Saran Wrap Ball Game for Christmas

people wrapping the giant saran wrap ball and a table with gifts on it.

This Saran wrap ball game is a blast! It’s the perfect thing to add to your list for this holiday season.

Christmas shopping can get (more) difficult as our families grow and siblings get married and have kids. Do you buy for everyone, draw names, just do the kids, or skip gifts all together?

For many families, buying presents is something that just has to be done. It can be hard to buy for adults who simply purchase what they need or have specific tastes that make them difficult to shop for.

This Saran wrap Christmas game is such a fun alternative!

Perfect for adults and teens.

You could even have a separate Saran wrap ball game going for the kids. I would not recommend combining the kids and adults – things get a little too competitive and it’s easier to shop if you do the balls separately.

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Saran Wrap Ball Game


  • Plastic wrap
  • Prizes
  • 2 dice
  • Paper box lid

That’s it.

There is some controversy with this game because of the waste of the plastic wrap, but it was is much fun and let’s be honest we don’t even do this once a year so I’m okay with the wastefulness.

Recycle during the year and reuse things, but I’m of the opinion if you want to toss rolls of plastic wrap once every couple of years – don’t stress about it!

What to Put Inside the Saran Wrap Ball

First off, set a budget (ours was $15-$20 per person) and have everyone purchase assorted gifts and a roll of plastic wrap. Any brand of plastic wrap works – you can get the cheap stuff..

When it comes to gifts, be creative! You can do anything.

One tip is to try to stay gender neutral. Unless of course you are at an event of only ladies.

Also, have “prizes” from all price points – even $1. The more little gifts throughout the Saran wrap ball, the more fun there is.

Gift Ideas:

This is what we ended up with:

  • candy (full bags and individual kisses and peanut butter cups throughout)
  • fun socks
  • gum
  • mints
  • Paper Mate felt pens (the package opened and pens wrapped individually)
  • mini notebooks
  • gift cards (we had $5 ones and then at least one $10 one – this was our “grand” prize)
  • snacks
  • Cliff Bars
  • Larabars
  • beef jerky
  • batteries
  • lip balms
  • Oregon Trail card game (or any other small games)
  • dollar bills
  • coins
  • Bananagrams
  • coozies
  • small boxes of Christmas lights
  • other assorted items

You can see from looking at this list why having all adults or all kids playing makes shopping a little simpler. It’s also more fun to play the plastic wrap ball game if you get things that are age and gender appropriate.

people wrapping gifts into a plastic wrap ball

Wrapping the Saran Wrap Ball

Have all the gifts and plastic wrap delivered to one person so the ball can be made before the event starts. Or have a group of people come early and wrap before the party.

Wrapping this giant plastic wrap ball is an event in and of itself. Make sure you have at least a couple of people there to help with the prep.  It’s also a lot of fun. (One of my sister’s had their phone disappear – someone wrapped it up in the ball, purposefully.)

The Saran Wrap:

You have two options when it comes to wrapping. One is definitely more difficult.

You can either wrap each roll as one continuous piece (the easier method) or cut the plastic wrap and restart at varying intervals. Do some ridiculously short, some crazy long, and others in between. This method is more frustrating (in the fun, competitive way) and will make the game last longer.

We did our game using the second method!

If you are doing the Saran wrap Christmas game for your young kiddos, I’d suggest doing each roll as one continuous piece.

For adults and teens, I recommend mixing it up and going hard.

Our game, with 8 adults, lasted over 27 minutes and every second flew by!

Adding the Gifts:

Start with wrapping your “big” prize (because this will end up the center of the ball). Our grand prize was a gift card. This little gift card was wrapped in several pieces of plastic wrap.

As you start working your way out on the ball, simple add in gifts periodically. We tried to have the more expensive gifts on the inside and the less expensive gifts end up on the outside. You will also need to take into account how certain things will wrap. The pens in our ball needed to be wrapped once the ball was larger because of their length and inflexibility. Bananagrams, though large, worked to wrap toward the center because of its flexibility.

We wrapped whole bags of candy and also opened up a package of Hershey Kisses and peanut butter cups and had those sprinkled through out the ball.

For another fun game, see this post: Christmas Sock Exchange

Playing The Saran Wrap Ball Game

  1. Have everyone sit on the floor in a circle. Keep a little space between each person but make sure to still be within arms reach.
  2. Decide who is going to start. (Youngest player might be a good option or else roll a die and highest number starts.)
  3. Give the starting player the Saran wrap ball and the next person the dice. When we played the game, we found it easiest to use a paper box lid to roll the two dice in. It kept the dice from rolling around the room and made it simpler for the next person to just grab the box when it was their turn.
  4. Player with the ball finds the end piece of Saran wrap and starts unwrapping while the next person is rolling the dice. As soon as they roll doubles (of any number), they shout “doubles” and grab the Saran wrap ball and the next person grabs the box with the dice and the game continues.
  5. Any prizes you unroll are yours.
  6. You must keep the plastic wrap ball in front of you. No rolling it across the room.
  7. Important Rule: NO tearing the Saran wrap. You HAVE to find the end of the strip. This is where it gets harder when you use shorter pieces of plastic wrap. Sometimes finding the end is super difficult! It’s all a part of the game. (You might find, as we did, that one person in the group excels at this skill.)

That’s it! You keep playing, laughing, screaming, and grabbing until the ball is completely unrolled and the last prize is captured.

My daughter was almost 6 when we played, and is begging to do it again! Last time she played the little kid mini ball version, this time she wants to play the competitive game with the adults.

Give this plastic wrap ball game a try at your family Christmas or even a Christmas party. It will be a fun memory for sure!

This Saran wrap ball game is SO much fun! Here's how to play, ways to wrap the ball, and ideas for what to put inside. This is perfect for your family Christmas or with friends. Do a plastic wrap ball for the adults and one for the kids and have a blast.

Originally published November 15, 2018. Updated November 6, 2020.

3 thoughts on “Saran Wrap Ball Game for Christmas

  1. Joan

    I did this when it first came out.
    The kids weren’t fans of rolling the dice. She got to roll 6 times and I only rolled once. Or, she unwrapped 6 items and I only got 1.
    Following year we started with I think 1 minute timer for unwrapping, as the ball got smaller so did the unwrapping time.
    The adults are so much more fun. Almost every time I have done an adult ball, most items get put into a bowl for everyone to choose from. The ones that are usually kept are the lottery scratch tickets, the small shot size bottles of alcohol.
    Regardless SO much fun!!

  2. Felisha

    For small children in my family we use a certain amount of goodies and once those are wrapped we cut the saran wrap. Follow through in that manner until all items are wrapped. Once it is time for the game we allow one child to pull the wrap and get all goodies until that paper has been finished then the ball goes to the next child and so on and so forth. until the last wrapped is the prize.


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