25 Minute to Win It Class Party Games

minute to win it class party games kidsLooking for ideas for your next classroom party? Minute to win it games are a fun activity to see who can complete a challenge or game the best in a short amount of time. Plus, your students will be rolling with laughter! 

Team Building Games 

  1. Marshmallow Windstorm - Use masking tape to create a line down the middle of a table. Place teams on either side with a large stack of marshmallows and one straw for each player. Students must blow as many marshmallows as they can across the line within a minute. This will make for hilarious photo ops as students discover how difficult it is to blow through a straw.
  2. Puzzle Mania - Divide into teams and give players one minute to work together to complete a simple puzzle. Take advantage of this activity to focus on themes from current classroom lessons or the time of year. Make your own puzzles by pasting copies of select pictures on cardboard then cutting shapes.
  3. Ring Around the Classmate - Using hula hoops or pool floats, create a human ring toss. Divide players into teams of two standing at least five feet apart. Players attempt to get the most rings (hoops or floats) around their partners as possible within one minute.
  4. Cup Toss - Divide the class into pairs and give one student a large plastic cup and the other a handful of mini marshmallows, popcorn or any other small soft object. Players have one minute to toss the objects into their partner's cup. For an additional challenge, increase the distance between team members in 10-second intervals.
  5. Balloon Race - Teams of two have one minute to keep a balloon up in the air using only their breath, while blowing it across a series of lines. The team that can either keep it up the longest or reach the farthest distance wins.
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  1. Don't Drop the Ball - Teams of two to four have one minute to keep a miniature basketball in the air while shooting it through mini hoops. The ball cannot touch the ground after it goes through the hoop. The team who makes the most baskets without dropping the ball wins.
  2. Tissue Teamwork - Give each team member a straw and a piece of tissue paper. Have team members stand in line and pass the tissue by blowing it with the straw only. Whichever team gets the farthest without dropping it wins.
  3. Rollin' Away - Divide students into teams and give each team a toilet paper roll. One person holds the roll while the other carefully unroll it without tearing it. The first team to successfully unroll the entire roll in one minute wins!
  4. Build a Unicorn - Using doughnuts, cupcakes or another stackable snack, have players stack the treats on top of their partner's forehead while they lean back. Whoever can stack the longest unicorn horn without it falling wins.

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Mind Challenge Games

  1. Rhyming Hats - Use alternating red and white cardboard hat rim shapes with words that rhyme to see who can build the tallest Dr. Seuss hat in a minute. Students are challenged to sort and build hats based on rhyming words (for example cat, bat, sat on one hat and pot, not, cot on another). Perfect for Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations and Read Across America festivities.
  2. M&M Matchmaking - Give each player a large pile of assorted M&Ms and corresponding colored cups. In one minute, see who can match the most M&Ms to the correct cup. The person with the smallest pile at the end wins.
  3. Word Shout - A teacher or volunteer provides each player with a word and they must shout out as many rhyming words as they can within one minute. The player to say the most rhyming words in a minute wins!
  4. Paper Word Listing - Provide whimsical paper cutout shapes for teams to write as many vocabulary study words or spelling list words as they can within a minute. Shapes may include objects such as shamrocks, Valentine's hearts or New Year's Day hats depending on the time of year. Consider using their shapes for a class bulletin board project afterward.
  5. Unscramble Race - Add some fun and prizes to ordinary practice for spelling or vocabulary quizzes by making it a race against the clock. Award points for students who can unscramble the most words within a minute. The same concept can be used with math facts.
  6. Pattern Palooza - Create a poster or card showing different line patterns (such as a straight line, a cross, three balls across and two down, etc.) that students can copy. Using decorated empty egg cartons and ping pong balls, players must replicate as many different patterns as they can in a minute.

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Balancing Games 

  1. Candy Stack - Place jumbo craft or popsicle sticks in players' mouths and have them balance as many candy pieces as possible on the end of the stick in a minute. This fun activity can be easily adapted to a variety of holidays or themes. Consider candy corn, chocolate snowflakes, Valentine's Day conversation hearts or jelly beans.
  2. Penny for Your Thoughts - Players are given one minute to balance 15 pennies on top of their heads while walking across a finish line. They must start again each time they drop a penny. Whoever gets closest with all their pennies wins.
  3. Cup Stacking - Give players one minute to create the tallest plastic cup pyramid — without it crashing!
  4. Bunny Tail Hunt - Perfect for springtime celebrations, students must scoop up as many bunny tails (cotton balls) as possible with a plastic spoon and race them over to a big bunny cutout holding a basket. Participants only have one minute and can only use one hand. If they drop the cotton ball, they must begin again. (This challenge also works with Rudolph noses for winter holiday celebrations.)
  5. Bouncy Ball Transfer - Players have one minute to transfer five small bouncy balls from one bowl to another using only a spoon held in their mouths.
  6. Penny Stacking - Students must stack as many pennies as they can in one minute using only one hand. For an extra challenge, try it blindfolded.
  7. Top of Head Balance - Within a minute, blindfolded players must use a spoon to transfer as many feather light objects (think cotton balls, Q-tips, feathers) from a bowl on their lap to the top of their head as they can.
  8. Ping Pong Drop - Place a plastic cup on the floor and a chair directly behind it. Players must stand on the chair and attempt to drop as many ping pong balls as possible directly into the cup without tipping it over in the span of a minute. Each time the cup tips the players must empty it and restart.
  9. Apron Race - Players must first tie on an apron and fill the pockets with as many pennies as possible. Then they must run to a finish line trying not to spill their pennies. Each time a penny drops, they must bend to pick it up. The player reaching the finish line with the most pennies within a minute wins.
  10. Blindfold Bowling - This game can be done with a variety of objects in place of bowling pins such as paper cones, empty water bottles or paper towel rolls. The objective is to bowl blindfolded as many times as needed within a minute to knock down the "pins."
Keeping a poster board chart with the names of all the players, games and points can be a great way to build excitement and keep track of prizes. Be sure to include prize points for participation, best sportsmanship and teamwork. Start your timers! 

Laura Jackson is a freelance writer based in Hilton Head, S.C. with her husband and two teenagers. 

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