Party Fun? Pass the Parcel

(photo credit the beautiful and inspiring Small Forrest Blog)

I recently received a request from Cath, regarding ‘Pass the Parcel’* games at children’s birthday parties.  The question related to going to parties with an allergic child, and participating in this game that often has food ‘treats’ /rewards with each unwrap of the parcel.

Back in the day, when I played these games as a child there was only one present, and that was right at the last unwrap!  But things have changed since then and there are treats aplenty! How do you manage this game?

  • do you take treats for your allergic child so you can substitute for allergy safe treats?  And if so, does your child feel like they are missing out on the offered treat, or are they okay with the substitution?
  • do you contact the Hostess ahead of time and offer to make up the parcel for them?

The other question that I have is how do you manage the party favour bags?  Do you take your own and substitute it for the one your child is going to receive at the party?  This is one of the things I often forget to do and it really upsets my 41/2-year-old when he sees others getting a Favour Bag, and he is not; note to self – please improve in this area!

If you would like to find out what I pack for ‘away’ birthday parties you can read it here.

Would love your comments, don’t be shy!

* ‘Pass the Parcel’, is a party game, where the hostess wraps a parcel several times with a treat in each layer.  The children sit in a circle, they keep passing the parcel, until the music stops, when the music stops the child that has the parcel in their hands – unwraps a layer, they then claim the treat inside.  The parcel keeps going around in a circle, stopping when the music stops, gets unwrapped by the holder of the parcel, and then it keeps going until all the layers are unwrapped.

6 comments on “Party Fun? Pass the Parcel

  1. Jennifer
    February 17, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Hmm…all good questions! My son is just getting to the age where he’s going to be invited to parties as he’s about to turn four. We always bring his own snacks, meal, cupcake, etc., but of course let the mom in charge know in advance. I usually offer to make enough for all the kids at the party, but I’ve never been taken up on the offer as they usually have their own menu planned. My son has been really fine with bringing his own food as he knows that he can’t eat just anything because he doesn’t want to be itchy or have his eczema flare up. I just give him a little pep talk before we go to the party to remind him about his allergies and there have been no problems.

    For favor bags, that’s one I haven’t had to deal with. The favors we’ve received in the past have all been non-food related, thank goodness. BUT, again, my son knows he can’t have certain foods, so I suppose we’d look at the favor bag together and read the labels. If it was something he couldn’t eat, we’d talk about it, remove it and I’d substitute something great for him in it’s place – a homemade cookie or a allergy free lollipop.

    • intrepidallergymum
      February 17, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Jennifer
      Thank you for your comments and your experiences!
      It’s great to share and hear how others navigate the ‘away’ birthday activities. I do similar things for my son, as yet no pass the parcel activities only favour bag problems…which I am going to sort out!
      Thanks for sharing

    February 19, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Hi Charmaine – Great post and great questions. So, my answer would be to bring a substitution and not worry so much about your child feeling like he or she is missing out. As someone with severe food allergies who survived childhood, I never look back and think about those times when I didn’t participate in treats. Instead, I’m thankful that I learned early on to not eat food when I couldn’t read its label. This is a skill that you’re teaching your child. A skill that he or she will hopefully have for life, and the earlier your child learns that self-care and joy does not come from someone else or food (it’s an inner thing) the better. I do think it’s a great idea to call any party host where your child will be attending and let them know about your child’s food sensitivities. You’re an educator now. 🙂

    • intrepidallergymum
      February 19, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      Hi Janelle
      Thank you for your feedback and comments. You have made some really good points here, self-care and learning to take care of self is paramount. I do think my son is already developing resilience and a level of self-control that is impressive for a 4-1/2-year old. I do tell him that he will remember the experience and the fun and not the food. It’s reassuring to hear this from you, given that you have negotiated the same issues as a child. And yes you are right as parents of children with severe allergies we are educators, so good tip about ringing the hostess in advance.
      Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. Mrs B
    June 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi Charmaine,

    My DS is 5.5 years old and has multiple food allergies and intolerances. Similar to you, we always take a lunchbox full of food that he can eat that is special party food (made by us). He loves this and doesnt care its different as it is food he doesnt get anytime except at parties.

    For party favour bags, we have “trained” my son to accept the offered bag with good manners. We then take it home for daddy and we trade for something out of our party box at home.
    This is a decorated box that has things in it like erasers, little lego figures ($5), balloons, bubble wands and things he can eat like pear lollipops, plain musk sticks etc (from Allergy Train). He then picks 2 things as a trade off.

    Bonus is he never feels left out at the party and is very excited by the party box.

    • intrepidallergymum
      June 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Hi Mrs B
      Thanks for your comment. What a great suggestion re the party favour bags! Yes you are right about the lunchbox full of party food, my son is now very excited about opening his – I think it is harder on me than him! I will try to keep some special items only for party foods that is also a great idea. Thanks again for sharing Charmaine

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