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30 Minute to Win It Party Games for Adults
It was a popular game show on NBC — contestants were given a minute to complete a task or challenge. Sometimes silly, sometimes challenging, oftentimes both, the show was so much fun that people started to throw their own “Minute to Win It” parties. With just a little effort and a few supplies, you can get in on the fun with your own group.
- Defy Gravity - Using only one hand, each player must keep two balloons from touching the ground for one minute. For a more challenging game, increase the amount to three balloons per player (and use different colored balloons for each player to make it easy to differentiate.) No holding the balloons!
- Thread It - Have contestants thread as many needles as they can in a minute. This sounds simple, but the game can get very frustrating — and competitive!
- Cookie Monster - Each player places a cookie on her forehead, and the goal is to get the cookie into her mouth using only facial muscles in under one minute. No hands. This is tougher than it looks!
- Penny for Your Thoughts - Players must stack 25 pennies in under a minute using only one hand. This game works well with three players competing in each round of play.
- Stack It Up - Some people like to eat them whole, others like to screw off the top and eat them in parts. But how will you do stacking Oreos? See how many you can stack in a minute without the tower of goodness collapsing.
Coordinate an office potluck with a sign up. SAMPLE
- Suck It Up - Players place a straw in their mouth and use suction to transfer a pile of 25 M&M’s from one plate to another in under one minute. Only one hand may be used to hold the straw. Everyone gets to eat their candy when the round is finished!
- Wanna Spoon? Using nothing but a spoon in your mouth, transfer as many ping pong balls as you can from one bowl to another. No hands! Hands are only allowed if you drop the ping pong ball, and then they can be used to place the ball back into the original bowl for another transfer attempt.
- I’m an Egg-cellent Spooner - Kick it up a notch and replace the ping pong balls with eggs. Using only a spoon, players carry an egg from one end of the room to the other. Cross the room as many times as you can in a minute.
- Water Pong - Try a variation of the adults-only game. Fill plastic cups with water and place at least six on the opposite end of a table. Throw ping-pong balls with the goal of landing in the cups (without rimming out). The winner is the person who sinks the most shots in a minute.
- Stuff It! - Buy bags of big puffy marshmallows and have contestants stuff as many as they can in their mouth in a minute. Ask them to recite something funny afterward!
- State of Affairs - Have contestants name as many state capitals in 60 seconds as they can. You can do this competition with oral or written answers.
- Volcanic Eruption - Combining a mint and a soda has long been a fun science experiment and now it can be a fun Minute to Win It game. Drop a mint into the opening of a soda bottle from high above … and wait for the explosion. The fastest explosion wins!
- The Pyramid Game - Stack red Solo cups in a pyramid then undo the stack without it collapsing. Add an extra challenge by asking participants to stack with only one hand.
- Spray Off - This game is all about keeping cool when under pressure. Players will be given a spray bottle filled with water, and the aim is to guide a floating balloon toward a trash can by using only the spray. If the balloon hits the ground, they have to start over.
- Rice Bowl - Use chopsticks to transfer as much rice as possible from one bowl to another with one hand. (Hint: use uncooked rice so the texture makes the rice difficult to maneuver.)
- Name Dropper - Contestants have to name as many celebrities as they can in 60 seconds. Make it tougher by including specific categories (women rock stars, talk show hosts or athletes).
- Mr. President - Name as many U.S. presidents as you can in 60 seconds. Sounds easy. Until you have to do it.
Organize a neighborhood block party with a sign up. SAMPLE
- Chain Reaction - Have players name as many brand names (or chain stores) as they can in a minute. Take it to the next level with specific industries — athletic brands, burger restaurants, furniture stores, etc.
- Who’s Your Lucky Charm? Using a box of the multi-colored cereal, separate the “charms” into their individual categories. The person who separates the most cereal in a minute wins.
- That’s a Wrap! - Wrapping a gift well is a true art. Unless you have just 60 seconds. Have contestants wrap as many gifts as possible.
- Roll the Dice - Give each contestant a pair of dice and assign someone to assist. Participants will roll the dice as many times as they can in a minute, while the partner adds up the total for each roll. The highest combined total wins!
- Pieces of the Puzzle - Cut up a cardboard cereal box into square pieces like a puzzle. See who can reassemble the box the best in under a minute. The winner is the person who either completes the task first before a minute is up or who is closest after a minute.
- Unstack It - Use the popular game Jenga for this challenge. See who can remove the most pieces from the Jenga tower in one minute — while still keeping the stack standing!
- Swish, Swish - Got an athletic bunch? See who can hit the most shots in a minute. The twist? Each time the contestant successfully hits a shot, she has to take a step back for the next one.
Plan a retirement party potluck with a sign up. SAMPLE
- Balance the Budget - This one is for all the math geeks or accountants. Give each participant the same word problem that describes a person’s income and spending habits, including regular bills and discretionary spending. See who can figure out first if the person has a balanced budget or is spending too much. Plus, they’ve got to figure out the margin!
- Name That Tune - Play five-second snippets of 12 songs (totaling one minute). Have participants write down the songs they think they just heard. Winner is the person with the most correct!
- Pile of Kisses - How dexterous is your group? Contestants will compete to see who can unwrap the most Hershey Kisses in one minute. One bonus: You can eat the sweet treats afterward or place in a plastic Ziploc bag to save for a baking project. Just make sure contestants wash their hands first!
- Time Tables - It’s back-to-school time for your crowd. Print out old-school multiplication or division sheets (the ones that come with 100 problems). See who can answer the most correctly in one minute! Bragging rights are on the line.
- Lego Builders - Print out some instructions for a simple Lego project. See who can complete it first in less than a minute.
- Interview Time - Split into pairs, and give each person a chance to interview the other for one minute, taking notes. The winner of the challenge is the person who can recite the most facts about the other person after the interview. For instance, hometown, favorite drink, job title, etc.
Minute to Win It games are a fun icebreaker that can bring your group — whether it’s a book club, small group or intramural sports team — closer together. You’ll be well on your way to getting to know each other with these ideas.
Michelle Boudin is a reporter at NBC Charlotte and a freelance writer.