Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pass the Parcel

Have you ever seen Family Fun magazine? Or visited their website? Both are chock full of great things to do with your family. I rarely have time to read through the magazines anymore, but they keep sending them every month. (Probably because I've paid for them. Duh!) However, when the most recent issue arrived I sat right down and started flipping through it. I'm so glad I did!
Included in this issue was an article about summer camp games, adapted for the family, and I came across an idea which I think will be highly utilized in the Hossink household. I have to say, I went to summer camp seven years in a row as a kid and was a counselor for two years during college, and I'd never heard of this game. It's called Pass the Parcel, and I'm so glad I've finally found out about it!
Here's what to do to get ready: Make or purchase a "prize" that can be shared among everyone playing the game and wrap it up. On the outside of the wrapper, place instructions saying something like, "Unwrap this package and share it with everyone after you sing the Barney theme song while rubbing your belly." Wrap the package again and affix directions for another activity. Keep wrapping until there are enough layers for everyone who will be playing the game. Finally, wrap one more time without affixing an activity.
Here's how you play: Give the parcel to the first player. This person unwraps the first layer and performs the activity, then passes the parcel to the next player who unwraps one layer to find their activity. And on it goes until the final layer has been unwrapped and everyone is enjoying the prize.

When I went grocery shopping Monday, I bought a huge Hersey bar for the prize and introduced Pass the Parcel to my family after dinner. I came up with silly activities, like singing the Barney theme song while rubbing your belly, and doing jumping jacks while reciting the alphabet. We had fun and everyone enjoyed the candy bar for dessert.
Friday morning I had another idea for this game. I was going to the store to get some pages for Matthew to store his Pokemon cards.(Yes, he has copied Joshua's interest.) Something came over me (it must have been God, because I am usually so stingy!) and I decided it would be fun to buy a small gift for each of the kids to play another Pass the Parcel game. So I got the pages for Matthew, a small pack of Pokemon cards for Joshua, and a Littlest Pet Shop figurine for Elizabeth.
This time when I wrapped them up, I wrote down Bible verse references for the kids to look up and read as the activity. It was great to watch them help each other find the verses, and they fully enjoyed the simple gifts I'd gotten for them. Brian told me last night he heard Joshua say he really likes Pass the Parcel and he hopes we keep on playing it.
One of the things I like so much about this game is, it's very versatile. You can do silly activities, include physical challenges, and practice Bible knowledge. I suppose you could even incorporate math practice and chores, eg. How many legs are there on three horses? or Find three toys that are out of place and put them away. The possibilities are endless.

This is my gift to you today - an idea for a fun thing you can do with your kids.

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Queen of My Domain said...

Wow what a great idea. I will definetely do this one with my children. And like you I have a Pokemon lover here, so I feel your pain. But I can't wait to try this one out on the kids. Thanks for a great idea.

Sherri said...

Yippee! I love new games to play! That WOULD be fun to use for school.
My kids used to love our Friday night bingo nights. I would buy little inexpensive prizes for them and make sure that each one of them won at least two times. They loved it!!! Since they were still in the public school at the time, a free night to play and have fun was such a joy....rare! After a week of busy, homework filled evenings following full days of being at school, they were ready for a little was I. I still play it with them sometimes, but we have so many free evenings that it isn't as big a deal as it once was.
Thanks for the great idea!!!

Jenny said...

Great idea! Never heard of it, and I will definitely use it to my advantage!!

Jen @ irrationallove said...

This being the first day of the girl's summer vacation - this couldn't have come at a better time! I'm gonna wear it out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. Will use it with my children.