Family favorite Saran Wrap Ball Game (Plastic Wrap 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! This holiday 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 children’s party games for any time of year. Don’t miss our full list of Saran Wrap gift ideas, too!
PLAYING THE SARAN WRAP BALL GAME
This is one of our favorite Christmas family games that we play every year as a group! If you’re looking for fun Christmas games ideas or a holiday or party game for people of all ages (even a kid Christmas party game or any holiday season), 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?
HOW TO PLAY SARAN WRAP BALL GAME STEP-BY-STEP:
- 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. (Make the first prize something they can see on the outer layer and make it good — like a dollar bill!)
- 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 of the ball (the last prize is usually the best gift!). The amount of time it takes to play will depend on how many people are playing the Christmas ball game (how big the group of people) and how big you make the plastic ball. If you make a giant ball of plastic wrap game, it will take longer!
FREE PRINTABLE BELOW! Get the popular Saran Wrap ball game rules printable below, including Saran Wrap game gift ideas adults and kids alike, and free printable challenge cards / coal cards! Don’t miss our secret opposite direction tip below! Full printable how to make a wrap ball instructions below! Be sure to check out our saran wrap ball game video, too!
This is one of the most awesome Christmas games we’ve ever played!
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, what are the game rules, and what is the secret tip to wrapping a ball?
What is a Saran Wrap Ball?
The Saran ball game (cellophane ball game or plastic ball game) is a Christmas party game (or a super fun game for any holiday, event, or birthday parties) 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 a pair of dice. As one person unwraps layers of saran wrap, the next 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 until the next player gets to the grand prize in the center.
HINT: This party game is not an actual ball. It’s just make to look like a round ball!
(SEE FULL SARAN WRAP BALL RULES and SARAN CHRISTMAS WRAP BALL GAME GIFT IDEAS BELOW — including saran wrap ball gift ideas for adults!)
OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE GAME: 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 game addition to your Christmas games for adults and kids (or a mix of ages for the entire family)!
(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, so get crazy with the Saran Wrap ball game ideas you put in it!
(Don’t be afraid to go for the laughs with your Saran Wrap game items! We always include things to make people laugh too because it’s so much fun!)
Don’t miss the free printable coal cards for saran wrap game at the bottom of the post! Also, make sure you watch our video of saran wrap ball 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) / Christmas ball wrap game
- Cellophane wrap game
- Christmas ball party game
- Plastic wrap moneyball
- Christmas oven mitt game
- Tape ball game
- Candy ball game
- Party prize ball
- Ball cellophane game
- Holiday ball drop game
- Scrunch grab game
- Shrink wrap Christmas game
- Saran Wrap gift ball
- Oven mitt Christmas game with saran wrap (We don’t play our ball for Christmas this way. See why below)
However, 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.
(We even taught the kids how to play saran wrap game for Halloween and it was a huge hit!)
Don’t forget to grab your FREE lump of coal cards for Saran wrap game and printable Christmas ball game rules below to make this the most fun Christmas game plastic wrap ball ever!
YOUR FAMILY WILL ALSO HAVE FUN WITH THIS WINTER HOLIDAY GAME:
How long does the saran wrap game last?
Ball games can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes up to an hour or more. How long it takes to play the Saran Wrap Ball Game will depend on how many people you have playing the Christmas cellophane ball game, ages of players, how many prizes you put in the ball, how large saran wrap ball is, and how difficult you make the ball to unwrap.
See our list of Saran Wrap Ball Christmas Game gift ideas for adults and Christmas game Saran wrap ball ideas for kids below!
How do you make the Saran Wrap ball game?
So, how to make a Saran Wrap ball for Christmas or other events?
Here’s how to make a plastic wrap Christmas ball…
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 challenge cards – get the free cards coal below)
- Put your best gifts in the middle! (See below for Christmas prizes idea!)
- Make the outermost prize a good one also, so the first player to unwrap it gets it. (A good first round prize adds game play excitement!)
*Free printable instructions for saran wrap game below. Learning how to make a saran wrap Christmas ball may seem confusing at first, but after you wrap a few layers you’ll easily get the hang of it!
How much Saran Wrap to make a ball?
You may be wondering how much saran wrap for ball game.
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!)
- How long you want the game to last (the bigger the plastic ball, the longer the game will take)
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 in 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.) Then, layer other best prizes throughout at random places in between the small prizes.
- 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. (Don’t worry that every layer isn’t made up of good prizes. Silly prizes are funny!)
- 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!
(Don’t miss a full list of what to put in saran wrap ball game and Christmas game gifts below!)
MORE HOLIDAY GAMES: If You Love Group Christmas Party Games Activities or Want Saran Wrap Ball Game Alternative Ideas:
(*Christmas Bingo is a super fun alternative to saran Christmas wrap game!)
(The Christmas game with paper plate)
(aka: unwrap candy with mittens game)
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!
*Some people use duct tape, but if you use our secret Saran game tip you won’t need it! Don’t make the plastic wrap one continuous piece and be sure to switch directions.
Now that we’ve covered how to make saran wrap ball (and before we get to how do you play the saran wrap ball game), let’s get to what to put in Saran Wrap game!
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 a saran wrap prize and gifts for Saran Wrap ball throughout the year when I see things on clearance.
31 Ideas for Saran Wrap Ball
Wondering what to put in a Saran Wrap Ball?
Saran Wrap ball gift ideas can be a mix of fun, funny, and awesome gifts — from inexpensive small gifts to nicer gifts (depending on the number of prizes you are including and the cost of the ball you want to spend).
Don’t forget to put the best prize (special prize) in the center of the ball and then layer in small prize ideas and other good prizes as you move outward!
How many items do you need for the saran wrap ball game?
- Glow necklaces or glow sticks
- Coupons for fun field trips or local events
- Lip balms
- Hard candy / small candies
- Gift cards
- Pencil toppers
- Temporary tattoos
- Lottery tickets
- Dollar bills / money
- Fun party favors
- Mini candy bars / Chocolate coins
- AirPods or headphones (great game prizes for teens!)
- Koolaid or dip seasoning packets
- Bubble gum
- Candy canes or suckers
- Assortment of candy or chocolates
- Hot chocolate packets
- Mini hand sanitizers
- Small sheets of stickers
- Candy necklaces
- Bead necklaces to match your theme (think: Mardi Gras necklaces)
- Fuzzy socks (they’re easy to make flat and wrap around the ball)
- Mini flashlight
- Flashing rings
- Movie coupons
- Mini slime
- Finger puppets
- Assorted small toys
If you need saran wrap ball game ideas for adults / adult prize ideas, you can use mini alcohol bottles, tickets to events, and gag gifts / funny prize ideas for adults work well for saran wrap ball game gift ideas for adults, too!
FYI GAME TIP: I probably don’t have to tell you, but people love this as a Saran Wrap ball money Christmas game challenge where you only put money and gift cards in the moneyball! Definitely add those to your Christmas party prize ideas (or even Monopoly money to pick prizes for saran wrap ball game!).
PRO PARTY TIP: If you’re having trouble coming up with adult filler prizes, think about things you would get as scavenger hunt prizes for adults!
Honestly, your Saran Wrap game prize ideas (click to watch the Saran Wrap videos) can be anything that you can fit into the ball when you’re wrapping it! No matter the party guests age, your saran wrap Christmas game items can be fun and silly.
GAME PLAY NOTE: Coming up with gift ideas for the saran wrap ball game and buying the gifts can be expensive. (Hit up the Dollar Store!) If you can, have a couple of people pitch in (last year, my mom and I started splitting the cost of the prizes) or buy items throughout the year when you see them on clearance. Sometimes I keep a list of the gift ideas for Saran Wrap game throughout the year whenever I think of something.
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 and make this a gift ball game for any holiday or party!
You can easily adapt your items for saran wrap game based on your party. Just get creative with your Saran ball game ideas based on your party ideas.
If you’ve played before, let us know your things to put in saran wrap ball. We love to add new saran wrap ball items each year!
PARTY BALL TIP: You can get really crazy and sassy with saran wrap ball ideas for adults. If you’re having a grown up Christmas party, have fun with what to put in a saran wrap ball for Christmas!
OK, let’s get to printable how to play saran wrap balls game instructions, including how to make the round ball shape and more fun saran wrap Christmas ball ideas after the printable directions.
Printable Saran Wrap Ball Game Rules: How Do You Play The Saran Wrap Ball At Christmas
Printable Plastic Wrap Christmas Ball Game Directions (The ORIGINAL How To Make the Best Saran Wrap Ball Instructions)
Here are the plastic wrap game rules for the Christmas game with saran wrap ball. There are several saran wrap game rules floating around, but this is how we’ve played for years. Every year, Christmas party guests ask if we’re going to play!
Print these out so you have them for your next party where you play the saran wrap gift game!
Here’s how to do a saran wrap ball game (including important tip on how to start the saran wrap ball and how to wrap a saran wrap ball to make it more challenging!)…
- 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.
Here are more how it works wrap party games tips and Christmas wrapping ball game ideas…
Variations on the Plastic Wrap Christmas Game and More Christmas Saran Wrap Ball Ideas
Here are some other Saran Wrap game ideas (including the popular Saran Wrap game with oven mitts!) and alternate ways how to play the saran wrap gift game …
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).
The saran wrap game rules with oven mitts is like the original plastic wrap ball game rules, except you use oven mitts while playing.
The Saran Wrap ball game with oven mitts is not my favorite way to play the game. In our family game play experience, the oven mitts made the saran wrap ball game for Christmas too hard and people lost interest.
(Plus, it slows down the game while people switch mitts, which really puts a damper on the quick pace of a saran wrap ball game Christmas timing.)
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 for playing the saran wrap game Christmas game).
The plastic wrap ball game with oven mitts is pretty hard and I’ve seen it take the urgency out of the game!
(We think it’s challenging enough with a good plastic wrap and my secret tip and have found that people really hate using oven mitts for the plastic wrap game!)
Can you play the Saran Wrap game without dice?
You can play the saran wrap ball 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.
(Don’t miss our FREE COAL CARDS for the ball game below! It makes such a fun Christmas game for a holiday party this way!)
Packing Tape Ball Game
Some people play this as a tape ball party game or a duct tape ball game and use tape instead of Saran Wrap. However, we don’t recommend playing is as the tape ball Christmas game.
The candy bars and gifts stick to the tape and are super hard to remove and you can’t use paper money.
Making it this way is a way less fun and entertaining holiday game than the traditional plastic wrap ball.
How do you make the Saran Wrap Game eco friendly?
You can make an eco friendly saran wrap ball game (wrapping paper ball game) 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. Then, use your ideas for saran wrap ball prizes and wrap them as normal.
This game does use rolls of Saran Wrap, but (in my opinion) the Christmas games wrap ball with paper isn’t as fun.
Extra Saran Wrap Ball Game Tips and Alternative Rules of the Saran Wrap Ball Game
We also use these cling wrap party ball game tips and game rules:
- 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.
- You can make two balls: one filled with saran wrap ball game prize ideas for adults and the other filled with kids prizes for saran wrap game.
- Include funny gifts for saran wrap game for laughs throughout game play!
- 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.
Do you have more ideas for plastic wrap ball game? (Leave them in the comments!)
How To Win The Saran Wrap Ball Game
The secret tip to winning the Saran Wrap ball game is two-fold:
- When it’s your turn on the saran ball Christmas game, quickly run your finger tips all over the ball to find the edges.
- Then, unwrap the ball as quickly as possibly, not worrying about where your saran.wrap game prizes are falling (or flying) around. You can recover those later!
Also, pay close attention during the plastic wrap ball game for Christmas! The game moves fast and many people miss out on half of their turn because they weren’t paying attention. (Plus, you can see where the person before you started to unwrap the plastic wrap layer!)
If you learn how to do the saran wrap ball game like this, you’ll be more successful and have a better chance of winning the game!
What is the best plastic wrap for saran wrap ball game?
We’ve had the most success with name brand plastic wrap for the saran wrap ball game. Well known brands seem to stick better than the dollar store plastic wraps.
(We’ve been playing this for 10 years and have tried the Christmas saran ball game all ways! SCROLL UP if you missed the plastic wrap saran wrap game prizes ideas!)
The ball wrap game isn’t just for Christmas parties! Check out this plastic ball for Halloween!
This game is also a perfect way to unwrap the New Year (great way to play games for New Year’s Eve!).
It’s a great thing about this game! You can tailor it to any party theme!
SARAN WRAP BALL GAME VIDEO
Free Coal Cards Printable for Lump of Coal Christmas Saran Wrap Game
One of the gift ideas Saran Wrap ball ideas we’ve used is adding lump of coal cards (aka: Saran Wrap challenge cards) to add a new level to the saran ball game rules!
They’re not really Christmas Saran Wrap ball prize ideas , but instead they cards of coal are used to give special directions to the person who unwraps it first.
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 to add to your Christmas Saran Wrap Game ideas!
Super cute printable color cards for saran wrap game and creative saran wrap coal card ideas!
Here’s how to how to play Christmas saran wrap game with coal cards (which I think is way better than playing the saran wrap game with oven mitts!).
If using this is a lump of coal saran wrap game, it’s fun to also put those candy lumps of coal throughout the game, too!
ALSO TRY THIS FUN HOLIDAY GAME: UNWRAP THE GIFT GAME (CHRISTMAS PASS THE PARCEL GAME)
We hope you have fun learning how to play the saran wrap game for Christmas and coming up with things to put in a saran wrap ball!
If you’re doing 12 Days Of Christmas Games, definitely add this as one of your family Christmas games — even for Christmas party games adults ideas or youth group holiday games!
How do you play the Christmas game with saran wrap? If you’ve played and have funny gift ideas for saran wrap ball game that everyone loved, let us know and we’ll add them to our list (especially if you have funny saran wrap ball prize ideas for adults!)!