Those who know me know that there are few things I enjoy more than getting out to do something fun with my kids; however, the truth is you really don’t need to leave the house to have a great time. Often schedules, weather and even finances can make it challenging to dedicate an entire day to entertaining your junior crew. All seasoned moms have a few go-to activities to ensure that when the neighborhood kids end up at your house or the grandkids get dropped off unexpectedly, everyone is still all smiles when the day is done.

Plastic Wrap Ball

One of my favorite games to play with a group of kids is the plastic wrap ball. One of the many reasons I love this game is that it's so easy to play and can be played with kids of different ages, even at the same time. To prepare for this game, the adult begins by wrapping a small treat or candy, one after another in saran wrap creating a ball with fun surprises. I always start by wrapping “the best” treat first, as it will be the last one unwrapped and therefore the final prize.

What to Include

Popular items for this can be a $5 bill or a small gift card to a favorite yogurt shop or coffee house. After you wrap the first item, continue by wrapping as many small items as you like. This number will depend on how many children you have playing and how long you want the game to last. These items are typically individual pieces of candy, such as Tootsie Rolls, Ring Pops, Hershey’s Kisses or really whatever your group will like.

How To Play

To play the game, you need two dice. Have the children sit in a circle. One child holds the ball and the child next to him has the dice. The child holding the ball unwraps the plastic wrap releasing the small treats while the person next to him rolls. When the child with the dice rolls any doubles (2 threes or 2 fives, etc.), he yells “STOP!” The child with the ball must stop unrolling it at that moment. Whatever items he has released are his! Some turns a kid may not unwrap enough to get anything; other times she may unwrap several items. It all depends on how long it takes the child next to her to roll doubles! This continues as you move your way around the circle clockwise. The child who was rolling the dice becomes the next to unwrap the ball.

Options When Playing

Not to sound overindulgent, but I like each kid to “win” approximately 10 items (remember, each prize can be small, like a peppermint) so I use that number to help me gauge how many items to put in the ball. I also like the kids to know what the big surprise at the end is. Other moms prefer to let the big, final treat be a surprise. You cannot imagine the frantic unwrapping and excited screams that this game provokes until you have experienced it! It truly is fun for all ages, toddlers to grandparents and everyone in between!

Just the Facts

For a circle of 5 children

• Items needed: 1 roll of plastic wrap, approximately 50 individually wrapped pieces of candy, 1 larger treat and a pair of dice

• Preparation: Wrap the special treat first and then continuing wrapping the smaller treats as you make a large ball.

• To play: Players sit in a circle. One player unwraps the ball while another rolls the dice. The player must stop unwrapping the plastic wrap when the next player gets doubles and yells “STOP!” The player keeps any treats that have been released as he unrolled. The player who unrolls the very end of the ball wins the special prize.