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Pass the parcel politics

(42 Posts)
Catsize Wed 09-Dec-15 22:11:00

DS soon to be 4 and will have a party.

The parcel will be passed, as will its surrounding layers.

However, pass the parcel seems to have evolved in the past years.

Back in the day, the main gift was wrapped in several layers of newspaper, not everyone got to unwrap a layer and nobody died.

Then some bright spark used real wrapping paper...
Then a different type of paper for each layer...
Then a sweet in each layer...
Then each child had to have a layer to unwrap, lest they might expire on the spot.
Then a bag of usually cow spine Haribo sweets in each layer
Latest party DS went to? An actual gift in each layer.
When or where will it end???*

Tempted to revert to 1983 pass the parcel. AIBU?
I do wonder whether expectations and hopes will be dashed, there will be tears, and I might be arrested for child cruelty.
Perhaps DS' birthday party is not the time to be making a statement, or will this back to basics approach be welcomed by others? Will I just be thought of as mean?
Have to say, we go 'all out' in every other respect for his parties - lots of personal touches, homemade food etc. but the pass the parcel evolution makes me hmm

*Disclaimer: Evolutionary timeline may not be 100% historically accurate.

ClancyMoped Wed 09-Dec-15 22:13:55

As long as you don't rig it so that birthday boy doesn't win then I say go for it.

But you might want to stand back.

reni2 Wed 09-Dec-15 22:14:31

Pass the parcel shock shock

<runs off screaming>

make the first few layers the least attractive gifts, they always go to the grabbiest children who wrestle it out of the hands of the actual 'winner' and threaten a meltdown if they have to give it up

cariadlet Wed 09-Dec-15 22:19:18

Totally agree. I coped with newspaper wrapping and only 1 present in the middle when I was a kid.

I couldn't believe it when I started taking my dd to parties at that sort of age. When there were games like musical statues or musical bumps, there tended to be an adult holding a big tub of sweets. When a child was out they were given a sweet as they went to sit down. Ridiculous.

btw I've held plenty of parties at school for classes of Foundation and Year 1 children, and never had a child freak out because they weren't given a sweet when they were told that they were out in a game.

Catsize Wed 09-Dec-15 22:19:44

Clancy, do you think the birthday boy should win? Saw that for the first time the other day and thought it a bit strange!
Reni, good tips, thank you!

Catsize Wed 09-Dec-15 22:20:53

Cariad, this is perhaps our 'compensation for injured feelings' culture?

lozster Wed 09-Dec-15 22:23:23

If you look in the Lakeland catalogue I think you will be delighted with the pass the parcel sprout. Each layer is a leaf, each leaf has a surprise. It's meant to be a kind of cracker substitute I think grin

toots111 Wed 09-Dec-15 22:32:39

My daughter and I were playing fake pass the parcel today (she went to a party with one at the weekend and she's now obsessed) and I had exactly the same thought, how it had got a lot more complicated from when I was a child. I'm not doing one when its her birthday. Unless I can outsource and get a ready wrapped one. Hate wrapping things!

fassbendersmistress Wed 09-Dec-15 22:34:23

Do it.

I tried to comply with modern standards at DS's last birthday.

I got the number of layers wrong
At least 1 kid didn't get a crap 'real plastic gold' medal
We'd therefore no idea when the wrapping ended (amateurs, we used the same roll for each layer)
DS won, whoops.
Other kids very bemused that the birthday boy stole the thunder AGAIN
Parents clearly all thought we were either disorganised dimwits or super-competitive and obsessed with our DS winning...

So, yanbu and do it!

JumpandScore Wed 09-Dec-15 22:34:28

The mistake is doing PP at a 4yo's party. I bet the ones you remember were for a much older child OP? 7+. 4yos didn't have parties in my day and we were still playing PP at 10yo.

Pre-schoolers being expected to understand and play PP properly is ridiculous, which is why it's had to be adapted.

Catsize Wed 09-Dec-15 23:12:05

fass, that would probably be me. You may be right jump.

Catsize Wed 09-Dec-15 23:13:16

And I can't find the sprout thing. Clearly Lakeland gone into overdrive as a result of the post about the sprout! I am actually quite tempted, hypocritically. I loves a sprout...

Motherinferior78 Wed 09-Dec-15 23:43:07

Oh God we played it at a party at the weekend - the parcel was so big that the children could barely lift it! But it had to be huge so that each child had a layer. Once each child had opened their layer and sweets they invariably lost interest and some even wandered off. Then the organisers asked children to leave the circle if they'd opened a layer, thereby making the whole thing fundamentally unfair and ensuring that none of the remaining children wanted to open the parcel as they would be out. It went on for an eternity - long past anybody caring anyway!

Kryptonite Wed 09-Dec-15 23:49:59

Pass the parcel has certainly evolved over the years, I feel your dilemma.
Back in the day <insert old gimmer emoticon> we used to actually have just one present in the middle.
Nobody died. Nobody expired.
Nowadays, you're expected to place a mini pack of sweets between each wrapping layer in case little Johnny can't cope with not receiving anything.
OK, fair enough, I can cope with that. Just.
Actual rigging it though so the birthday boy can win?! I hope that was a typo at the beginning of the thread as that's ridiculous!
Get your back turned to the kids, put the needle on and off the record randomly shows age
and whoever wins, wins.

Kryptonite Wed 09-Dec-15 23:51:33

The mistake is doing PP at a 4yo's party.

Yes, this as well. 4 year olds tend to hold onto the parcel for dear life and refuse to give it up when the music stops. grin

Womaloosh Wed 09-Dec-15 23:54:35

I used different (very cheap) paper for each layer because I thought it would be easier to tell when they'd finished unwrapping. I had my back to the circle though, so no knowing who had had a turn, and who hadn't.

Womaloosh Wed 09-Dec-15 23:59:35

...also in my day it was just newspaper and one gift in the middle, but everything evolves over time and I don't see what's wrong with that.

At the parties DD has been to the children have all been really nice to each other. ...there has been the odd tear when a child has lost at a game, but they get over it fairly quickly. Even without sweets.

ceeveebee Thu 10-Dec-15 00:05:54

I will never let my DH do the music for pass the parcel again after he stopped it 3 times in a row on the same child then the main gift to our DS who was birthday boy, I had to wrestle it out of his hands quickly and chuck to the next child, the shame!

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 10-Dec-15 00:06:32

I usually do alternate layers of newspaper and cheap wrapping paper with a pack of haribo in each layer. Try to ensure everyone gets a packet of sweets. Have the final layer wrapped so I know eg red paper, then turn my back and do it randomly. Hopefully by that point they've been told 15 times to pass it on and howls of indignation at the clingy kid will tell you when not to stop the music.

catfordbetty Thu 10-Dec-15 00:14:35

I'm in favour of traditional bitter disappointment for nearly everyone. It's life: not everyone's a winner and the sooner you learn that the better.

Witchend Thu 10-Dec-15 00:41:50

We had a sweet and a forfeit in each layer as children in the 80s. Most people here use newspaper for all layers except first and last. Nit changes much.

Wobblystraddle Thu 10-Dec-15 05:41:04

Went to a good friend's three-year-old's party recently. The birthday boy won the prize, clearly done on purpose by his dad. I was the only one who thought it outrageous.

LaLyra Thu 10-Dec-15 06:16:30

I'm really mean with PP - I don't do lots of layers. If the music stops on you then you are out. The 'out' kids slide back and form a second circle until the hilarity of the last two kids are sat back-to-back half throwing the parcel to each other in a bid to win. For some reason being sat back-to-back seems to be the highlight of the game.

I've never had any problems with kids having a strop either, but I think that's because we make it relatively quick. I was at a party recently where the person in charge of the music let it play for ages each time which meant the 'out' kids got really bored and restless.

bearleftmonkeyright Thu 10-Dec-15 06:18:10

Forget pass the parcel and do musical bumps! I always wrapped in newspaper, Christmas paper etc and would forget which layer I was on.

TheCunnyFunt Thu 10-Dec-15 07:43:56

In my group of friends there is one person who holds an annual sleepover (we're in our early-mid twenties), we all congregate at her parents house with our drinks and takeaway money and she arranges a few games for us to play. Last time it was a pass the parcel, it took 7 adults 45 minutes to finish this game of PTP fgrin god knows how many layers of newspaper she used but this thing was huge, and the prize in the middle was tiny! In each layer was a truth, dare or forfeit. I don't think I've ever laughed as much as I did during that game of PTP fgrin

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