Heard of 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!
PLAYING THE PLASTIC WRAP BALL GAME
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. 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.
The plastic wrap game is also 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!)
How do you play the plastic wrap ball game?
- Party guests sit around a clear table (with nothing else on it because it can get crazy).
- 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).
- 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.
- Any prizes that fall out of the plastic ball while unrolling the wrap is kept by the person unrolling.
- 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.
- Play continues until the last gift is unrolled in the middle and the claimed by the unroller.
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
How To Make A Plastic Wrap Ball
Here’s how to wrap Saran Wrap ball:
- The plastic wrap for gifts should be a good, name brand plastic wrap.
- 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.)
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)
- Wrap the outside of your plastic ball with wrapping paper and a ribbon based on your theme or holiday!
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?
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:
- Candy canes
- Lumps of candy coal
- Chocolate coins
- Dollar bills
- Gift cards
- Santa socks
- Rudolph light-up noses
- Christmas card games
- Christmas Squishy Toys
- Funny Christmas tie or scarf
- Naughty Elf Poop
- Mittens or gloves
- Flying Christmas Elves
- Christmas scratch off cards for additional prizes
- Light up Christmas necklaces
Saran Wrap Ball for Birthday Party
If you’re playing the Saran Wrap ball for a birthday party kids games, try:
- Gummy snacks
- Granola bars
- Fun pens or colored pencils
- Scratch-off bookmarks
- Coins (get rid of all those pennies laying around your house! Kids will love it!)
- Glow bracelets and necklaces
- Card games (like Old Maid, Crazy 8, Go Fish, UNO, etc.)
- Ring Pop suckers
- Mini PlayDough canisters
- Fun sunglasses
- Mini Lego Sets (the ones in the bags)
- Whoopee Cushion
- Lego Mini Figures
- Small squirt guns
- Plastic bugs or animals
- Fun erasers
- Mini bottles bubbles
- Fidget pop minis
- Cat Butt candy (or Rainbow Chicken Butt candy or Alien Butt candy)
- Mini blow up beach balls
- Water bottle or laptop stickers
- Punch balloons
- Mini cube challenge games
- Light up gloves and shoe laces
- Mini noise putty
- Mini coloring books with crayons
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.
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Things To Put in Saran Wrap Ball Game for Adults
What to put in a Saran Wrap ball for adults:
- Scratch off lottery tickets
- Big ticket lotto ticket
- Mardi gras beads
- Mini flashlights
- Coal Cards (get free ones here)
- Beer or drink koozies
- Gift cards (lots of giftcards!)
- 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
Don’t be afraid to include silly Saran Wrap game prizes for adults. Any gift trinket that brings a good laugh is worth it!
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.
Plastic Wrap Ball Game Rules
Saran Wrap Candy Ball Game Rules
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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.)
- 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!). 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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Play progresses until all items have been unwrapped.
Playing with oven mits makes this party game super challenging. (I personally 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!
Have you played the plastic wrap ball game?
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