Minute to win it games for kids have been around forever. You take some household objects and challenge someone to be the first to finish a challenge or to see how many times they can complete a task in one minute.
However, after the broadcast of the popular TV show Minute To Win, the name stuck. Now, many people now refer to this type of challenge, task, and game as minute to win it games.
- Minute to Win It games are simple tasks with a twist of difficulty using household objects.
- These games can be played individually, in pairs, or as a team against the clock or in a race.
- Scoring can be kept in various ways, making the games more competitive and engaging.
- Examples of popular games include Cup Stack, Cookie Face, and Junk in Your Trunk.
How to Play Minute to Win It Games
Minute to win it games can be played in a variety of ways. What they all have in common is that they require a player to perform a simple task with a quirky twist of difficulty, using ordinary household objects.
For example, you might have to transfer candy from one bowl to another, which is an easy task. The challenging twist might be that you have to do it with a spoon held between your teeth while holding your hands behind your back.
You can play as an individual, in pairs, or as a team. The tasks are often played against the clock, but some might be “first to complete the task wins” type games.
Minute to Win It Games for Individuals
Individual minute to win it games for kids are usually an against-the-clock type of task. These are an excellent way to spend an afternoon either indoors or out. When learning at home we also enjoy these games as a fun break from academics.
Minute to Win It Games for Pairs
Minute to win it games for pairs involve two people working together. These can be relay-type games where one person hands off a task to another or cooperative games where players have to work together to succeed.
These games are not only fun but also an excellent way of developing communication skills and teaching the importance of teamwork.
Minute to Win It Games for Groups & Teams
There are two types of Minute To Win It games for teams.
First, you can split your players into equal teams, and one person from each team will go head to head. Second, you can have the entire team work on a task together while facing off against the other teams.
How to Score Minute to Win It Games
If you’re playing Minute to Win It games for fun, to break up your day, or to keep the kids busy during a Zoom call, there’s no need to keep score. But if you want to make it competitive, you can score minute to win it games in several ways:
- Give one point to whoever wins a game, and the person, group, or team with the most points wins.
- Give one point for last place, two points for second to last, etc. The team, group, or individual with the most points wins.
- Award five points for first place, four for second place, three for third, and one point for everyone else who finishes.
The Best Minute to Win It Games for Kids
These are our family favorite Minute to Win It games, tried and tested by our families and kids.
1. Cup Stack
Start with 15 cups in a single stack and see how fast you can build a pyramid with the 15 cups. For an additional challenge, disassemble it to create a single stack or see how many times you can assemble and disassemble the stack in 60 seconds.
This game can be adapted for different age groups by adjusting the number of cups and/or the tower’s complexity.
2. Hershey’s Kisses & Chopsticks
The basic version of this game is to move items from one place to another using chopsticks.
You can make it more difficult by using smaller or rounder objects, such as skittles or M&Ms, and by making the place, you put the items more tricky, such as a jar with a smaller or oddly placed opening.
3. Toilet Paper Pull
For this game, you unwind two rolls of toilet paper and place a heavy(ish) object at the end. Players race to roll their toilet paper back up without tearing the paper or tipping the item. The first player to pick their thing off the end of the unbroken toilet roll wins.
Here players have used wine glasses, but you can use plastic cups with water instead.
4. Suck Up The Skittles
Using a straw, players suck up and move as many skittles as they can from one place to another. Whoever gets the most skittles to the second spot wins.
You can also make this a game for teams by handing over to another player at the end of each minute.
5. Cookie Face
Players lean their heads back and place a cookie on their forehead. You have to move the cookie to your mouth and take a bite without using your hands.
6. Ear, Nose, and Pinch
See how many times you can alternate holding your nose with your right hand and your ear with your left, then swapping and holding your nose with your left hand and your ear with your tight. Be sure to clap your hands between each swap over.
7. Tower Test
Get the kids to build the highest tower they can in one minute, using paper plates and cups. For beginners, let them build however they like, but for slightly older kids, put in additional rules such as there must be two cups between each plate.
8. Three Balloon Keep ‘Em Up
How long can you keep three balloons in the air? Play with both hands for younger players, and for older players, hold one arm behind their back.
You can make it more difficult by adding rules such as “you can’t let the balloons touch the wall or the ceiling.”
If you want to play as a team, have people move from one point to another.
9. Sucker Swing
Make a pendulum out, or some string with a lollipop stuck to the end. Hold the string at the top with the lollipop at the bottom and swing it to hit a ping pong ball.
You can make this trickier by having a target, such as a plate or a jar, for players to hit the ping-pong ball into.
10. Whipped Cream Face Targets
If you want a really messy Minute to Win It game, then this is it! Players cover their faces in whipped cream and either:
See how many marshmallows they can pick up with their face cream in one minute. Or
Work in pairs to throw marshmallows at each other and see which team gets the most.
11. Junk in Your Trunk
Affix an empty tissue box to each player and fill the box with ping-pong balls, or in the example above, plastic easter eggs.
The kids jump up and down, wiggle, and generally burn off a lot of energy to empty their boxes. The first person to shake all of the junk from their trunk wins.
12. Balloon Stack Challenge
Make a line of empty plastic or paper cups. Give each person a balloon that they must blow up inside the cup to pick it up. Players must use this technique to put all of the cups in a stack.
As a team game, you can race against other players in a relay-style race. The second player can use the same technique in reverse to recreate the line.
13. Cheerio Bracelets
You have one minute to lace as many cheerios or fruit loops onto a pipe cleaner, put it on your wrist, and turn it into a bracelet.
Oh, and you have to do it all one-handed.
14. Bigfoot Bumble
Cut a giant pair of Bigfoot feet out of cardboard and glue a flip flop to the center. Using double-sided tape, stick ping-pong balls on each toe.
Single players see how far they can go in one minute without losing a ball, and teams can race between two set points. If a ball falls off your foot, you have to go back to your starting point.
15. Post It Note Cover Up
Stick as many Post-It notes to another player as you can in one minute.
16. Turkey Feather Keepie Uppie
Each player throws a feather in the air and must stop it from touching the floor without using their hands—the person who keeps their feather up for the longest wins.
17. Chocolate Unicorn
See how many Oreos, or similar cookies, you can stack on your forehead. You can also play in pairs or teams by having one person lean back and another stack the cookies.
18. Bangle Run
Place some bangles on a cup and put it on the table with another cup and a wooden spoon balanced on top — transfer bangles from one to the other without knocking the spoon off the glasses.
You can play this as a team game by having players move one bangle and then hand it over to the next player.
19. Pingpong Eggs
Layout empty egg cartons and have players throw ping-pong balls into them. Make it harder by randomly numbering the spots in which the balls must land and make the player hit them in order.
Teams can play by having one person at a time throw the ball.
20. Tall Ball Drop
Place a cup on the floor and have the plater stand on a chair. Drop the ball so that it lands in the cup, which is way harder than it sounds.
21. Twister Sister
Push the center of a stream up so your child can grab hold of the end. Set the timer and see how much of the streamer they can wrap around their arm or body in under a minute.
22. Cereal box puzzler
Cut the front off of a cereal box and cut it into pieces. Players must recreate the front of the cereal box before their minute runs out. Adjust the number of pieces, or the shape of the edges of the piece, according to how hard you want to make the puzzle.
23. Dipping, Tipping Tails
Tie a lollipop or another slightly weighty object around the player’s waist, dangling at the back like a tail. Lay your cups randomly on the floor, giving your child one minute to knock over as many as they can.
You can play the game outside using a sponge at the end of the tail. In this version, the player must soak their sponge to make it heavy enough to knock the cup over!
24. Card Ninja
Cut a watermelon in half and throw cards at it. The person with the most cards stuck in the watermelon after a minute wins.
25. PomPom Puffer
Using tape on the floor or tabletop, layout two lines. Players must blow their pom poms from one line to the other.
A two-player version has both players blowing simultaneously against each other, soccer-style, but with multiple pompoms.
26. Kerplunk or Kerplunk
Float plastic cups on their side in a bowl or pool. Players throw a candy or ping-pong ball into the cups. Each item in the cup is a goal. Score by goals in one minute or play in teams, each having 60 seconds to achieve as many goals as possible.
27. Spoon balance
Holding a spoon between your teeth either:
- See how many of a single item you can balance on your spoon,
- Have team members races between two points without dropping their item(s) or
- See how far you can race with items on your spoon.
Only do this with plastic spoons. Metal spoons can damage your teeth. Don’t allow young children to race while holding something in their mouth. It is a choking hazard.
28. Blow Ball Goals
Players try to blow a ping-pong ball into a goal or over a line, using only the air you’re letting out of a balloon.
An alternate version is having a player blow their ball along a particular path, avoiding obstacles.
29. Separation Anxiety
This is an excellent game for younger children or those who have issues with dexterity.
Fill a plastic cup with candies, or other items, of different colors. Players have one minute to sort as many items as they can into groups of the same thing. After one minute, the number of items you sorted is your score, or you hand your cup to the next person.
30. Blow Bowling
Using the air that escapes from a balloon, layers must knock over as many cups as they can in one minute. Alternatively, the first to knock over all of their cups wins.
Stack the cups instead for younger kids, or put the cups right way up and weighed down with candy for older kids.
31. Head Stacker
Players place a paper plate on their heads and have to place items on the plate. As an individual challenge, you can see how many things you get up there before the plate falls, and as a team sport, players can place the items on a teammate’s head.
32. Balloon Roll
Roll an inflated balloon from spot A to spot B, using just your elbows. You can play this as a single-player challenge or as a team game with players who take over at each point.
33. Skittle Scramble
Fill a bowl full of skittles and give each player a cup and a pair of chopsticks. Shout go, and players have to pick out skittles and drop them into their cups — the player with the most skittles in their cup when the minute is up wins.
34. Marshmallow Toss
Pair the players up, giving one a cup and one a cup of mini marshmallows. Players have one minute to throw as many of the marshmallows as they can from cup one to cup two.
35. Eat Like a Bird
Thread some cheerios, or a similar cereal, onto a string. To make things more interesting, intersperse the Cheerios with raisins, currants, or other dried fruits.
Hang your ring of cereal and fruit and get the kids to eat like a bird, with their hands behind their backs.
Either eat as much as you can before the time runs out, or the player who eats the most under a minute wins.
36. Penny Drops
Place a plastic cup in a bucket of water and fill the bucket enough to a point roughly two inches above the cup. Players drop coins into the bucket, trying to get them into the cup. The winner is the person who gets the most cash in the cup in under a minute.
37. Kernel Hunt
Paint or color a single corn kernel and hide it within a pot of kernels. Players have to find and remove the color kernel before time runs out, using chopsticks.
38. Rubber Band Archer
Set an empty tissue box on a table and have players flick rubber bands towards the opening. The person with the most rubber bands in the box in one minute wins.
39. Bubble Juggle
Layout a start and a finish line and line players up at the beginning. Players blow a bubble and must keep it in the air and cross the finish line. If your bubble pops, it’s back to the start line for you.
Adjust the difficulty by putting both lines in the same room, fairly close together for younger players. For older players, set the lines further apart or in different rooms.
40. Water Tower
Players have to build a tower of empty cans or plastic cups, but instead of making it on a stable surface, you create your tower on a plate that is floating in a bowl of water. Score a point for each “floor” of your tower before it falls.
41. Don’t Blow the Joker
Place a deck of cards on top of a bottle, ensuring the joker or another predetermined card is at the bottom of the stack.
Players must blow the cards of the bottle but leave the “special” card on the bottle. The person with the quickest, successful blow wins.
42. Bite Me
Cut some paper bags to various heights and line them up on the floor. Players have to pick up the bags and put them onto a table, using only their mouth.
The player with the quickest time to get all of the bags up wins.
43. Fruit Re-Roll-Ups
Unroll fruit roll-ups and have the players hold one end of the roll up in their mouth. When you say go, players start to chew the roll-up into their mouths. The first person to get all of the roll-ups into their mouth wins.
44. Pinecone Relay
A twist on the old-fashioned egg and spoon race, have the kids race from one spot to another balancing a pinecone on a spoon. If you drop the pinecone, you go back to the start.
45. Party Blower Blowout
Line up some plastic cups on a table edge. See how quickly the kids can push the cups from one side of the table to the other using a party blower.
The winner is the first person to get their cup to the other side.
46. Fasta Pasta
Using a stick of uncooked spaghetti held between your teeth, move dried rotini pasta from one plate into a cup — the first person to move all of their pasta wins. Alternatively, the person with the most pasta in their cup after 60 seconds wins.
47. Oh, Mummy
Have your kids use a toilet roll to wrap up another player, like a mummy. The first team to get all of the tp on their partner wins.
48. Reverse mummy
After playing Oh, Mummy, do the reverse, and the team that is unrolled the quickest wins.
49. Paddle, Bucket, Mallow
Tie a clipboard or cardboard “paddle” around the waist of player one. Player two throws marshmallows at the paddle, and player one has to hit the mallows into a bowl or bucket.
The team with the most mallows at the end of a minute wins.
50. Cash Challenge
Lay a line of dollar bills on the table. Kids use a straw to suck up the bills and drop them on a plate. Whoever gets the dollars on their plate first wins.
Supplies for Minute to Win It
If you want to play these minute to Win It games, you’ll need:
- Ping Pong balls.
- Post-It notes.
- Paper plates.
- Paper straws.
- Playing cards.
- Clothes pegs.
- Party cups.
- Compostable spoons.
- Lucky Charms mallows.
- Party blowers.
Minute to win it games are great for parties, family get-togethers, rainy days, or any other time you and the kids need an injection of fun. Most of these games can be adapted to work for individuals or teams or tweaked to adjust the difficulty.
Be prepared, get your supplies in, and enjoy some Minute to Win It games for kids.