Pass the Parcel Game Forfeit Ideas

pass the parcel forfeit ideas

Pass the Parcel Christmas Forfeits

(scroll down for normal forfeits)

  1. List the reindeers in alphabetical order (Rudolph included)
  2. What is your elf name? Your first name is a cookie that starts with the same letter as your name. Your last name is the word “elf” plus the last half of your regular last name.
  3. Put a Christmas decoration behind your back. Players go around the circle asking yes/no questions to guess what it is. They only get twenty yes/no questions.
  4. What are five different names for Santa?
  5. List five traditional Christmas desserts.
  6. Play charades. “Christmas song” is the category.
  7. Go around the circle. Everyone has to tell their favorite Christmas joke.
  8. The person who unwrapped the present can pick a carol and everyone has to sing it together.
  9. Everyone has to go around the circle and say what they want for Christmas the most.
  10. One person hides an ornament and everyone else has to look for it as a group getting “hotter/colder” clues.
  11. Choose someone to make laugh. They have one minute to make you laugh (without touching you) or they lose.
  12. Play musical chairs
  13. Someone stands in the middle of the circle and pretends they are Santa. Everyone else sits in a circle and lists off one Christmas item each. Santa then pretends to be doing something and every time he says someone’s item, they jump up and replace Santa (and the old Santa takes their seat).

Pass the Parcel Game Forfeits Ideas

  1. Sing Happy Birthday like a snake (with lots of ssssssssssssss).
  2. Say Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers five times like a ventriloquist.
  3. Act like a T-Rex eating a birthday cake, remember with short arms it’s hard!
  4. Everyone sings B-I-N-G-O, but instead of saying the letters B-I-N-G-O, quack like a duck.
  5. Do ten cheers for the birthday kid, while you do ten frog jumps (jumping jacks).
  6. Play Duck Duck Goose or Grey Duck for one round.
  7. Sing Heads Shoulder Knees and Toes backwards. Example Toes Knees Shoulders Head shoulders head.
  8. Play a round of Charades. If you’re out of ideas, pick the last movie you’ve seen.
  9. Everyone does the chicken dance.
  10. Sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer with all the added words. Who cares if it’s not Christmas! It’s a fun song!
  11. Play Guess the Leader: Whoever unwrapped the parcel must leave the room. Choose a leader who will do different actions that the group will follow. The person who left the room gets three turns to guess the leader.
  12. Play a round of Eye Spy. Choose something birthday related.
  13. Hop on one leg ten times while patting your head and rubbing your tummy.
  14. Play telephone (Chinese whispers). Make your sentence party related.
  15. Sing Do You Ears Hang Low of course with actions.
  16. Play Rock, Paper Scissors with the person next to you.
  17. Cluck Happy Birthday like a chicken.
  18. Everyone makes farting sounds with their hands one by one around the circle.
  19. Sing your national anthem by making kazoo sounds.
  20. Pick a TV theme song and everyone must hum it.
  21. Use the birthday kid as a puppet. Move their arms or legs until people guess what he’s doing. (Have him blowing out the candles on a cake).
  22. Name the 7 colors in the rainbow. Hint for younger kids: ROY G BIV
  23. The person who gets this card picks a famous person or TV character. Every else must sing happy birthday pretending to have that person’s voice.
  24. Name three nursery rhymes where sheep are involved.
  25. Come up with a fruit for every letter of the alphabet. Get help if you need it.

Pass the Parcel was one of my favorite birthday games growing up. I still remember the first time I setup the forfeits for a group of kids who had never played it before. They were crazy about it! One mother even told me her son made his own version of Pass the Parcel and the whole family played it the next day because he loved it so much. That excitement for the game is what inspired me to write this blog post.

What is Pass the Parcel?

Pass the Parcel is a party game where people sit in a circle and pass a pre-wrapped parcel (present) from one person to the other while music plays. When the music stops, the person with the parcel unwraps one layer. Each layer has a forfiet (fun activity) written on it. This sequence continues until all layers are unwrapped. The last person to unwrap the present is awarded the prize inside.

How do you make a Pass the Parcel?

Start with a gift. I personally think it’s a good idea to have a prize that that can be shared by everyone in the group. For example, my mother would often wrap a bag of lollipops or noise makers.

Wrap the gift as many times as you have energy for. If you want to be fancy, you can use different paper between each layer… or you can keep it simple and use newspaper like we did as kids. Between each layer, write a note for the person to do when they unwrap that layer. I have included a good list of forfeits below.

The music can either be played on the piano or on your ipad etc. Some parents even prepared music prepared with stops in it so all they had to do was push play.

How do you keep everyone happy during Pass the Parcel?

It is important that each child gets a turn to unwrap the gift, so it’s a good idea to have the adult in charge of the music. Growing up I always thought the grown up in charge had their back turned while we passed the parcel around, but they must have kept a secret on the game in order to stop the music so that everyone got a turn.

Remember that some kids can feel self-conscious doing activities in front of a group, so try to write your forfeits so that everyone can participate. Instead of having one kid roar like a lion, have everyone roar at once to see who is the loudest. Doing the forfeit as a group is also helpful for younger kids since they might not know the words to a song.

If adults are playing too, make sure at least one of them gets a chance to unwrap the parcel.

Have fun!

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Fun Kids Riddle: Bird

fun kids riddle bird
Why do birds fly south for the winter?

Period Poem: On The Day I Got My Period

Period Poem

On the day I got my period
I was crowned with daisies
and given a beautiful silver and golden dress
made out of the sun and the moon.

On the day I got my period
my family rejoiced.
My mother made high-pitched, joyful sounds.
My father bowed in reverence.

On the day I got my period
I was invited to seek wisdom from the
sky, water, earth and fire.
I was told this task would be my true initiation into womanhood.

On the day I got my period
I climbed to the top of a mountain
where I was challenge by the sky
to make my inner beauty as unforgettable as the view.

On the day I got my period
I rode the river’s untameable rapids on a wooden canoe
where I was challenged by the water, to travel with life’s flow.

On the day I got my period
my shoeless feet drummed wildly against the plains.
I ran and ran until I heard the earth challenge my heart
to remain grounded even when it was racing.

On the day I got my period
I sought wisdom from the fire, but I couldn’t find it.
As tears extinguished any hope I had of finishing my journey,
I heard the fire inside me speak,
challenging me to always keep it ignited.

On the day I got my period
my family gathered together for a feast.
The men hunted. The woman gathered
and prepared the most succulent of dishes.

On the day I got my period
my family danced to the tune of the trees,
moving to a universal rhythm
we all have known since before we were born.

On the day I got my period
I felt a oneness with all other creatures
knowing that we are all
daughters, mothers and grandmothers.

On the day I got my period
the elders recalled their own stories,
travelling back through their own
proud passages of womanhood
until the glowing embers turned grey.

On the day I got my period,
I snuggled under a warm blanket of moonlight
and dreamed of the long chain of goddesses,
who I was now a part of.
– Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Woman

If you enjoyed this period poem, read more from my book On The Day I Got My Period. It’s a collection of stories about first periods for young women who just got their first period.

Sneezing on your Period

pepper sneeze

When you sneeze, the air travels faster than most cars on the interstate. It takes a lot of muscles to make the sneeze move that fast… so what happens with your period? Does period blood leak out?

If you are bleeding heavily, yes it is possible for a small amount of blood to leak out during a sneeze, cough or hard laugh. The emphasis is on “small amount”. So don’t worry, ladies, it’s rare and it’s not like a waterfall suddenly erupts. You don’t have to hold in sneezes, stay home from your favorite party or avoid laughing at hilarious movies.

Most women rarely experience this and if they do, their pad or tampon almost always catches it.

You have lots of fluids that leave your body on a daily basis — but your bladder is strong and used to holding them in until the right time. However, your vagina is not used to that, so it is possible to be caught off guard with a big sneeze and heavy bleeding.

I have never experienced this first hand, so I have only heard about it from friends. (Maybe I’m not laughing hard enough?)

On the very rare chance that this does happen and it makes it past your pad, just wrap a sweater around your waist and excuse yourself to the restroom. You probably needed to stretch your legs anyway :)

Who Are The Whens?

No matter what you look like or where you live, we all spend our lives searching for the same thing.

Today we have an epidemic of people wasting time and money by searching for happiness in all the wrong places. The Whens is revolutionary because its simple message can teach us where to find happiness now.

Who are our Whens then? To meet your Whens, all you need to do is complete the following sentence: I’ll be happy when…

Chances are you have no trouble coming up with a whole page of answers. But every answer is the same: Happy when instead of happy now.

The Whens are the brain child of my husband and emerging children’s book author Steve Hanson. The idea came one night while we were both chatting about how I thought I’d be happy when I lost 30 pounds, but I actually wasn’t. I felt confused and annoyed that a belief I had had since childhood (thin people were happy), wasn’t true. At first I thought I was the problem — maybe I hadn’t set my goal weight low enough — but that’s when it hit us: it wasn’t the goal weight but rather the whole system that was wrong. That’s when my husband reached for his notepad and penned The Whens.

In our classic graduation book, The Whens are monsters that come in all different colors and sizes, just like our “I’ll be Happy Whens…” Except our book encourages you to be brave enough to step off their trail and search for what actually gives you a long lasting smile in life.

When Steve first read me his book, I was excited at how he had condensed and simplified a very complicated idea about being happy now so that it could be accessible to young (and busy) people alike.

Hopefully this is a concept that can help people change the direction of their life to a much happier path.

Hands (and the world) are Amazing

the world is amazing
My son often looks at his hands. When he’s staring at them, nothing else matters. His world is captivating, new, interesting, exciting. He has the biggest smile on his face.

Whenever I feel bored or worry that I’m nothing special, I look down at my hands and try to remember what it was like to see them for the first time… the dozens of places they bend… the countless shapes they make… the actions they can perform… the wrinkles on the skin.

Then I wonder how I ever felt bored living in such a magical world. Everything around you is amazing from hands to electricity to carpet to music — you just have to be willing to appreciate it.

My First Poem

my first poem

In English class we learned about poems and then the teacher told us all to write one as homework. Even though that was years ago, I still remember that assignment clearly.

After school I took a pen and some paper to the top of the valley where I lived. Sitting in the tall grass, I stared at the ocean to one side and the mountains to the other. There were no distractions. It was just me and my pen.

The poem always stuck with me. After I graduated college, I turned it into a song that I played at open mic nights in Wellington.

What was special about that day wasn’t the poem, but the lovely afternoon I spent writing in the sun. It’s easy as an adult to forget about the joy of writing (or the joy of anything!). We all need more days spent relaxing in the sun.

So here’s my first poem. It’s funny how I pretended to understand heartache long before I learned what this poem really meant.

A rainbow used to have seven colours
now it’s just got three.
It’s black and blue and grey
since you gone left me.

In summer time how the sun did shine
but that was only when you were mine all mine.
It beats my heart up that you won’t be mine.
You’re so fine.

Tear drops falling from the sky,
raindrops falling from my eyes,
Blue liquids, blue inside.

The moon once a magic place where we used to dance
in a trance how we’d dance
Now it’s just a sterile moon
white like a hospital room.

Masquerade: the start of my treasure hunt

masquerade treasure

Masquerade treasure from Kit Williams

When I was about ten I read a book called Masquerade that was written and illustrated by Kit Williams. It was full of elaborate pictures littered with carefully designed clues that would lead you to real treasure he buried in England. Even though I wasn’t in England, I could still participate. If you solved the riddle and mailed him a letter, he would dig it up for you. (I’m not sure if he dug up holes for all the wrong guesses! :)


My sister and I stared for hours at that book, dreaming about how it would feel to unearth a massive treasure. Even twenty years later I still get a rush of excitement when I think about the book.


That is the sign of a good story: it lingers in your imagination decades later. The “treasures” I have wanted during my lifetime have changed many times, but there is something universally appealing about the search.


I googled to see if the treasure was unclaimed, and sadly was unearthed when I was four. However, I will still give the book to my son, so that I can inspire him to search for back yard yetis, toadstool fairies, loch ness monsters and all the other treasures that make this world a rich place to live.

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