The Saran Wrap ball game (also called the cling wrap ball, plastic wrap ball game, or Christmas ball game) is fun for family holiday games, indoor graduation party game ideas, sleepover party games, group games for birthday party at home, or party games for any time of year. We cover game rules, ideas for prizes, a secret game tip no one else is talking about, and FREE holiday printables coal cards to take your family game to next level holiday fun!
PLAYING THE SARAN WRAP BALL GAME
If you’re looking for Christmas games ideas or a holiday or party game for people of all ages (even a kid Christmas party game), you’ll definitely want to add this to your list of party games or fun Christmas wrapping games!
How do you play the Saran Wrap gift game?
To play the Saran Wrap gift game:
- Have party guests sit around a table (clear of any other items).
- One person begins with the SaranWrap ball in front of them. The person immediately to their left has two dice.
- On GO! the game starts. The person with the plastic wrap ball starts unrolling the plastic wrap at the same time the person to their left is rolling the dice, trying to get doubles.
- Any prizes that fall out of the plastic ball while unrolling the wrap, the person gets to keep.
- Once the dice roller gets doubles, they yell, “DOUBLES!” They pass the dice to the person on their left and now get the plastic wrap ball and unwrap while the new dice roller tries to roll doubles.
- Play continues until the last gift is unrolled in the middle (usually the best gift!).
(Get the Saran Wrap ball game rules printable below.)
If you’ve never heard of it, you may be wondering what is the Saran Wrap Christmas game (or party game), what are fun Saran Wrap ball ideas for prizes, and what are the game rules?
What is a Saran Wrap Ball?
The Saran ball game (cellophane ball game) is a Christmas party game (or a game for any holiday or event) where you place prizes, trinkets, or other gift ideas inside of layers of plastic wrap as you roll it into a ball. Then, it is used to play a game with dice. As one person unwraps each layer of plastic wrap, another person rolls the dice. Each prize or gift that falls out of the ball as it is being unwrapped is kept by the person unwrapping the ball during their turn.
(SEE FULL SARAN WRAP BALL RULES and SARAN WRAP BALL GAME GIFT IDEAS BELOW)
This game is so fun and crazy that we’ve never laughed so hard at any group game that we’ve played during any of our parties, which makes it a perfect addition to your Christmas games for adults and kids (or a mix of ages)!
(It’s honestly one of our best Christmas game ideas!)
It’s also a great alternative to the White Elephant dice game or Christmas Dice Game / Christmas Left Right Game!
What is the Saran Wrap game called?
Is there another name for the Saran Wrap ball game? Sometimes you may hear it called the Cling Wrap ball game (based on which brand of food wrap you are using) or plastic wrap moneyball, or Christmas oven mitt game, but the game is mostly referred to as the Saran Wrap game or plastic wrap ball game (or game with Saran Wrap ball and dice).
You may also hear it called the Christmas Cling Wrap ball game, but it is a great game for any time of year or any party.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE coal cards for Saran wrap game below!
How do you make the Saran Wrap ball game?
So, how to make a Saran Wrap ball for Christmas or other events?
To make a Saran Wrap ball, you’ll need:
- 2-3 boxes of Saran Wrap–stick with name brands because sometimes the off-brand wraps don’t stick together (and you need it to “cling” together for the game). TIP: If you’re playing it as Christmas saran wrap ball game, use red and green cellophane!
- Prizes to wrap inside of the ball (for gift ideas, see below)
- Coal cards (if you’re playing the Saran wrap game with coal cards)
How much Saran Wrap to make a ball?
The amount of plastic wrap you need will depend on:
- How many prizes you have
- How big you want the ball to be
- Technique you use for wrapping the ball (see my SECRET TIP below!)
For a medium ball seran wrap (like the one in the picture) with plenty of gifts tucked in, I usually use around 2-3 boxes of cling wrap.
How do you wrap a Saran Wrap ball?
Making a Saran Wrap ball can be a little tricky at first until you get used to it, but it gets easier as you go along.
Here’s how to wrap a SaranWrap ball for the game:
- Start with the best prize. It will be the middle of the ball and the last thing anyone unwraps. (We always put a couple of things like a small gift and money or a good gift card or a lottery ticket in the middle. Check out more ideas for Saran Wrap ball game below.)
- Wrap the item with a couple of layers of plastic wrap and then turn the item and add a few more layers. (You don’t want the plastic wrap layers going in all one direction because it’s easier to unwrap. So rotate your item and the plastic wrap around!) If your middle gift is square or a weird size, don’t worry! You can continue to shape the plastic wrap into a ball as you add layers. It will still turn out round.
- Now you have your first item wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap. Add the next prize layered in plastic wrap and wrap several layers of plastic wrap around the second prize.
- Continue adding prizes, wrapping each prize with multiple layers of plastic wrap. Sometimes I add prizes close together so someone might get 2-3 prizes at once on their turn. For other prizes, I space them out.
- As you go, don’t forget to use your hands to shape the wrapped portions into a ball. This is hard at first (ours always starts out as a square because we use lottery tickets), but it will get easier as the ball gets bigger.
- At the end, smooth down the loose end as best you can onto the ball so that it’s not easy to find for the first person!
SECRET TIP FOR MAKING THE BEST SARAN WRAP BALL GAME
How To Make Cling Wrap Ball More Challenging
After doing this the first time, I realized the game can go really fast if you get people who are good at unwrapping it. (My husband is CRAZY good at it!)
So, I decided to make it a little more challenging the next time (and surprised a few people)!
One of the hardest parts of this game is finding the end piece of the plastic wrap to get started — especially if you use good quality plastic wrap that sticks to itself. So, to make the game more challenging, make multiple end (“starting”) pieces throughout the whole game.
Instead of wrapping my Saran Wrap ball in one long piece of plastic wrap (the way that it comes out of the box), I wrap one prize a few times with the plastic wrap.
THEN, I cut the plastic wrap, turn the prize and wrap a few more layers going in a different direction.
I do this a few times before I add the next prize.
Sometimes I cut the plastic wrap pieces short (so when someone finds the end and gets going it just stops abruptly and they have to find another end of the plastic wrap to start the process again).
Sometimes I cut them in long pieces, so I vary it throughout the wrapping process.
Other times I don’t cut the pieces, but I will twist a long piece and then start wrapping it around the same prize in a different direction (which slows the process down when people are trying to quickly unwrap something).
So, be sure to make your plastic wrap ball out of different pieces/lengths of plastic wrap and not just one long piece! It’s really funny and fun to watch and makes the game last longer!
What do you put in the Saran Wrap ball game?
The Saran Wrap game prizes can be anything you want to put in the ball! If it’s for Christmas, you may want to make the plastic wrap ball game prize ideas holiday related. If it’s for a baby shower, you can fill it with fun and funny baby related items. Get creative with prize ideas for adults (for a grown ups only party) or you can just fill the ball with any kind of small candy or trinket!
The Saran Wrap ball prize ideas are limited only by your imagination (and how you can fit them into the ball as you’re wrapping it).
TIP: I pick up gifts for Saran Wrap ball throughout the year when I see things on clearance.
23 Ideas for Saran Wrap Ball
Perfect trinkets for the plastic wrap ball gift game include:
- Hard candy
- Mini candy bars
- Chocolate coins
- Bubble gum
- Candy canes or suckers
- Assortment of candy or chocolates
- Hot chocolate packets
- Mini hand sanitizers
- Gift cards
- Lottery tickets
- Dollar bills/money
- Candy necklaces
- Bead necklaces to match your theme (think: Mardi Gras necklaces)
- Socks (they’re easy to make flat and wrap around the ball)
- Mini flashlight
- Flashing rings
- Glow necklaces or glow sticks
- Coupons for fun field trips or local events
- Movie coupons
- Mini slime
- Pencil toppers
- Finger puppets
- Assorted toys
If you’re playing the plastic wrap ball for Christmas, include holiday related items like small candy canes, lumps of chocolate coal, a light-up Rudolph nose, Santa socks and more!
We play it as a Christmas Saran Wrap game because that’s when everyone is together because it’s our favorite family Christmas party game. But, you can adapt your plastic wrap prize ball to any holiday or party theme, including graduation games, sleepover games, or group birthday party games. Change up the wrap color and gifts to go with your theme party! You can easily adapt your items for saran wrap game based on your party.
Saran Wrap Ball Game Rules: How Do You Play The Saran Wrap Ball At Christmas (or For Any Other Party)?
Here are the plastic wrap game rules. Print these out so you have them for your next party where you play the saran wrap gift game!
- 1 completed Saran Wrap ball (with prizes)
- 2 dice
- Paper plate or pie plate (to roll the dice in)
- Start on a flat surface like a table (making sure there are no drinks or anything else on the table because it can get crazy!)
- To start, every player rolls one of the dice and the highest roll goes first. The highest roller starts with the Saran Wrap ball in front of them.
- The person immediately to their left gets both dice. For each roll, there is a dice roller and an “unwrapper.” On GO! the person with the dice starts rolling (quickly, over and over). Simultaneously, the person with the Saran Wrap ball starts unwrapping the ball. Any prizes that fall out of the ball during this time, the “unwrapper” gets to keep. The game person continues unwrapping the ball until the person next to them rolls doubles.
- Once doubles are rolled, the roller yells “DOUBLES!” The dice are then passed left and the previous roller now gets the Saran Wrap ball and starts unrolling it as the new person tries to roll doubles.
- A person must have the prize completely unrolled and on the table in front of them to claim it. If it is “almost” unrolled before DOUBLES! is called, they still have to pass it on to the next player without claiming the prize.
- Play continues quickly (without stopping) in a clockwise position until the very last prize in the middle has been unrolled and claimed.
Be sure to set a rule that the plastic wrap cannot be ripped. It must be unrolled. If someone rips the wrap, play is immediately passed to the next person.
How do you play the game with an oven mitt?
Another version of the saran wrap party game has the players wear oven mitts while trying to unwrap the Saran Wrap ball (to make it more challenging/next to impossible). However, if you follow my SECRET TIP for wrapping the plastic wrap ball it will be plenty challenging and still a lot of fun (and not annoying like the oven mitts can be). The plastic wrap ball game with oven mitts is pretty hard, so this is not my favorite way to play! (We think it’s challenging enough with a good plastic wrap and my secret tip!)
Can you play the saran wrap game without dice?
You can play the Saran Wrap game without dice by using music (think musical chairs). Whenever the music stops, the ball must be passed. You can also play with just coal cards where people unwrap until they get to the card, perform the directions on the card, and then pass the ball. However, the excitement of dice rolling and not knowing how long you have to unwrap really is part of the fun.
How do you make the Saran Wrap Game eco friendly?
You can make the Saran Wrap game eco-friendly by using wrapping paper, butcher block paper, and tissue paper that can be recycled. Tuck prizes in items like socks, gloves, or mittens to make them easier to wrap with the paper. However, part of the fun challenge of the Saran Wrap game is that plastic wrap can be difficult to unwrap. So, using paper products may not be as challenging and people will be more prone to rip open the paper instead of unwrap it.
If you still want to use saranwrap but not as much, rotate between using the plastic wrap and tissue paper or gift paper that can be recycled.
Extra Saran Wrap Ball Game Tips
We also use these cling wrap party ball game tips:
- Use colored Saran Wrap, like red and/or green SaranWrap or printed plastic for a festive plastic wrap ball Christmas game.
- Make sure that everyone understands the rules completely before starting, especially the parts about the prize must be completely unwrapped and on the table before you can claim it and that the wrap must be unrolled and not torn!
- If you have little ones playing, you may want to make two smaller balls rather one big ball. It can be hard for little ones to handle and hang onto a bigger cling wrap candy ball game.
- For our plastic wrap ball party game, we use a paper plate or a pie tin or felt for the people to roll the dice in/on because the game is so fast paced that dice go sliding and flying everywhere if they aren’t contained.
- Make it a presents game by wrapping the outside in wrapping paper or holiday tissue paper and a bow to get started.
Free Coal Cards Printable
Adding coal cards for Saran Wrap ball game really does add another layer of fun to this holiday Christmas game and also makes it one of those fun pass the gift games, too.
CLICK HERE (or on the image) to get your FREE saran ball coal cards from The Shop!
Do you have more ideas for plastic wrap ball game?