Jan Scott

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
how to make a surprise ball
Twitter See All Email

Popularized in the 1950s, the surprise ball can be likened to a personal piñata, but instead of bashing the ball to reveal the trinkets tucked within, you unroll it and unravel the prizes as you go.

These can be used as party favours, stocking stuffers, or to wrap small birthday or other holiday gifts. Kids absolutely adore them, and they are an excellent party game when passed around to music like in pass the parcel.

To make a surprise ball, you’ll need small trinkets and/or treats, coloured crepe paper, fast-drying glue, and something to decorate the outside of the ball with. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Start by wrapping the largest item first. Wrap the crepe paper in a criss cross pattern to cover as much of the surface area as possible. Wrap another layer or two over the covered item using the same colour of crepe paper. Place a small dab of glue at the end of the strip and seal.
  2. Place another larger item on the wrapped surprise and continue wrapping following the instructions above.
  3. Position another item where it might fit and wrap that trinket following the instructions above.
  4. Continue placing items and wrapping in crepe paper until approximately ten items have been concealed. As you position the small toys, try to create a round ball shape as you work.
  5. When the ball is completely wrapped, decorate it with thinner folds of crepe paper, ribbon, baker’s twine and/or stickers.

Here are a few tips to help you with making your own surprise balls:


  • Wrap the biggest and best toy/prize first so it sits in the centre of the ball and is the last thing that gets unwrapped.
  • Save the smaller, flatter items for the last few wraps.
  • Look for trinkets and treats at party supply, craft or dollar stores. Or collect vintage treasures and use them whenever you make a ball.
  • Position the items as best you can in order to create a ball shape as you cover in the crepe paper. It’s almost impossible to make a perfectly round shape but you can cover them at the end to hide any unsightly bits.
  • The ideal size of a surprise ball is similar to a baseball or softball.

For more details, feel free to check out this excellent how-to video.

Have you ever made a surprise ball? I think they would be great for Halloween. You could make them to hand out to trick or treaters or send them into the school for a classroom party.

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
Twitter See All Email
banana bread muffins and 10 other ways to use up over-ripe bananas
Twitter See All Email

I placed a platter of banana chocolate chip muffins on the table for my son and his friends and those muffins disappeared in minutes.  I heard one kid claim they tasted ‘just like banana bread,’ hence the name of our new favourite baked banana treat.

I don’t know about you, but somehow I end up with no less then three overly ripe bananas sitting on the counter at the end of each week.  Here’s how I deal with the leftover fruit I face at the end of each week if I don’t have time to cook/bake with it:

• Toss bananas into the freezer, peel and all, and reserve for another day.
• Slice bananas into 1”-thick pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer to a ziptop baggie and store in the freezer. Use in smoothies as needed.
• Mash 2-3 bananas (or however many your favourite banana bread recipe calls for) and place them in a ziptop baggie. Store packets in the freezer—make sure they’re labeled—until you have time to make banana bread.


However, if I feel like using them up immediately, below is a list of ideas for making use of your leftover bananas in new and interesting ways:


  • Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Muffins: These aforementioned muffins (get the recipe) are perfect for tucking into the lunchbox or serving to friends at an after-school playdate.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Ice Cream: It’s still warm in some parts of the country so this would be perfect for a healthy after-school snack.
  • Banana Pancakes: Mash 1-2 bananas and add them to your favourite pancake recipe—no ingredient alterations required.
  • Whipped Banana Birthday Cake: Do you have a birthday to bake for? This whipped banana birthday cake is the perfect for any party celebration.
  • Banana Oatmeal: Add a large dollop of mashed bananas to your morning oatmeal, stirring it into the cereal before serving.
  • Chocolate and Banana Paninis: Perfect for breakfast, lunch or an after-school snack these sweet sandwiches are sure to delight the little ones.
  • Banana Bread Scones: A healthier and fun twist on classic banana bread.

Get the full printable recipe for Banana Bread Chocolate Chip muffins.

 

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
Twitter See All Email

Who’s Blogging?

Search Blogs

Explore More Savvy

  • EatSavvy
  • SavvyStories
  • PartySavvy
  • ShopSavvy
close
Want more Savvy? Sign up now to receive our newsletter twice weekly.