Pass the Parcel: Worth the Effort?
Pass the parcel: worth the effort?
A mom of 2 tells us their thoughts on pass the parcel and whether its worth the hassle.
When I was a kid, pass the parcel was a standard feature at most of the birthday parties I went to: Layers of newspaper paper, to be ripped open, and a parent controlling the tape player (yes I’m am 80s kid) with their back turned. In my memory, there were just a few layers and then bit by bit you’d reach the brilliantly wrapped inner layer (wrapped with proper gift wrap) containing a toy. Usually in our case, the ‘toy’ was some piece of plastic junk that squirted water. It was cheap but cheerful. It was also simple fun but it certainly wasn’t ‘fair’ – there were only a few layers so not everyone got a turn at opening it, and only one person won the prize. For the parents it gave a welcome relief of 15 minutes sitting down time, with very little effort to keep track.
Now though, it seems like the expectations have increased. My son turned 4 recently and although we had planned a froggle party kids entertainer for most of the party, I thought I’d like to have an activity we could pull out after food in case the kids ate-super quick and started running riot. So I started out to prep a ‘parcel’…
My first rookie mistake was to choose way-too-big-a-gift (a toy light sabre). Rather than spending heaps on gift wrap, I started using old newspapers. Finding a newspaper big enough to do multiple layers was really tricky. Finding a newspaper in the first place was hard enough as we tend to get all our news online nowadays. My magazines are all travel sized and most newspapers are just too small to get enough layers around a big toy.
My husband bought some small prizes and candy to go in the layers. I then wrapped up 8 layers of paper, which took quite a long time, and felt very happy for myself.
When I showed my bundled up parcel to my husband however he informed me that kids ALL now expect to have a turn so I needed to do 25 layers???!! By then it was gone midnight and I decided that I couldn’t face anymore newspaper so I gave up. Pass the parcel defeated me this year! I could have used the parcel that I had done, but after thinking about it, I think it isn’t great for heaps of kids not to get a turn if you only have 8 layers, and 25 kids at the party.
As it turned out, the froggle entertainer was so great anyway, we didn’t need it. We went for the entertainer/ magician option and added the snow and bubble machines as party add ons. – giving all the kids a prize, and we got loot bag stuff from the froggle store too so the kids all had a blast.