The Elf Unwrapping Game

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged here, but I wanted to share a game I put together after putting the call out to my fellow Ranger leaders to ask for some party game ideas. Many of the girls know all my games, and as I’ve not been able to be around as much this term I wanted to give them a fun last night of term. Someone mentioned a game where you unwrap a parcel with oven gloves…and so the ‘Elf Unwrapping Game’ was made based on their recommendation.

The premise is similar to the chocolate game where everyone sits in a circle and rolls a dice. If someone rolls a six, they go into the middle of the circle put a hat, scarf and gloves on and proceed to try and cut squares of chocolate with a knife and fork. They can only eat one square at a time, and if anyone else rolls a 6 they have to immediately stop and give hat, scarf, gloves to them…and so it goes on.

Except this time, I had wrapped up an elf holding a chocolate coin. And then I wrapped another layer with a chocolate coin inside. And another layer with a chocolate coin inside…and on the recommendation of leaders I made some layers have cling film instead of wrapping paper. In each layer was a chocolate coin. A more hygienic chocolate game if you will!


And since it was elf themed, I thought to what elves wear in Santa’s workshop. Elf hats…and aprons. So when they rolled a 6 they went to the middle and put on an Elf hat, an apron and put on the oven gloves.

And tried to unwrap a layer.

They also had to try and get into the chocolate coin with the oven gloves on. They weren’t allowed to proceed to another layer until that chocolate coin was eaten.

If someone else rolled a 6 while after the got a coin (but hadn’t got into it or finished eating) they just took the chocolate coin and went back into the circle.


I think I had about 20+ layers – which I realised after the game continued on and on was too many! But I wanted to make sure there were 24 coins for the 24 Guides that would be there. Luckily because none of them had ever played this before, they didn’t lose interest and wanted to keep going. A lot of hilarity ensued, a little bit of cheating (which got the raised eyebrow stare from me) and more heartwarming was a few Guides giving the Guide in the middle tips on how to get into the chocolate coin and even helping them to get untangled from elf hats and aprons quickly.

It is definitely a game we will do again.



Recently some unexpected absences led to a panic about what we were going to do at Guides as we had to quickly change what we had planned. Cue our unit helper, Penny coming to the rescue by borrowing an idea from her daughter to play a large Guide themed game of cluedo!img_8679

As you can see we used some masking tape, and equipment we’ve collected over the years from Active Kids (training poles, throw down feet and bean bags) to set up our ‘Cluedo Board’. The Guides loved this so much they insisted on playing it three times, and we are using this year’s vouchers to get a few more things (like a giant foam dice) to make playing this game a more frequent activity and a bit easier to set up.

Penny has kindly sent me the instructions after a Guide leader asked me if I could share how the game works. They are in the PDF document below (click on Guide Cluedo).

I believe it was Professor Laurie Plum, in the kitchen, with the hot chocolate! 😉

Guide Cluedo

Teambuilding Games…

Animal Farm

You will need: Cards with pictures of farmyard animals

Each person takes a card which will have a picture of a farmyard animal (e.g. pig, cow, sheep, cockerel). They then have to make the noise of that animal and find their fellow animals to make a group. This can be used as a way of getting them into teams to play a teambuilding game.


Spaghetti Architects

You will need: A pack of spaghetti, a pack of marshmallows for each team

Split your group into small teams. The idea is that with the spaghetti and marshmallows they must build the most stable and tallest tower they can. Everyone has the same amount of time to do it, and the leaders will then judge towers on stability and height to see who is the winning team.


Cups and Downs

You will need: 20+ nonbreakable cups*

Place 20 or more cups in the middle of the room, put half of them upside down and the other half the right way up. Divide the group into 2 teams and give each team a name (ie ups or downs) – the ‘up’ team needs to turn as many cups up the right way as possible, and the ‘down’ team needs to flip them upside down. When the allocated time limit is over, count all the cups and whichever team has the most turned up their way wins.

*reusable plastic ones tend to work best


Wizards, Giants and Goblins

This is basically a fun group version of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”

You will need: An open space

Divide the class into two teams. Tell the teams to go on either side of “the stage”. They line up on two sides of the room facing each other. Each team secretly decides if they are going to be Wizards, Giants or Goblins.

The leader counts 1, 2, 3. On each number the groups takes one step forward. On “3” they take up the position of the character the group has decided on:
• Wizards: lean forward throwing their arms forward as if casting a spell and say “Shazzam”
• Giants: put both hands above their head, stretching up really tall and say “Ho, ho ho!”
• Goblins: crouch down, put their hands up to their face as if scratching their beards and make a high pitch laugh.

Giants beat Wizards, Wizards beat Goblins and Goblins beat Giants.

The losing team must run back to their side of the room. The winning team try to “tag” as many of the losing team as possible before they get home. The captives now become part of their captors’ team. Continue until one team has captured everyone for their team and wins.


Hula Hoop Race

You will need: Two hula hoops

Your group will be split into two equal teams. Each team forms a circle holding hands and is given a hula hoop. One pair lets go and has a hoop placed over one arm before joining hands again. The team has to work together to move the hula hoop round the circle by stepping into it and pulling it over their heads without any person letting go of the hand they are holding. The team that manages to get the hoop around the circle first, wins.

You can if you want make the challenge more difficult by changing direction and sending the hoop back around the circle in the opposite direction.

The Look Wider Alien Sweetie Beetle

I’ll always be grateful for the lovely blogger Kelloggsville who is a Ranger leader. Her blog helped me a ton in those first months of panic when I was trying to support the five girls in our original group get our unit established and going.

We have had a fair few of our older members moving on in the last year, and a chunk of newbies joining. The last couple of terms have been hard going, mainly due to the new Scottish Secondary School curriculum which involves constant tests, exams and coursework that ends up having to be done at home as there isn’t enough class time (and that’s with some of our girls only doing 6 subjects as opposed to the 8 that was the norm for as long as I can remember for the O Grade/Standard Grade/Int 2/GCSE level of study).

Several of our new girls are not yet familiar with Look Wider, older members seem too tired to come up with and follow through on new ideas. So I decided that for the first nights back both groups would do a variation of the Octant Beetle.


First was finding sweets to fit dietary requirements that could be used for parts of the beetle. Because gluten free foods tend to be more expensive, I did do some that had two options.


Body = Gluten Free Brownie or Malted Milk Biscuit

Head = Jaffa Cake or Coconut macaroon

Eyes = Dolly mixtures or jelly beans

Legs = Strawberry laces or Strawberry Fruit yoyos (these are vegan & gluten free)

Feet = Cola bottles

Antennae = Strawberry pencils or Mango fruit yoyos and strawberry bonbons

Spots = Chocolate buttons

The Girls and leaders took turns in throwing the dice. I had a poster on the wall of what the beetle should look like, and what each number on the dice could contribute to, and what you could make it with. We played by the rules that you needed to start with a body or head, and you couldn’t add anything that would be ‘floating’ (ie you can’t add a foot before you have a leg for it)

1 = Body and Head

2 = Eyes

3 = Antennae

4 = Legs

5 = Feet

6 = Spots

I decided not to complicate things by having 8 things represent each octant. Instead, I had a blank Look Wider chart on the wall with sections to represent Phase 1, 2 and 3 of each of the octants. Any time someone got something to contribute to their beetle, they had to go up and add an idea for something they could do for Phase 1, 2 or 3 of one of the octants. Once the chart was full, we just added extra ideas until everyone had completed their beetles.

We also made it a new rule that if your turn came while you were still standing up trying to come with an idea, the next available person in the circle took a roll of the dice for their turn. This kept the game flowing better so that everyone had a completed sweetie beetle (or an almost completed one) by the end of the meeting.

At the end of the beetle game we had a bit of a sugar high and played pass the parcel (as there were birthdays, plus the prize inside was to help start an idea one of the groups had last year that we hope to act upon this term). But we also now have a two pieces of paper filled with ideas for how to complete Look Wider.

And yes, it has been long established that drawing (or anything that comes under the ‘arts and crafts’ bracket really) is not my strong suit. Please don’t judge my circle/octagon being more ovalish. Luckily the girls were able to follow it regardless.

The girls in the first group told me that ‘This was a great idea’. I was relieved that they thought that, and it went much better. It was a bit more challenging on the second night as we had as many Rangers as Leaders.

I totally recommend doing this as a pre-term planning activity or if you find your unit struggling to get into Look Wider. It was good having girls who have already completed (or almost completed) the Chief Guide Challenge there as they were able to share ideas from what they or past members had done.


Getting to Know You Games

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted. The cafe I work in gets crazy busy during the Edinburgh Festivals so August was manic, and I haven’t had the same amount of time to deliver accounts to Division Commissioners and organise planning meetings as I usually do! Now that things this week are getting back to normal I thought I’d share some ‘Getting to Know You’ ideas that I’ve used in various settings for both training adults and working with young people.

Getting to Know You Bingo

You will need: Prepared ‘Bingo Grids’ for everyone in the meeting (go to my blog post for more details)

I’ve used this at Senior Section this week, as we have a new volunteer and two new starts. This worked really well. The idea is that each person (including leaders) are given a grid with different facts about a person. For example ‘Someone who has an older brother’ or ‘Someone who goes to a different school from you’.  The idea is that you have to mingle with people in the room to find people to match each one. You can only use each person in the room’s name once (although if you have more spaces on the grid than people show up to your meeting, I say that if you’ve used up everyone in the room on your list, you can use a person no more than twice!). You can at the end gather in a circle to discuss what they found out about each other as a result.

Catch the Name

You will need: A spongey ball

Everyone stands in a circle. Go around the room and introduce yourselves. After that you say a name then throw the ball to that person. Continue until everyone has had a turn at catching the ball.

Name Association Game

You will need: NOTHING!

Everyone sits down in a circle. A person starts by saying their name and something that she likes. For example “My name is Laurie and I like chocolate cake”. The next person will go “My name is Jo and I like running. This is Laurie and she likes chocolate cake”. The person after that will say “My name is Lindsay and I like to dance, This is Jo and she likes running. This is Laurie and she likes chocolate cake” and so on until some poor person (hopefully a leader) is last repeating all the names and likes of everyone in the circle! Actually going last is easy because you’ve heard it all so many times. 🙂


You will need: A pack of playing cards

You will need an even number of people to participate in this game. Take out your cards and put them into pairs. Only have enough cards for everyone in the room participating. Shuffle the cards and hand them out. Each person has to find the person with the card that matches their own (ie Queen of Clubs and Queen of Spades, 3 of Hearts and 3 of Diamonds). Once everyone in the room is in a pair, shout out something that they should share with each other. It could ‘Your favourite Guiding memory’, “your favourite subject at school and why”, “your goal for what you’d like to do at Guides this year” etc.

Toilet Roll Game

You will need: A toilet roll

Everyone sits in a circle and passes around a roll of toilet paper. They are told they can take as much or as little toilet paper as they like. Once everyone has done that, they should pass their sheets of toilet roll to the person beside them. After that, for every sheet of toilet roll they share a fact about themselves.

Two truths and a lie

You will need: Pens and paper

Everyone is given a pen and piece of paper, and some time to think of three facts about themselves. Two will be true, one will be a lie.

You can either do it so that everyone shares in a large group one at time their three facts and the group has to guess. Or you can ask them to pair up with someone they don’t know very well and share their facts with each other. Then in a large group the other person tells the group which fact they think is the lie. The latter way works better if you have a group of people that includes friends that know each other very well.

Spiders Web

You will need: A ball of wool

Everyone sits in a circle, and person with the ball of wool shares their name and a fact about themselves before unravelling some wool and throwing it to another person in the circle. Eventually you should have a tangled web where everyone in the circle is connected by the web of wool.

Are there any good ‘getting to know you’ games that you’ve used in the past that I’ve not shared about? Please do in the comments – I’m always looking for new ones!