Fun Plastic Wrap Ball Game for Parties All Year!

The plastic wrap ball game, also called the Saran Wrap game or Cling Wrap ball, it’s super fun for sleepover party game ideas, easy holiday party games, icebreaker for parties, or when you need small or large group party games for all ages! This is a great alternative to the wrapped present game (or White Elephant game) at Christmas! Read on for how to make saran wrap game, what to put in saran wrap game, and how to play the ball game for parties all year!

dad unwrapping plastic wrap ball game with a child in his lap at a party


What is the plastic wrap game?

The plastic wrap ball game is a group party game where you periodically place prizes, gift cards, candy, or other gifts inside of layers of plastic wrap and then roll it into a ball. The plastic ball is then used to play a game.

As one person unwraps each layer of plastic wrap, another person rolls dice. Each prize or gift that falls out of the ball as it is being unwrapped is kept by the person unwrapping the ball until the person next to them rolls doubles.

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Once that happens, the ball is passed to the left and the person who was previously rolling the dice now unwraps the ball. The game ends when the last prize has been unwrapped in the middle of the cellophane ball.

You may have heard of the plastic wrap game called:

  • Cling Wrap Ball Game
  • Saran Wrap Game Ball with Dice
  • Plastic Wrap Moneyball
  • Cellophane Ball Game
  • Christmas Ball
  • Gift Wrap Game
  • Saran Wrap Candy Ball Game
  • Ball Party Game
  • Bubble Wrap Ball (some people use bubble wrap instead of Saran Wrap or cellophane)
  • Christmas Oven Mitt Game (more on how to play that version later!)

These are all the same game! Most people play it as a Christmas ball game, but we’ve started playing it throughout the year for birthday party games or other holidays, like a July 4th party game!

How To Play The Saran Wrap Ball Game for Parties - hands unwrapping the plastic wrap ball at a party

How do you play the plastic wrap ball game?

Game Setup:

1. Party guests sit around a clear table (with nothing else on it because it can get crazy).

2. Each person rolls one die to see who goes first. Highest role goes first.

That person begins with the plastic wrap ball in front of them.

The person on their left has two dice and something to roll them in (like a pie plate or paper plate so the dice don’t roll all over the table).

3. The game starts when the person with the Saran Wrap ball starts unrolling the ball.

(No ripping allowed! Only unwrapping!)

At the same time, the person to the left quickly rolls the dice over and over, trying to get doubles.

4. Any prizes that fall out of the plastic ball while unrolling the wrap is kept by the person unrolling.

5. Once the dice roller gets doubles, they yell, “DOUBLES!”

The dice are then passed to the person on the left and the previous dice roller now gets the saranwrap ball.

Just like before, the new person tries to unwrap the party ball while the new dice roller tries to roll doubles.

6. Play continues until the last gift is unrolled in the middle and the claimed by the unroller.

Plastic Wrap Ball Game for Parties step by step how to play the Christmas Saran Wrap Ball Game for parties

How long does the game Saran Wrap take?

The Saran Wrap party ball game takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to play. The amount of time the ball plastic game will take depends on:

  • How many people you have playing
  • How big you make your plastic wrapped ball
  • How difficult you made the ball (Did you wrap the ball in different cut layers? Did you twist it to go different directions? Did you use a saranwrap that is super sticky?)
  • If you’re playing with oven mitts or not
  • If you’re playing the game with only adults, only kids, or a wide range of ages

(See our full ideas for saran wrap ball game and how to make a saran wrap ball below! Keep Scrolling!)

Saran Wrap Ball Challenge Game - what to put in the plastic wrap ball game different game prizes sitting on a table

How To Make A Plastic Wrap Ball

Here’s how to wrap Saran Wrap ball:

1. The plastic wrap for gifts should be a good, name brand plastic wrap.

2. Start with the best prize in the middle of the ball. This will be the last prize anyone unwraps, so make it something good. (Check out ball gift ideas below.)

3. Wrap the item with a few of layers of plastic wrap.

Cut the plastic wrap.

Turn the wrapped ball item and add a few more layers going in a different direction to make the game more difficult.

(Saran wrap layers going all one direction in one long piece make the ball game easier to unwrap and you don’t want that.)

If your middle gift is rectangle or a weird size or shape, don’t worry!

Just shape the plastic wrap with your hands into a rounder shape as you add layers. It will still turn out round.

(It may be a little bumpy or uneven round shape, but don’t worry if that happens!)

4. Once your first item is wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap, add the next prize by placing it on top of the previous gift wrapped in plastic.

Add layers of plastic wrap around this new prize. There can be as few or as many layers as you want.

I make some of the lengths of the plastic wrap short and some long, just to increase the challenge of play.

5. Continue this process, adding prizes and wrapping each prize with multiple layers of plastic wrap.

You can also add some prizes close together (place a gift, do one layer of wrap, and then place another gift).

This way, sometimes the game players might get 2-3 prizes at once on their turn. (They get really excited about this!)

For bigger/better prizes (like gift cards, cash, etc.), I space them out.

6. As you layer the gift prizes into the ball, don’t forget to shape the wrapped portions into a ball. Just use your hands to lightly squeeze and shape the ball.

This is hard at first (ours always starts out as a square because we use lottery tickets), but it will get easier to make a ball shape as the ball gets bigger.

**OPTIONAL** At different intervals throughout the ball, you can also wrap the ball with wrapping paper or even tie the ball with a knotted ribbon. And then continue with the plastic wrap over the paper or ribbon. It’s just one more way to make game unwrapping challenging.

7. When you’ve finished adding all the ball prize items, smooth down the loose end of plasticwrap as best you can so that it is not easy to find for the first person!

(We also put a good prize on the top layer, like money or lottery ticket or gift card under just a few layers on top so that people can see the first prize. This gets people really excited for the game. If you make it good, people will work harder!)

8. Wrap the outside of your plastic ball with wrapping paper and a ribbon based on your theme or holiday!

Printable Christmas Party Games

How long does it take to make a Saran Wrap ball?

The Saran Wrap ball can take around an hour to make, but it will depend on how big you’re making your ball and how many prizes you are using. If it is your first time making the ball game, it may take a little longer until you get the hang of adding prizes and layering the plastic wrap (and cutting and turning and going different directions). Make sure you make your plastic wrap ball ahead of time so you have the premade Saran Wrap ball game ready to go the day of the game.

What Do You Put In The Saran Wrap Ball Game with game prizes on a table

What Do You Put In The Saran Wrap Ball Game?

The gift ideas and prizes for your party ball will depend on the ages of the players and your theme. The prize gifts can be anything that are small enough to fit into your game or flexible enough to smooth around the ball (think: socks, scarf, Nerd’s Rope). It’s also fun if you include some items that are on theme for your holiday party, Christmas gathering, slumber party, or birthday party!

Christmas Saran Wrap Ball Prize Ideas

19 Christmas Game Gifts Ideas Everyone Will Love:

  1. Candy canes
  2. Candy
  3. Lumps of candy coal
  4. Chocolate coins
  5. Dreidels
  6. Dollar bills
  7. Coins
  8. Gift cards
  9. Santa socks
  10. Rudolph light-up noses
  11. Christmas card games
  12. Christmas Squishy Toys
  13. Suckers
  14. Funny Christmas tie or scarf
  15. Naughty Elf Poop
  16. Mittens or gloves
  17. Flying Christmas Elves
  18. Christmas scratch off cards for additional prizes
  19. Light up Christmas necklaces

Saran Wrap Ball for Birthday Party

If you’re playing the Saran Wrap ball for a birthday party kids games, you can use a variety of different items (including the birthday party theme).

Saran wrap ball ideas:

Also, encourage the kids to trade their items (if they want). The kids at our parties (and even some adults) always have a lot of fun bartering and trading items they don’t want.

NEXT: Try These Other Fun Party Ideas For Kids And Adults:

Slumber Party and Sleepover Ideas That Rock

Christmas Party Themes for Adults and Kids

Christmas Slumber Party Ideas

Things To Put in Saran Wrap Ball Game for Adults

The fun thing about an adult plastic wrap ball game is that you can put more adult gag gifts in them, so have fun with saran wrap ball prize ideas for adults!

Saran Wrap ball game ideas for adults:

  • Cash
  • Coins
  • Scratch off lottery tickets
  • Big ticket lotto ticket
  • Mardi gras beads
  • Mini flashlights
  • Coal cards for saran wrap game (get free ones here)
  • Beer or drink koozies
  • Socks
  • Gift cards (lots of giftcards!)
  • Jerky
  • Mini liquor bottles (if your group drinks!)
  • Water flavor packets
  • Nag Notes
  • Nail polish
  • Tums or Rolaids
  • Tic Tacs or mints
  • Chewing gum
  • Big Foot Air Freshener
  • Gourmet chocolate (we love these and they’re small enough to fit in the ball!)
  • Mini hand sanitizers
  • Key chains
  • Lip balm
  • Small travel tissue packs
  • Coupons for local businesses
  • Poo-Pourri

Don’t be afraid to include silly Saran Wrap game prizes for adults. Any gift trinket that brings a good laugh is worth it!

Also, this plastic ball game is one of those super fun adult Christmas party ideas that will get everyone laughing and engaged!

Making A Plastic Wrap Ball Game With Prizes - saran wrap ball game prizes sitting on a table showing how to put together a plastic wrap ball game

How many items do you put in a Saran Wrap ball?

How many items do you need for the Saran Wrap game?

For the plastic wrap Saran ball, you will need 1-2 boxes of Saran Wrap (or more, depending on the size of the party ball) and at least 20 prize items.

I usually do 1 set of bigger ticket items for the middle (like cash, a gift card, and a lottery ticket for one”big prize” in the middle), then four other nice items (gift cards, dollar bills, gourmet chocolate, etc.), and 15-20 smaller (cheap) items (coins, candy, suckers, socks, etc.).

You don’t have to spend a ton of money!

You can easily create a fun theme or holiday game with cheaper items all the way through the ball and one bigger (nice) item in the middle.

Here are reminder rules for the family game plastic wrap ball! These will help your game last longer and everyone have more fun during game play.

REVIEW: Plastic Wrap Ball Game Rules And Game Tips

Saran Wrap Candy Ball Game Rules

  1. GOAL OF PLASTIC WRAP GAME: To unwrap as many layers of plastic wrap on the ball as you can until the person next to you rolls doubles on dice.
  2. One person unwraps, while the person to the left tries to roll doubles. Play progresses when the person rolls doubles. The ball and dice are passed to the next people, respectively.
  3. Any prizes, candy, or trinkets that fall out of the ball onto the table during the turn are kept by the person unwrapping the ball. (Still stuck to the ball when the dice roller rolls doubles does not count!)
  4. Plastic wrap cannot be ripped or torn. It must be unrolled / unwrapped. (If you’re using tissue paper or wrapping paper through the ball, that can be torn or ripped because it’s hard not to rip paper.)
  5. If you’re using coal cards, play stops when a card is unwrapped. The unroller performs the action on the card and then play progresses as directed by the card.

How do you win the Saran Wrap ball game?

The Saran Wrap ball game ends when the last gift in the middle is unwrapped and the person who unwraps it wins that prize.

Everyone keeps all the prizes that they unwrapped during the game (so, almost everyone wins a little!).

PRO PARTY TIP: A good tip to win is to run your fingernails around the ball to find the edge of the plastic wrap so you can start unwrapping faster!

ALTERNATE GAME PLAY IDEA: Saran Wrap Ball Game with Oven Mitts

There is also a version that plays this plastic wrap game with oven mitts. Wearing oven mitts adds another (really hard) level of challenge to the game when trying to unwrap it.

How to play the plastic saran ball game with oven mitts:

  1. The person unwrapping the cling wrap ball puts on oven mitts. As the dice roller starts rolling, the person tries to unwrap the plastic ball. Any prizes that fall out during the turn, the unwrapper gets to keep.
  2. When the roller rolls doubles, the play progresses left. The next unwrapper puts on the oven mitts and then proceeds to unwrap as much ball as they can.
  3. Play progresses until all items have been unwrapped.

Playing with oven mits makes this party game super challenging.

I personally do not like playing this way. I think it adds an annoying level of challenge to a game that’s already challenging and can make people annoyed after just a few rounds.

If you’re going to play it as an oven mitt Saran Wrap game, you might want to consider using bubble wrap instead. (You can get bubble wrap in bulk.)

It’s easier to unwrap bubble wrap with oven mitts on you hands.

Also, if you’re going to game play this way, be sure to pick up some fun oven mitts!


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I hope you have fun with the plastic wrap ball game! It’s a fun game for special occasions all year!

DISCLOSURE: Affiliate links are used on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please refer to our DISCLOSURE.

About the author

Friends have called Jackie the "Midwestern Martha" [Stewart] because of her 20 years of over-the-top theme parties, super fun sleepover tips, fun theme recipes, DIY game ideas and awesome party tips! LEARN MORE

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