this for years with different groups and every tree was different even though they all had the same tools to use. Another funny one that you can do for any holiday is give everyone a piece of construction paper the same size and whatever color for the holiday you are doing. Have them put the paper behind their back and they have to make a tree, pumpkin, etc. depending on the holiday. Best looking wins. It is amazing when we think ours will look like a tree but not!
Yes! I would love to hear other ideas, games and traditions people do around the holidays!
This is a great elf idea. I am going to wrap some stuff up and our elves can leave a note for them on how to play. We have 4 kids and they will get a kick out of the new game thier elves taught them. Thank you!
We played this last year for the first time at an extended family party. It was so much fun and talked about all year long at other gatherings! I made one for the younger kids and one for older kids and adults. The kids had a great time and enjoyed the game, however the adults really got into it. It was so hilarious to watch how serious some people got. I had put a few small pocket knives in the adult ball (and yep you guessed it, they were used to open the ball). So we have to add a new rule this year that objects in the ball can not be used! 🙂 I definitely agree that you want all unbreakable items in case your group gets rowdy like mine does. Lina, thanks for the suggestion of mittens and timers. That sounds like a great way to change things up this year.
We did this at my son’s 10th birthday party this year. It was a blast! The kids thought it was hilarious and had such fun with it. I used cheap, dollar tree plastic wrap and included candy, small toys, slime, and other little items in the ball. We played music on my phone and when the music stopped the child passed the ball. Whatever they managed to open while they had the ball, was there’s to keep. So much fun!
That’s so fun!
I played a similar game at work. The gifts were wrapped with layers of wrapping paper and lots of tape. We were we in teams of 5 had to unwrap the gifts wearing hand mitts. It was fun. We play dirty Santa Christmas Eve I like to play this game too using wrapping paper and hand mitts. Thanks for the idea.
Agreed… couldn’t the same thing kind of be done with tin foil? I mean, you wouldn’t be able to see things.. (keep it mysterious), but at least that could be recycled. Right?
Foil sounds like it could work!
I oversee 30 student employees so I bought several Starbucks gift cards and used some leftover Halloween candy to do this game with them this year. They loved it and it’s a great way to spread the love without having a budget for 30 different people.
We have done this with all the adult grandchildren for the past four years. They absolutely LOVE it! I have picked up a ton of FREE items for this years game all thanks to Hip2Save.com! You all are the BEST
Yay! That’s so perfect!
This game makes little kids cry. It’s too overwhelming for them when they cant figure it out and the ball gets passed. My experience anyways. Great for older kids.
We’ve been doing it for a couple years with ages 4- 65! Never had problems with the little ones. I had thought I might have problems so I thought about wrapping just candy as well as numbers. And having coordinated small gifts to go with the numbers. No one can have 2 numbers. So that way everyone gets a gift or gift bag with goodies. They’ll still have fun playing the game and everyone wins!! Just an idea for you.
I’m having party with kids ages 3 to be 14 and I’m a little worried about this! Maybe the little kids can have a longer timer?
Ya that sounds like a fair plan! Maybe keep some extra treats/prizes to the side just in case that happens too.
Just finished wrapping up my ball last night to play with extended family on Christmas Eve! We played this for the first time last Christmas, and it made me so happy that I could finally find something that everyone enjoyed and wanted to participate in; from the young people to the 90 year old!
Yay that’s so great!
This is SO MUCH FUN for all ages
Ugh I agree. I understand that practicing a low waste lifestyle isn’t for everyone but come on! We should all be more mindful of the materials we use on this planet. Single use plastics are terrible for humans, wildlife and the earth. Really disappointing to see so many people playing this game.
This makes me sad that so many people are purposely wasting plastic, which will take up to 1000 years to decompose
In the post we mention using alternative materials like newspaper ect.
You don’t have to use plastic wrap – says so in the post. I’m not using plastic wrap for this game. Instead, I’ll use newspaper, then recycle it afterwards. Heck, you could wrap items in cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, scarves, etc. Might end up with a very big ball, though.
My family loves this game… but I make them wear gloves wha ha ha ha
Yes! I love it!
We used this game to distract the little ones from “Santa” sneaking in to deliver toys – they were SO distracted that it allowed us to time THAT surprise perfectly (and I agree with other posters, its amazing how much adults loved playing and competing with each other!) My Dad was the un-wrapper with the most prizes because he learned to yank it hard; I love the idea to switch up the types of wrap and/or cutting the wrap so there are more stops and starts. His trick won’t work this year! 🙂
Ha so funny!
My mother-in-law had my kids do this game this weekend! I was concerned there would be tears at the end because they didn’t each get the same amount of stuff, but, surprisingly, it all balanced out pretty well and they traded for some things they really wanted when it was all done!
That’s fun to hear about the trading!
Maybe you could use thick tp or a roll of streamers (the colored stuff people hang at birthday parties)? That way you can put in your burn barrel and it is gone.
Bring on the good ole YANKEE SWAP! lol. I still get excited playing that 😁
I did something similar to make a LOL Surprise Ball for my g-d daughter’s little girl. I bought all kinds of hair things, makeup, toys, arts & crafts stuff and wrapped in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, tissue paper a little candy and a few coins. Many, many layers. I bought two big plastic bowls from Dollar Tree and put the ball in. Used washi tape to seal around the middle and stick on glitter letters with her name. It came out great and much better value then the original!
That’s super smart! Great idea 💡
We did a variation of this game at our work Christmas party and it was so fun. Instead of Saran Wrap my boss used different size wrapped boxes … smallest being gift card size and largest was the size of a toaster box. Whoever rolled a double had to put on a Santa’s hat on their head and mittens on their hands before trying to unwrap the gifts. Who ever opened up the last box won the prize.
We just played this at my company’s Christmas party last Saturday night. It was a blast and some people got very competitive!
Someone asked for other game ideas. Our family has a blast playing LCR (left, Center, right) a $6 or less game, that any age from 4-100 could play. It involves the rolling of 3 identical dice, marked with a “L” for left, “R” for right, “C” for center, and a round dot on several sides of the dice means you keep your playing pieces. Everyone sits in a circle around the table, the more players the greater the fun and the noise! Each player starts the game with 3 of something, we use new crispy $1 bills, or you could use quarters, candy or whatever you want the prize to be. Basically one person starts by rolling the 3 dice, and distributes his dollars according to what he rolls. For every R you roll you pass a dollar to the person on your right, for every L you roll you pass a dollar to the person on your left, for every C you roll you put a dollar in the pot in the middle of the table, and for every dot you roll the you keep the dollar/dollars you have. Once the dollars are in the center they never come back out. A person can be entirely out of dollars at several times throughout the game, and end up winning. In my opinion you need at least 8 players, but the more the merrier, there is no limit on how many. My son just did this for his employees at their Christmas party and he provided 3- $5 bills for each player. They were all men and he said they had a blast. The winner got $180! Strictly a game of luck and fun. In our family games, Luckily the children have almost always won. They are ecstatic!
Yes we love LCR too! Such a great game!
Sounds like a fun game. I’m looking for another gam for our family part of approximately 50 people. Is this a game you can buy?? How is the center pot won?
Thanks sounds like a hoot!
I saw LCR at Dollar Tree the other day and thought about grabbing one but passed. Now I will have to stop back in for them quick tomorrow, lol.
Thanks for suggesting the game LCR! I am adding that to our list this year. Couldn’t find it at $ Tree as one person mentioned, but purchased it at Walmart. I’m going to use $1 bills instead of the chips.
I played this in England as a child. It was called Pass the Parcel.
Oh interesting! Thanks for sharing!
They play it on Peppa Pig, lol!
Yes!! I learned this on a Peppa Pig episode!
So I’m almost 50 years old and grew up in Australia. We’ve played a variation of this game for as long as my family can remember. We call it ‘Pass the Parcel’. We just wrap one small gift in the center, and then layer after layer of newspaper/paper. everyone sits in a circle and someone is in charge of starting and stopping music while the parcel is passed from person to person. This was always played at kids birthday parties!
So fun! Thanks for sharing that Amy!
Last year my family play game call hot coal instead hot potato by using black ball if you out you get coal candy the winner get prize . The kids love this game
That is so cute!
It would be in great service to all, to use paper (newspaper/ wrapping paper) that you can easily recycle when you’re done. Easy peasy solution so you can enjoy the game and not hurt the environment.
This wd be a great way to repurpose all the packing paper, bubbles, plastic etc. Inside all the packages that keep arriving on my porch lol
That’s a brilliant idea – thanks for sharing Tammy!
Fyi, I have read that wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it has heavy metals in it.
True, it cannot. Don’t burn it, don’t recycle it, it goes in the trash (unfortunately). Plain brown packing paper can be recycled (remove the tape) but wrapping paper with all the fancy paints /metals cannot. Maybe re purpose it for a craft project . . .
I work for a warehouse doing shipping and to relieve some of the stress that we have around this time of the year; we play with the spare pieces we have. We usually start little and at the end of the day we have a huge ball. What a neat idea!!! I will add some candy to it to make it more interesting and fun. Thanks!!!!
Oh that’s fun!
I work for a warehouse doing shipping and to relieve some of the stress that we have around this time of the year; we play with the spare pieces we have. We usually star little and at the end of the day we have a huge ball. What a neat idea!!! I will add some candy to it to make it more interesting and fun. Thanks!!!!
started my ball last night for 3rd year….started playing to replace stocking stuffers with adult children! Hint: purchase a roll of wrap from Gordons or Costco that is in the big box with a nice cutter. The box will sit on the table making it much easier to wrap.
Thanks for the tip!
Cut the plastic wrap instead of having 1 continuous stand.. will be more enjoyable, harder and the game will last longer. Also this for little kids and dice.. put dice in small Tupperware container with to on and shake… Last year I had a little girl who kept throwing the dice off the table on accident
Anything that can bring laughter in a home with a creative,budget friendly way …go for it! Lots of things are “harmful” so there is no way to skirt around everything. Fruitcake and Christmas cookies are harmful to the diabetic. Those stockings with chew treats for your pet can splinter.. And aRed Ryder BBgun will shoot your eye out! So, to those that may lose sleep thinking of everyone who is playing this game…..I am certain people in this group will use the unrolled plastic wrap to cover all the Christmas dinner 😁 leftovers!
Or… wrap ourselves in it to get rid of Christmas leftovers!!
At first I thought this was just for kids – but upon reading the comments, I am realizing that you can customize it to any age group / occasion. I will try it with my senior relatives and see how it goes – it could get pretty funny! Thanks for posting!!!!
You don’t have to use plastic wrap; there are environmentally-friendly options for this game – more info in the original post. The basic idea of the game is brilliant and can be customized in so many ways.
If you don’t want people to get too rowdy or unroll the ball, make the players keep the ball in a pie plate so they can’t just unravel the piece of plastic wrap. So fun!
Love that idea – thanks Amber!
We played this game at our New Year’s Eve party and it was a huge hit! Thanks H2S!!!
Yay! You’re so welcome ❤️
There are ways to reuse plastic wrap. (Like filling the bottom of a huge planter.)
I am going to try the Jenga game & saran wrap game for Thanksgiving. I hope its a hit.
oh that’s fun!! enjoy 🙂
If that is all that is wasted to create an an unforgettable memory then is could be considered not a waste. You would not wrap Christmas gifts in used plastic bags, would you? Or would you. Perhaps you should not be proud to be a party pooper but think of way to use the stuff again.
Really???? If this is the most ridiculous, irresponsible thing you have ever seen, you are living quite a sheltered life my friend.
That’s exactly what we do! We use it in fireplace to start fires. (Not all at once lol) We started this tradition a couple years ago. Every kid has already asked about doing it this year. We do 3. An adult, teenager, and lil ones usually. This year, since things are different, I’m doing individual ones for the lil ones and teenagers. And 1 for adults to share for game. We put lil alcohol bottles in our adult one. It’s funny watching adults swap and trade when it’s all done. Since Christmas is usually focused on the kiddos (as it should be) it’s nice having something fun for adults to look forward to. These balls can get very expensive if you’re not careful. My husband and I split up in store when looking for ideas. We ended up spending over $400 on 2 balls! I’d love to find more fun adult games to play at Christmas.
Oh gosh. I bet i walk into your house and find a million things made of plastic that you are fine with. It’s a ball of plastic wrap for goodness sakes. It won’t kill the planet before stupidity will.