Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Minute to Win It Ideas

I know that Christmas get togethers are looking a little different this year for lots of us and thought today I'd share some "minute to win it" style games that we've played at various parties over the years in case you're looking for some ideas to spice up your Christmas celebrations with your family.  These are all tried and true and would be fun with kids or adults!  Make a game night out of 12 or pick two to do every night for 6 nights - tons of fun options and hilarious memories to be made :)

Place a gingerbread cookie on each person's forehead.  The first one to get the cookie into their mouth using only their face muscles OR the person with the cookie closest to their mouth after one minute is the winner.

We had two piles of pennies (40 pennies in each pile) and, using only one hand, each person had to stack their pennies.  The first person to get them all stacked OR the person with the most stacked at the end of one minute wins.
Contestants must transfer 25 M&Ms from one plate to another using only a straw.  The first person to complete the transfer OR the person with the most transferred at the end of one minute is the winner.
Supplies: 50 red and green M&Ms, 2 straws, 2 plates 

Players had to stack 5 nuts (like, hardware - not almonds. hahaha) on top of each other using only a toothpick.  Whoever completes the task the fastest OR whoever has the most stacked up at the end of one minute wins.
Stack 36 solo cups into a Christmas tree form using only one hand (starting with a base row of 8, then 7, then 6, etc.).
Supplies: 72 solo cups 

Whoever can keep three balloons in the air the longest wins.

Players have to move candy canes from a pile on the table into a bowl using only a candy cane that they're holding in their mouth.  The person who transfers the whole pile OR the person who transfers the most after one minute wins.
I gave each contestant a plate and three cans of whipped cream.  Whoever had the tallest Christmas tree at the end of one minute wins.
Each person has a bag of marshmallows and they have to toss the marshmallows into their bowl.  The person with the most marshmallows in their bowl at the end of one minute wins.

Stack 40 Solo cups with one of a different color on top.  Put that one at the bottom of the stack and keep moving them (one handed) until the cup is back at the top.  The person who gets the cup back on top first wins OR the person who has moved the cup the furthest at the end of one minute wins.

Each person has a belt with an ornament attached to it (on a ribbon or spring).  There are 8 empty cans on a table and they have to move their hips to swing the ornament to knock down the cans.  Whoever knocks them all down the quickest OR whoever knocks down the most at the end of one minute wins.

Two girls and two guys will be competing against each other as a team.  One is the tree and the other is the wrapper.  The tree stands with their hands above their head (like a tree) and the wrapper has to wrap as much toilet paper around them as possible.  The team with the most used paper at the end of one minute (or the team to use all of their rolls the fastest) wins. 
Supplies: package of toilet paper 

Each player will have a bowl of mini marshmallows and they have to make as many “snowmen” (stacks of 3) as they can in one minute.  The person with the most snowmen at the end of the time wins. 
Supplies: Bag of mini marshmallows 

Two girls and two guys will be competing against each other as a team.  One member of the team has to unwrap Hershey kisses and toss them into the mouth of their partner.  Whoever catches the most kisses at the end of one minute wins (or whoever gets one first if no one has caught one after a minute). 
Supplies: bag of Hershey’s kisses 

Players must quickly go through a bowl of red and green candies and divide the candies (one candy at a time) into separate bowls across the room labeled naughty or nice. Red candies go into the naughty bowl and green candies go into the nice bowl. 
Supplies: Red and green candies, two bowls. 

Each player will have a bowl filled with 10 cotton balls.  They’ll be blindfolded and have to “shovel the snow” from one bowl to the other using a plastic spoon and one hand. 
Supplies: 2 bowls, 2 plastic spoons, 20 cotton balls 

Each person has a “gift” that’s been wrapped in an entire roll of Saran Wrap.  The first person to get their gift out wins. 
Supplies: 2 gifts (candy bars), 2 rolls of saran wrap 

Each person gets a paper plate and a sharpie.  They put the plate on top of their head and have to follow the following instructions… 

Draw a line for the floor 
Draw a Christmas tree.  Add decorations to your tree. 
Draw a star on top of your tree 
Draw a fireplace with a mantel next to the tree 
Draw a stocking hanging from the mantel of your fireplace 
Draw a present below the tree 
After they’re done drawing, count up how many points each player received using the following rubric… 
1 point if their tree touches the floor
2 points if their stocking touches the mantel 
1 point if their star touches the tree 
1 point if the star is above the tree 
1 point for every Christmas ornament that is ON the tree 
1 point if your fireplace doesn’t touch the tree (that’s a fire hazard!) 
1 point if you drew something decorative on your stocking (or something cute, like a tiny kitten peeking out) 
2 points if your present is under your tree 

Supplies: 2 paper plates, 2 Sharpies 

Each person has an ornament on the floor.  They have to push it from Point A to Point B using only their nose.  Fastest player wins. 
Supplies: 2 Christmas ornaments 

Each person has a bowl with 30 marshmallows.  Whoever can eat the most in one minute (or whoever finishes their bowl first) wins.  
Supplies: big bag of marshmallows 

We attached two pieces of tinsel (the really fluffy kind) in between two chairs.  The players stood on the seat of the chairs and dropped candy canes onto the tinsel and whoever had the most hanging at the end of the round won.  

One player "hiked" an ornament to their partner who had to catch it in a gift box.  Whichever pair caught the most in one minute won.

I pulled out my teacher tricks and used Kahoot to play a couple short rounds of "trivia".  Kahoot isn't just for teachers - and it's so much fun!  I didn't even make the games - they were public ones that worked for our event.  Essentially you use your cell phone as a buzzer to answer questions and it tracks the scores for you.  Easy and fun!  (you do need a projector and screen for this as everyone will need to see the questions/answer options)

The first person to pop 10 balloons (while wearing oven mitts or winter gloves) using only their hands wins!

This one was super easy!  Two ornaments on the floor and each player had to use a gift box to fan it and create a wind to blow it across the floor.  First one to a designated point won.

Each player had a cup full of cotton balls that they had to transfer to another bowl using only a plastic spoon they were holding in their mouth.

This one was super fun :)  I wrapped seven identical boxes one of which had a little picture of Santa in it.  The players had to wear oven mitts and and the person who found Santa won.

I took two ornaments and wrapped each one in an entire roll of saran wrap.  The first player to uncover their ornament won (this one is one of my favorites!)

I wrote out a few Christmas/Winter activities (i.e. making a snow angel, Christmas caroling, opening presents, rocking around the Christmas tree, catching a snowflake on your tongue, etc.) and both players acted it out at the same time.  Whichever team yelled out the answer correctly (players couldn't talk or make noise - just like regular charades) won.  

My plan was to start off with a group game pitting team against team.  I created this playlist and was going to play the songs through my bluetooth speaker and the first team to shout out the name got one point and the first team to shout out the artist got two points.  Easy!  Except that my spotify wouldn't work because the WiFi was out.  Wah. Wah.

On one side of the room I had a table set up with red pom poms and two spoons with a dab of vaseline on them.  Participants had to get vaseline on their nose, then get a pom pom to stick to their nose and run to the other side of the room where I had rudolph pictures taped to the wall.  They had to get the pom pom to transfer from their nose to the paper (there was a dab of vaseline on the paper as well) and the catch was that they had to do the WHOLE thing without using their hands :) The first person to get the red nose transferred onto Rudolph won.

I had one team member from each team come up to the front and I handed them each two rolls of white crepe paper.  They had to undo the whole roll without using their hands (for doing anything but holding the rolls).  You could also use toilet paper for this one.

We had six cups set up in a Christmas tree formation on one side of the room.  One team member from each team had to stand behind a designated line and start tossing jingle bells into the cups.  We set the timer for one minute and whoever got the most jingle bells into the cups got a point and there was also a point available for getting at least one jingle bell in each cup (filling up the tree).

For this game I had two stations set up each with 5 paper plates and 15 empty soda cans.  Participants had to create a chandelier stacking in this order... can, plate, 2 cans, plate, 3 cans, plate, 4 cans, plate, 5 cans, plate.  Whoever created the chandelier (and it lasted for 3 seconds) first got the point for their team.

For this game participants had to get their team to guess as many songs as possible but they could only use the word DOO to sing.  I wrote a list of songs on slips of paper and had them in a bowl for teams to draw from.  I set the timer for two minutes and each team watched the other team sing/guess.  The team that got the most correct won the point for their team.

I had 16 Hershey kisses sitting out on a plate for each participant.  TWO of the kisses had santa stickers on the bottom.  At the same time, players had to pick up a kiss, turn it over and see if it had Santa on it.  If it didn't - they had to unwrap and eat the kiss.  The first person to get a kiss from Santa won a point for their team.

I mean - who doesn't love them some classic pictionary.  I had all kinds of Christmas words written out on slips of paper and set the timer for 3 minutes.  Each team watched the other team and whoever got their team to guess the most words in 3 minutes won.

I had three people from each team come up to the front and the goal was to empty a tissue box with one hand the fastest.  You could make this a one vs. one game, but I thought it would be fun to make it more of a team effort.  The team who ALL finished first won.

I set up 15 plastic cups along the edge of two tables (so 30 cups total) and gave each player a couple of balloons.  They had to blow up the balloons and then release the air to blow the cups off of the table.  The first one to blow all of their cups off won.

This one was super simple - each player had a cup of cocoa and a cup of marshmallows and the first person to finish it all won the point.

Amanda tagged me in this video on Facebook and I knew immediately we had to play it.  You need a wrapped box, oven mitts and a pair of dice.  We had six people (3 from each team) stand around the table and basically you want to be the one to get the gift from inside the box.  You have to wear the oven mitTs and you can keep trying to open it until the person next to you rolls doubles at which point you have to pass the box to them.

Hope you found a fun idea or two to incorporate into your celebrations this year!


  1. I'm so sad we didn't get to play these games this year. Insert me crying right here...

  2. This came at the perfect time!! I need games to play at our family Christmas, and this just made my life 100000x easier, thank you!! :)

  3. Great list! (I can never get your Pinterest button to work. Not sure if the issue is on your end or mine. Would love to pin this!)

  4. I have sent this post to my mom because several years ago we started playing these types of games every Christmas! We call them reindeer games. The challenge this year will be finding games my 3 year old can play too, because you know she thinks she's big enough to do anything. :)

  5. Thanks for these! We have “reindeer games” every year at our house and some of these sound awesome to throw in to our mix!


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