Minute Games

Type/Purpose: Community Builder

Youth and adults of all ages seem to really get into games that focus around some piece of current Pop Culture. “Minute to Win It” seems to be one of those things right now. The idea of short bursts of activity, working against the clock, and doing crazy things in the process has been used in game creation since games began (or so I hypothesize). Consider using one or many of the following games in your next gathering. Following the games are ideas for using these:

Paper Plate Plop

  • Materials: Pack of small paper plates (the kind you put dessert or sides on—the ones that stick together, hard to peel), clean table (so you can reuse them)
  • 60 Seconds to: Peel off the paper plates individually and drop them on the table. Must get 30 of them.

Chop Stick Cupping

  • Materials: 12 or more sets of chopsticks, separated; 1 foam noodle, 6 ceramic mugs, 1 small step ladder
  • 60 Seconds to: Stand on first step, and release chopstick into noodle, aiming it into the coffee cups. Get one chop stick in each cup.

Size ‘Em Up

  • Materials: 12 pairs of shoes (from other participants) mixed together in a mound
  • 60 Seconds to: Line the shoes up, by pairs, in numerical order. If shoes are the same size, they must then be put in alphabetical order by brand name. If there are 2 pairs that have the same brand name, it doesn’t matter which goes first.

Sandwich Cookie Spin

  • Materials: Multiple packages of sandwich cookies.
  • 60 Seconds to: Twist the tops off the cookies, leaving cream on just one side. Get 15 cookies.

Magnet Set

  • Materials: A small collection of silverware (forks, knives, and spoons); refrigerator magnet (one that’s not too strong, play around to get one that works)
  • 60 Seconds to: Use the magnet to drag the 8 knives out of the silverware pile, and create a square (each side has 2 knives). The only thing the participant’s hand may touch is the magnet.

Blow Me Away

  • Materials: Bag of Cotton Balls, separated; Straw(s), Large Conference Table with obstacles on top (books, cups, etc.)
  • 60 Seconds to: Blow the cotton balls, using the straw, from one end of the table to the other side, blowing them off of the end.

H-2-Oh My

  • Materials: 2 drinking cups (12 ounces each) on opposite sides of a large table. Fill one cup with water, mark a line on the second cup with a mark for 2/3 of that amount; drinking straw.
  • 60 Seconds to: Suck water into the straw using only the straw and your mouth (no hands), walk the fluids to the other cup, and dispense. Must fill cup 2/3 full to line marking.

These Numbers Rule!

  • Materials: Calculator (larger than a handheld); Wooden or Plastic Ruler
  • 60 Seconds To: Hold the ruler between your teeth and enter this equation: 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9=. If there is an error, hit reset and begin again.


  • Materials: A box or 2 of adhesive bandages (normal size), still in the individual paper wrappers; 2 pairs of tweezers; blank pieces of paper.
  • 60 seconds to: Using the 2 pairs of tweezers only, completely open the adhesive bandage, and stick 3 of them on a piece of paper to make the letter “H”

Sweeten the Pot

  • Materials: Large amount of individual packets of sweeteners; Large potato; Small cooking pot; Plastic spatula.
  • Set-up: Place the spatula handle on the potato. Place the pot a few inches from the handle of the spatula. Place the sweeteners near the flat end.
  • 60 Seconds to: Catapult the sweeteners into the pot. You may place only one packet on the flat end at a time. Must get 10 packets in.


  • Set this up as a theme event night. Call it “60 Seconds to Score”
  • Put the participants in 2 teams, and have each team have different players attempt the challenge. Award points for teams that finish each round.
  • Consider awarding partial points for partial finishes, when appropriate.
  • Set this up as a family event, and pit youth against adults
  • Search “‘Minute to Win It’ ideas” for loads of other ideas.
  • Use the Minute theme throughout the night
  • There’s a certain soda out there with “Minute” in its title.
  • Think of other foods with “Jiffy, Minute, Quick,” etc.
  • Use individual games as quick energy boosts before a Bible Study, or at the start of other events.

Published September 8, 2011

About the author

Sean Cramer graduated as a DCE from Concordia University, River Forest and served as a Program Assistant/Associate at Camp Lone Star in La Grange, TX. After moving back to his hometown near Rockford, IL, Sean currently works with Developmentally Disabled individuals. Aside from awaiting a Call in professional ministry again, Sean enjoys volunteering, reading, playing games, exercising and observing his dog be absolutely resistant to any new tricks.
View more from Sean

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