Family Traditions : The Ribbon Game

Years ago when the kids were two and six, I began a family tradition known as the Ribbon Game. The game started simple enough, though I hadn’t planned on doing this yearly but seventeen years later, we are still playing! The nature of the Ribbon Game is pretty straightforward, the kids wait in one area of the house, usually our bedroom, while my husband & I begin to create an intricate maze of yarn through the house, a different coloured ball for each child that eventually leads to their gift. I will often make this present something silly, a fun game to be played, a DVD, or movie tickets, or a small present that’s already under the tree.


While the kids wait in our room, with their new Christmas pyjamas on, my husband & I work away at creating a web that zigzags through our home. When we’re finished, we call out to the kids and let them know the game is on!


As they leave our room, they wind up their ball of yarn, under & over each other. At first, they keep a steady pace with the other, but soon enough, one of the kids takes the lead. As the yarn is crisscrossed over, it winds its way around doors, pieces of furniture, up & over & around tables, wrapped around the sofa, back down through the hall, it looks like a scene from Mission Impossible! They open the basement door, following their yarn that leads them around the basement pole, back up to the main floor, through the living room & back into the kitchen, zigzagging over the other.

“Mom, how much more to go!?”

“You’re almost there” I will say “keep going!”


As they continue on, it becomes a race to the finish as they near the end! What took forty minutes to set up, is almost done in half the time. My husband & I watch, waiting to see who finishes, camera ready to capture their expression & the imminent victory dance that we know will follow!

“Wahoo!” one of them will yell! Jumping up & down when they’ve finally reached their present! Eager to open it, the winner must wait for their sibling. Oh, the torture! Exhausted, everyone flops onto the couch to unwrap their gifts. Our tired kids are off to bed following the game, where they’ll hopefully fall fast asleep, leaving us to make preparations for Santa's arrival.

Edmonton Family Magazine_Ribbon Game

To Play The Ribbon Game

When we first started the ribbon game, we used a large spool of curling ribbon but have found that yarn is easier on their hands & more durable, so we made the switch. You’ll need a different coloured ball of yarn (of equal size) for each child & their presents to hide. Hide the present near the end of the spool as you’ll have to gauge the length of your ball of yarn or ribbon that you’ve purchased. To create your web, begin weaving around furniture, doorways, stairwells, making it as a complex or simple, dependent on their ages. Once you’re done & the present is hidden, call them out & let the fun begin! If you play, post a photo on Instagram & tag us @yeginspired or use #yeginspired
This game is also great for hiding gifts at any time during the year! ENJOY!