“Minute to Win It” Game Ideas for Kids

Minute To Win It Games for kids

Do you need an icebreaker of sorts for your next children’s event?  Minute To Win It games are great ways to begin an event, engage a crowd of children, and ramp up excitement.  All of the games are played with easily accessible household items, so they are easy to prepare and of no cost to your ministry.

If you play one of these games, you want the child to be successful.  You also want the crowd to heap encouragement on the player, so lead the students likewise.  If you sense a child is not going to make it in the designated time period, help them out.  More challenging games can be interspersed for adults to win or lose (the sillier the better).  Have “Thank you for playing prizes” as rewards (whether they win or lose).  Have fun!  “You’ve got 60 seconds!”

Minute To Win It Games for Kids

Bucket Head:  Catch three balls in a bucket on top of your head.

Defying Gravity:  Keep two balloons in the air.

Breakfast Scramble:  Assemble the front of a cereal box that has been cut into eight pieces.

Dizzy Mummy:  Unroll a small roll of toilet paper with 360 degree spins of the arm.  (You may need to unravel some first to make it an attainable task.)

Elephant March:  Knock over bottles using a baseball bat hanging from panty hose worn on the head.

Tissue Toss:  Using both hands, empty a tissue box.

Play it By Ear:  Place five cans with varying quantities of pennies in the correct order.  (With a sharpie, place the numbers on the bottom.)

Separation Anxiety:  Separate a pile of 25 multicolored chocolate candies into five separate containers in a set color order.

Candelier:   Stack four layers of cans, with paper plates in between.

Tweeze Me:  Players use tweezers to relocate five Tic Tacs from one bowl to another.

Have you utilized Minute To Win It games in your children’s ministry?

NBC provides a list of Minute To Win It games on their website.  The following games are adaptations for children to play at home or in children’s church.  Each game listed here provides a challenge for kids, but should be within their realm of development and skill, particularly for grades third through sixth.  You may want to adapt as necessary for younger children.


  1. Samantha says

    I looked on a lot of websites and could not find any minute to win it challenges so i made up my own you have a bucket full of cotton balls and one not full of cotton balls and see how many you can get into the empty bowl in 60 seconds

  2. Jeff says

    Thanks for the help with ideas. We had one that that was a little different and lesson specific. I was teaching on David and Saul in the cave. The kids had a minute to crawl under a table and remove a dog-collar-bell that was tied to a string between two chairs withought making any sound. If they thought to hold the clapper, I gave it to them for thinking well.

  3. Andrea Johnston says

    I’m having a Minute to Win it bday party for my 6 year old son. He has 23 boys coming! How do you play the game with a larger group, such as your church groups? I appreciate suggestions.

  4. sheila says

    Thank you for all these great games. We’re hosting a 10 year old party and we thought some of the minute to win it games were too hard for young kids. This is a very big list and it’s good to know I don’t have to spend a lot of money to make it creative fun.

  5. Julie says

    Thanks for this site!! We are hosting a Minute to Win It class at our homeschool co-op for 4 weeks. The kids are sure to love this class!! Thanks for posting the top games for kids! And I love that everyone put in their favorites too.

  6. Helene Love says

    The cookie game is a big hit and the faces are amazing to watch. We do it as a race. The first one to eat their cookie wins.

  7. abby says

    just found your web-site while looking for games for one of our monthy childrens activities at our church. can’t wait to see what what else is in store. Thank You!

    Northport Baptist Church
    Newport, Tn

  8. Isaac says

    Thank you so much for picking out some of the great Minute to Win It games for kids! We used these during a 3rd and 4th grade lock-in.

  9. Jessica says

    We have had fun with the minute to win it games. The best part is that they can be played by all ages and are a great way to bring on the laughs. One of our favorites was Junk in the Trunk where ping pong balls must be expelled from a tissue box that is strapped to the players waist by twisting turning and jumping! It had the kids in giggles to watch the adults try the games. Another great one that made them all laugh was the one where they had a pedometer put on their arms and legs and they had to make it reach a large number…. funny!

  10. Kaily says

    That was so fun!!!!! My favourite game was play by the ear that was fun!!! I played it with my daughter at home. I had only 1 life left before I had to stop!! Thanks for the idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. David says

    I don’t have a name for it but when I want the kids to have a treat and a game at the same time I have them put a chocolate chip cookie on their foreheads and try to get it in their mouths in 60 secs. Their nose is what makes this both a challenging and entertaining feat.

  12. lydia rodriguez says

    thank you very much for sharing those games… i will try these on our sunday school & kids fellowship. God bless you!

  13. Keaton Yen says

    Thank You so much. I had a minute to win it birthday party and this was a perfect website

    Thanks Kristin
    Keaton Yen

  14. Alexis says

    I teach music at my church’s VBS. Our VBS does not have activity time and the children hate singing for entire half an hour so last year I promised the children if they give me a good 15 minutes of singing we will play a game. I had plastic cups left over from a graduation party so I let them do the stack game. With candy as a prize it got very competative. This year I plan to do a differnt minute to win it game every night and to make it relatable their task will not be complete until they say that night’s memory verse! Thanks for the alternate name for Hanky Panky (Tissue Toss). I didn’t find that name very appropriate.

  15. eda says

    I took a bucket and 3 tennis balls for the kids (elementary school ages) to play once we had finished our sunday school lesson and it was a complete hit! They all had an awesome time trying to accomplish the minute to win it game. And to my surprise, when the teens heard all the fuss, they came over and started participating in the game too. Must say that BUCKET HEAD was a great success!! Thanks for the idea!!!

  16. susan says

    We’re using Minute to Win It games for the 8-12 years old kids for Fall Festival. We’ve chosen games that we think the children will enjoy (as well as the adults cheering them on). We’ve chosen Bobble Head, Junk in the Trunk, Don’t Blow the Joker, Noodling Around, Ping Tac Toe, Stick the Landing, Sticky Situation, Work Diving, Mad Dog, and Bean on a Straw. The only thing we really had to purchase were pedometers for Bobble Head but found some at the Dollar Tree! The children will rotate between four stations and play different games at each station. We’re looking forward to the fun!

  17. says

    This has been one of the greatest inventions of this time, and it’s so easy to play and to connect to the lessons.
    Go to http://www.nbc.com and download all the blueprints and practice before showing kids how to play, they must know it can be done within 60 seconds,(adjust games according their age group) or who ever finish first.
    Teach kids how to be competetive in a healthy way, being kind to one an other and just having plain fun.It’s ok to have fun , Jesus did.He was once a kid.Every one want to be around him , specially kids.

  18. Brian says

    I did this one and is was alot of fun put a bag of m&m’s in a bowl and they have to seperate the colors into different bowls using chopsticks

  19. Rebecca says

    Stacking dice on a plastic knife.
    Cookie on face.
    Stacking eggs with paper towel tubes.

  20. Angela says

    Cookie – Face : Place a simple cookie (like a vanilla wafer) on your forehead while tilting your head back. Then you have to put your hands behind your back and work the cookie into your mouth using only your facial muscles. Don’t drop the cookie or your out, (we usually give the kids atleast 3 tries). I teach 4th and 5th graders at my church and this has been their favorite minute to win it game yet!

  21. says

    We are are an eight month old church plant. To get to know our neighbors better we have held Family Fun Nights every Wednesday evening this summer. Several times we have incorporated the Minute to Win It games and they are always a huge hit.

    The overall favorite is always Face the Cookie but usually it is an adult that wins. Other favorites the kids can do (but you may want to change the names) are Noodling Around, Suck It Up, Rapid Fire, Bite Me, Chocolate Unicorn, Spare Me, Mad Dog, A Bit Dicey, Roll With It, Paper Dragon and Penny Hose.

    You can get the countdown and videos they use on the show off of Youtube if you really want to go big with it. But these really would make a great opener to a Children’s Church time.

    Here is another link that gives a short explanation and tells the level of difficulty for each one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Minute_to_Win_It_challenges On a side note, they have also adapted many of the games to fit the Christmas theme.

  22. says


    I got the idea from my husband, who used Minute to Win It games at our last youth retreat. The teenagers loved the games, it was a great opener to our main sessions, and I thought it could be easily adapted for children.

    Glad to hear that you’ll be able to utilize them. I like the bonding that it creates, also. Thanks for your comment!

  23. Daniel says

    We love these games at our church! Our youth program had a whole “Minute to Win It” afternoon for their time together a couple of months ago. They had so much fun, and it was a great bonding experience for old members and new members alike.

    I had never considered using these games for Sunday School, but this is a fantastic idea!! My youngsters are going to love this, and with time constraints, this makes the perfect kind of activity for our kiddos; they can cheer each other on, and take part in team-building at the same time.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration!! :)

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