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No Time Like Now: Minute-To-Win-It Game Night

I would be misrepresenting my family’s dynamic if I didn’t tell you that when we have Minute-To-Win-It game night, the median age of the participants is roughly 31.44. Young and old compete against one another to create one of my all time favorite family memories. Minute-To-Win-It game night is unusual and quirky enough that we’re pulled out of our routines to just play and genuinely laugh with each other. Wednesday night doesn’t quite feel like a Wednesday night!

Everyone competes in several Minute-To-Win-It challenges, and whoever wins the most challenges at the end of the night is the victor and probably deserves to pick where everyone is going for dinner.

Cotton Head Challenge

To play, you need:

  • Two plates
  • Petroleum jelly
  • A pile of cotton balls.


  1. Set up the plates 12′ apart, with the cotton balls placed in 1 plate. The plate with the cotton balls will be the starting plate.
  2. To play, the player must transport as many cotton balls from the starting bowl to the end bowl within 60 seconds.
  3. Set a timer for 1 minute. When the clock starts, one contestant at a time may dip their nose in petroleum jelly and attempt to pick up a cotton ball with their nose.
  4. The player may only apply petroleum jelly by dipping nose directly into the petroleum jelly. Hands may not be used.
  5. If player transports more than 1 cotton ball at a time, any cotton balls that are deposited in the end bowl will not count towards the total count.
  6. Player must deposit cotton ball into the end bowl directly from the nose without using any other body part or object.
  7. The player with the most cotton balls in the end bowl within 60 seconds wins the challenge and gets a point to their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.

Face the Cookie Challenge

To play, you need:

  • A Nilla Wafer cookie (Well, I really preferred eating mini York Peppermint Patty’s, so feel free to use your discretion.)
  • A face


  1. When the clock starts, player may grab the first cookie and place it on the forehead.
  2. The cookie must remain in contact with the face (i.e. player may not toss the cookie from the forehead and catch it in the mouth).
  3. If a cookie falls, player may reset an intact cookie on the forehead for the next attempt.
  4. To complete the game, the player must get 3 cookies from their forehead to mouth within the 60-second time limit. Every player who accomplishes this challenge will receive a point added to their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”


Grab Bag Challenge

To play, you need:

  • 5 paper grocery bags
  • A table
  1. To set up the game, you’ll need to cut each grocery bag to a different height (10, 8, 6, 4, 2) and place them on the floor right side up.
  2. Start the clock for 60 seconds. When the clock starts a player may attempt to pick up the tallest bag with their mouth and may only touch the floor with his or her feet.
  3. If any other part of the players body touches the floor other than the feet while attempting to grab a bag, the player must reset by standing up before making another attempt.
  4. To complete the game, players must have all 5 bags concurrently on the table within the 60-second time limit. Those who complete the challenge may add one point to their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.

Defy Gravity Challenge

To play, you need:

  • 2 balloons per player
  1. Each player is given two balloons. When the clock starts, all players release both balloons into the air.
  2. Players may not hold balloons, allow them to rest on the body, or hit the ground. If any one of the players balloons does this, the player is eliminated.
  3. Every player left standing at the end of 60 seconds receives 1 point towards their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.

Doughnut on a String


To play, you need:

  • A doughnut for every player
  • String
  • Two chairs


  1. Tie a length of string between two chairs.
  2. With participants laying under the rope, tie pieces of string to the doughnuts and then to the across string, so the treats hang slightly above mouth level.
  3. Set the clock of 60-seconds. Each participant must eat an entire doughnut — no hands allowed — without letting it fall off the ribbon.
  4. If the doughnut falls or breaks off the player is disqualified.
  5. To win, the doughnut must be completely eaten from the string within 60 seconds. Every player that accomplishes this challenge receives 2 points toward their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.


Hang Nail Challenge:

To play, you need:


  • Nails: 3.5 flat head
  • String
  • 2 chairs
  1. String the string taught between two chairs.
  2. When clock starts, player may grab the first nail and attempt to hang it from the string.
  3. If a nail falls, player may pick it up and continue playing.
  4. To complete the game, player must hang as many nails as possible within the 60-second time limit. The player(s) with the most nails hanging at the end of the 60-seconds will receive 1 point towards their total Minute-To-Win-It “medal count”.


Noodling Around Challenge

To play, you need:

  • Penne pasta
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • A Table


  1. Prior to game start, contestant must stand with hands at sides.
  2. Once the game begins, the contestant may grab the spaghetti noodle and place it into their mouth.
  3. Once the spaghetti noodle is placed in their mouth, the contestant may not use their hands to complete the game.
  4. The contestant must be careful not to break the spaghetti. Should the spaghetti break, the game may continue, but all six penne noodles must still fit onto the spaghetti noodle outside of the mouth.
  5. Penne may fall off spaghetti during an attempt, but only remains in play if it lands directly on the table.
  6. Penne may touch lips, but may not enter the mouth.
  7. To complete the game, the contestant must hold a spaghetti noodle with the mouth while picking up and holding six pieces of penne with it, so that they remain concurrently on the spaghetti within the allotted 60-second time limit and remain that way for three consecutive seconds. The winners may add 1 point to their overall “medal count”.

Worm Diving Challenge

To play, you need:
  • String
  • Gummy worm
  • Bowl
  • Pretzels


  1. Set up a bowl filled with pretzels.
  2. Tie gummy worm so that it hangs 1 foot from the tip of your finger.
  3. Prepare gummy worm by getting it wet and wringing it out until it’s sticky.
  4. When the clock starts, player may attempt to fish pretzels out of the fishbowl and get the pretzel into his or her mouth.
  5. If the player touches the string or gummy worm while a pretzel is attached, that pretzel won’t count.
  6. String may not be wound around the finger during an attempt.
  7. To win the game, player must successfully retrieve as many pretzels as possible from the bowl and get it into his or her mouth within the 60-second time limit. The player(s) with the most pretzels at the end of the 60-seconds has earned another point towards the total “medal count”

The players with the most points at the end of the games is the winner! Happy Wednesday!

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