*Please note: I am just a parent who is a fan of the hit game show “Minute to Win It” and created a Minute to Win It birthday party theme that celebrates the fun of the show. This post is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by NBC, Game Show Network or Minute to Win It. All ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.
The inspiration for one of our favorite kids birthday parties comes from the NBC game show “Minute to Win It” and if you have never seen this show- I'll summarize it for you. Contestants are given challenges involving common household items to complete in 60 seconds to win ever-increasing prize money. So the first challenge will be the easiest one, and they continue to ramp up in difficulty as contestants work their way up to the ultimate $1 million prize. But the best part is that the challenges are fun (and funny!) and can easily be replicated at home for your very own Minute to Win It Birthday Party!
This party is so much fun and such a success at our home that we have actually hosted it 3 different times for 3 of our sons' birthday parties! In each case, the party was a sleepover party and we conducted the “Minute to Win It” portion of the party for about 90 minutes right after we served dinner.
The Minute to Win It Birthday Party Invitation:
I created these cool party invites which can be printed and mailed or sent out as an email attachment. You'll find a link to a blank invite you can use (for free!) at the end of this post.
You can either fill in the party information by hand or upload the image to PicMonkey This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. to add text. (Check out my tutorial on how to use PicMonkey to create birthday party invitations!)
Minute to Win It Games for Kids:
When the game show aired on TV there were dozens and dozens of games that contestants were asked to play. But some of them are a bit challenging to replicate for a kid's birthday party! I outlined below the games we selected for our parties.
To explain each game to the kids, we played the video “blueprint” just as they did on the TV game show (I've included the Youtube links to each blueprint below). We then explained any modifications to the game that we were making to make the game a little more kid-friendly.
Pro Tip: Pair the party guests up into teams of 2 people. But the games are so much fun that every person will want to try every game- so play each game twice so that each team member gets a chance to play!
1. Bite Me
Contestants have to pick up 6 grocery bags in decreasing sizes and put them on top of the table without using their hands, and their feet may not leave the floor! (Bite Me Blueprint link)
2. Bucket Head
Contestants bounce a ping-pong ball onto the floor, which then bounces off a wall, and attempts to catch the ping pong ball in a bucket on his or her head. (Bucket Head Blueprint link) We told the kids they had to keep the bucket firmly on top of their heads with one hand- moving the bucket to catch the ball would cause them to have to dump out their entire bucket to start over!
3. Face the Cookie
Using only facial muscles, move a cookie from the forehead to the mouth. (Face the Cookie Blueprint link)
4. Junk in the Trunk
8 ping pong balls are placed in an empty tissue box which is tied to the back of the contestant's waist- who then needs to jump up and down and shake until the tissue box is emptied (Junk In the Trunk Blueprint link). (We used shoeboxes for this, cut out holes in the top of the box and created a belt for the box using strips of an old t-shirt that we stapled to the box.)
5. Noodling Around
Using a piece of spaghetti placed between his or her teeth, the contestant must pick up 5 penne pasta, stringing them onto the spaghetti without using his or her hands. (Noodling Around Blueprint link)
6. Egg Roll
Using pizza boxes, contestants fan hard-boiled eggs from a starting line across the floor to reach a target. (Egg Roll Blueprint link). (We used large pieces of cardboard the same size as a pizza box).
7. Defying Gravity
Contestants must tap 3 balloons to keep them off of the ground for 60 seconds! (Defying Gravity Blueprint link)
8. Johnny Applestack
Stack 5 apples on top of each other. (Johnny Applestack Blueprint link)
9. Tilt a Cup
Done as a team event. Player 2 has a stack of 7 cups. Player 1 bounces a ping-pong ball on the ground, and Player 2 must catch it off of the bounce and into a cup. When Player 2 catches the ball in the cup he takes the bottom cup from the stack and places it on top of the stack, and then catches the next ball and so forth, until all 7 cups are stacked with balls in between them. (Tilt a Cup Blueprint link)
10. Suck It Up
Use a straw to move Skittles one at a time from the tabletop to balance on top of 4 flexible straws taped vertically to the end of a table. (Suck It Up Blueprint link)
Supplies You'll Need for Your Minute To Win It Games:
- Paper Bags- each team will need 2 each of 3 different sized bags:
- Largest size- use brown paper bags from the grocery store
- Medium size- use lunch-sized brown paper bags This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you.
- Small size- mini lunch bags This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you.
- Ping Pong Balls This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. – 144 should do it- but you’ll need to load them into your Junk in the Trunk boxes after you play Bucket Head and then collect them again for Tilt a Cup
- Sand Buckets This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. – 1 per team
- Cookies (we used Oreos)- you’ll need 8 per team (cookies will drop on the floor!)
- Tissue Boxes (we used shoe boxes)- you’ll need one per team. We cut up an old adult t-shirt into strips and attached the strips to each side of the box to create a belt for the box. I recommend using tape to make the box opening narrow enough to make this game challenging (you’ll need to try this a few times before the party to determine the right sized box opening).
- A box of penne pasta and a box of spaghetti
- Pizza boxes or pieces of cardboard the size of a pizza box- 1 per team.
- Hard-boiled eggs- 2 per team
- Balloons This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. (blown up by you- not with helium)- 3 per team
- Apples (red delicious)- 5 per team
- Plastic party cups This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. – 7 per team
- Plastic Drinking Straws This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. – 5 per team, Skittles This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. , and Painter’s Tape This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you.
Planning a party or get together for tweens?
Then be sure to check out this list of Best Birthday Party Supplies This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. on a Budget and The Best Party Games for Tweens This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. over on my Amazon influencer page This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. !
Minute to Win It Birthday Party Area Set Up:
We used an easel to keep score for each team- awarding 5 points for 1st place, 3 points for 2nd place and 1 point for 3rd place for each round (and keep in mind- we ran each game twice so everyone had the chance to play!)
Our Prize Table- For the winning team we used Giant (7oz) Hershey Bars This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. . The 2nd place team received Regular (1.55oz) Hershey Bars This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. , and everyone else received Snack-Sized Hershey Bars This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. .
Each team was assigned to a table This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. that they used for playing the games:
Minute to Win It Birthday Cake:
I created this simple cake- using a large round cake This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. topped with a smaller round cake This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. . I covered them both in my favorite buttercream icing and then in a layer of homemade fondant. I cut out the stars from fondant and used them to decorate the cake- placing some on lollipop sticks This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. to add some height. Then I simply cut out the logo from the printed party invitation and attached it to lollipop sticks as well so the cake fits the theme!
Minute to Win It Birthday Party Favors:
Instead of goodie bags filled with candy, I wanted the party guests to go home with something cool that they could use for a long time, so I took some group photos of the party guests before we started playing “Minute to Win It”.
Later on in the evening, when the kids were watching the movie, I printed copies of the photos on my color printer and then placed a photo in a 4×6 black picture frame This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. for each guest. I put a small sticker on the corner of the frame that read “Thanks for coming to Kyle's party”.
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Check out some more awesome Tween Birthday Party Ideas:
- The Amazing Race Birthday Party
- Escape Room Birthday Party
- “American Ninja Warrior” Party
- Art Birthday Party
- Cupcake Wars Birthday Party
- Poker Night Party
Check out all of our Kids Birthday Parties here:
How to Throw Your Own Kids Birthday Parties at Home!
Looking for Some More Great Party Games, Crafts, & Activities for Kids?
- 100 Truth or Dare Questions for Tweens (free printable party game!)
- “What's On Your Phone?” (free printable party game for tweens and teens!)
- 50 Would You Rather Questions for Tweens (free printable party game!)
- Photo Scavenger Hunt for Tweens (free printable party game!)
- 10 Great Birthday Party Games for Tweens (tons of ideas from around the web!)
or Shop for These Awesome Party Games!
Do you think that your child would love a “Minute to Win It' birthday party? What's the best birthday party theme you've ever used? Please leave a comment and share it with us!
Fabulous! Arranged the party after a last minute panic caused by the good old English weather! There were sixteen 10 year olds who really enjoyed this. Lifesaver! Thanks
So glad to hear this!
Sofia Spirou says
Thank you for these party ideas. My son and his 9 year old friends had a great time having a go at these games. I appreciated how you graded the difficulty and made a list that starts from easier going onto more difficult games. the last game with the straws and skittles was VERY hard and the first one with the shopping bags was VERY easy. we found the egg rolling game a bit tricky, the pizza box did’nt work to propel air very easily, the boys ended up slamming the box on the flour to get the eggs to move! But they had fun working things out.
thank you for helping keep them busy, excited, focused and happy!
mom of one, in Athens, Greece
Thanks so much Sofia! I’m glad the kids had fun!
Do you think this party would work with only 8 kids (4 teams)?
Of course! It would be a blast!
I would love it if you would provide a link back to my blog since you used and posted pictures of my free invitation on your blog. Thanks.
Jennifer Wise says
Just found this page while I was looking for games for my daughter’s 10th birthday party. You are a genius! Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas!
Great idea! I was wondering if there was supply list available? Thanks!
I will get working on one and add it to the post!
Christy Hiltz says
I’m a mom of 10 year old twins. A boy and a girl…. Trying to think of something fun for both. Having a hard time coming up with something that doesn’t involve doing two different themes!!! I like the Minute to Win It theme but was looking for some other suggestions as well to give them some options…
Minute to Win It would definitely work- but so would the Amazing Race party (although it is a little hard to do indoors this time of year). We have two sets of two kids that have birthdays near each other. The way we do it is to power through two parties in one (exhausting) weekend. We’ll do one party Friday night with a sleepover until Saturday morning. And the second party Sat night with guests sleeping over until Sunday morning. That way you could do the same kind of party (using the Minute to Win It games, for example)- but you can theme it differently to suit each child’s tastes. For example, a girl could have a “Purple Party” where guests wear purple and you serve purple colored foods, and then still use those same games as a party activity, and the boys party could be Ninja Warrior themed and play the same games.
I hope you have a great set of parties!
I had a party fall through – THANK YOU for these ideas. THANK YOU
You are so welcome! I hope you all have a great party!
Just discovered your website after a random search on google for birthday ideas for my 10yr old son. LOVED the minute to win it theme. I’m going to bring it up tonight at supper. I’m sure my son with love it!! I would need a bit more help with the blueprints. I can’t seem to find them anywhere on the minute to win it sight. Would you be able to send that as a direct link for me?
Thanks for the great idea and making me be “Super Mom”
You can find them all on YouTube now! Good luck with your party!
Jillian Drake says
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I missed that. I feel silly. Thanks for the great ideas, we are going to be playing all the same games tomorrow at my son’s 10th birthday party.
I hope you all have a great party!
so if you had six kids attend the party how did you have six teams of two?
Because I also have 6 kids! 6 kids + 6 guests = 6 teams of 2!
J's Mom says
I love these ideas! My son’s 10th birthday is coming up, and he really wants a party at home, and I am not very good planning these things. Here’s a dumb question for such a party – what would you do about kids who become overly competitive, call “cheating,” or bad sportsmanship?
We just “reign it in” by reminding the kids to all be good sports and then move right along to the next event. However… when we (adults) catch someone “cheating”- which some did because these events are hard- we’d ask them to stop or tell them that we were seeing what they were doing, etc so they would laugh and then try to do it the right way. Plus- if someone cheated (that we caught) we wouldn’t allow them to win the round and get the point. It was never really an issue.
What an awesome idea! Can you tell me how long the actual games took? I’m looking for an idea for a party that’s NOT a slumber party and this might work! Thanks!
It took us about 90 minutes to complete all of the games. We also stopped about 2/3 of the way through for a water break because the kids got hot and thirsty! It really is a very fun birthday party!
Thanks for the clarification! You said in an earlier comment that you ran through each event twice so everyone had a chance to participate. Does that mean you had all 6 teams doing the event at the same time?
Yes- all teams went at the same time for all of the games except for the Egg Roll- only because we needed the entire basement floor for one team at a time to fan their egg.
Thanks for the good ideas (and names).I will do something similar for my youngest lad in March.
Excellent job posting these party tips! It really helped me generate ideas for my own.
I am planning this party for my 9 year old son. The videos are not offered anymore on the show website. Can you tell me how to attach the buckets to the kids’ heads?
Thanks for your help!
Uh oh- I’ll go back and see if I can update the video links to come from youtube. Here is the link for “bucket head”: http://youtu.be/DjEEM8QaGuI. But the way we did it- is that the kids had to hold the bucket onto their heads with one hand. They were told that they were not allowed to lift the bucket off their head at any time, or they would be eliminated. In reality- they might lift is slightly or move it around accidentally- and we never “busted” anyone for that! I hope you have a great party!
Christy Hiltz says
Thanks for the ideas!
Lisa Ayer says
Did you create the teams and are they paired up and that is the team? How did you make up the teams….This sounds like a great idea but I’m a bit confused with the teams?
I can’t wait to present this idea to my son! Thanks!
We actually drew names out of a hat to make up the teams- that way it was fair for everyone. The only exception was for the younger siblings- I paired them up with one another….
So excited to do this party this weekend with my son! Logistics question: How did you do work the scoring? Was it the first team to finish? The first team to complete the task in 1 minute? Did both people on the team complete each task or did they pick one person to perform the task and the other was the “cheerleader?” I’m going to have 13 boys so I’m trying to figure out how to make the teams work. Thanks so much for posting this!
If the team completes the task in under a minute- they receive a point. For games that were just one person at a time- we did them twice so everyone would have a chance to play. The team that had the most points at the end won the “grand prize”!
Fantastic ideas – love them, will try it for my son’s birthday party, thanks Sharon 🙂
Nichole Josephson says
How do I get the invitation you have at the top? We like the layout of it.
This is aweseome! I will be doing this for my girls’ 10th year birthday party!
Please link back and tell us all how it went (if you can!)
Thanks for the idea! Can’t wait to try it this weekend for my son’s party. 🙂
You are so welcome Kate!
How many ping pong balls did you have on hand for the various games that use them? That’s the only item that I do not have. Thanks!
I think I ordered a box of 200 ping pong balls from a discount site online (do NOT pay full price anywhere!)….. I try to make sure to gather them all up after every party, so that we have them for the next time!
Thanks so much for doing this, I love the idea. You said that you had 6 teams, but only invited 6 friends, so 12 people. Does that mean that all your children participated? Did the young ones do ok? Do they ever act up to get attention? How do you handle that?
Yes all of my kids participated. My youngest were 5 years old… and I paired them up with one another- so the guests only played with kids their age. There was no “real danger” of my younger ones actually winning the games (ha ha!) so no one minded that they played…. I think the guests even got a kick out of it. And I will say that this party was so loud and so crazy that my younger ones getting silly didn’t matter. But when it came time for a movie and staying up late…. my younger ones were separated from the party. I think it is important that the birthday child have some alone-time with their buddies too!
Thank you!! You are a lifesaver my daughters birthday is in a few weeks and we had no idea what to do so thank you for this awesome idea!! My daughters friend did the Amazing race and said it was great so we searched up game shows and this came up!
Just a few questions??
How did you make the invitation, Cause i have 14 peoploe coming should i do two teams or pairs??
I had a friend make the original invitation in Microsoft Publisher which I then just changed to suit my own needs. The way I make all of my invites these days is in PicMonkey.com and I just screen grab or download the art from the website. I highly recommend making the teams be pairs- and running every game twice so each person gets to participate! Have fun!
I love this idea! We did an Amazing Race theme for my son’s 9th birthday two years ago. It was a huge hit and he wanted to do something similar. We moved so we don’t have the space, but your idea is awesome!
How many boys did you have on each team, and how did you pick the teams? Did they compete at same time? Did they do all games? Are your games listed 1-10 in order of difficulty? Thanks so much!
We drew names for the team and we had just two boys on each team. We did every game twice so they would each have a chance to try it. We had a total of 6 teams (keep in mind that means we only invited 6 friends!). And the games are not exactly progressively harder- we mixed them up a bit- high energy with lower energy games- games with balls vs games without balls, but we definitely saved the hardest game for last!
I hope that you have fun!
Thanks so much for taking the time to post, and with such great details! Love the idea – think I’ll use most of the challenges in my 10 year old’s upcoming Survivor party . . .
Buford jones says
You are an awesome mom…. This is great and I am planning to use this game for my 9yr old daughter…. Thanks so much for sharing… We were running out ideas fast and we are sick of doing “Chuck E. Cheese”…. Thanks
Thanks so much for leaving your comment! A “Minute to Win It” party is truly pretty easy to pull together, and the kids have so much fun! And it is waaayyy cheaper than a Chuck E. Cheese party!