If you ever come to a party that I had a hand in organizing, you should know that there will be games or activities of some sort. I just love party games! I can’t think of a better way to break the ice among your guests than by playing some sort of silly or ridiculous game. In fact in our family, some of our fondest memories from family parties are of the games we played. (I will add that the key to successful parties games is enthusiastic participation. The easiest way to ensure your guests are ready to compete is by offering a prize! Even a $10 gift card will do.)
I personally prefer to plan a handful of short games, rather than one or two longer ones. Your guests are going to be talking and laughing during the games, so it’s best to do things that don’t require sustained attention. “Minute to Win It”-style games make great party games! They’re quick to do, take very few supplies to set up, and are easy to adapt if necessary.
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Today I’m sharing 6 different “Minute to Win It” games that are great for holiday parties, as well as tips on how to make each game easier or harder, depending on your crowd.
1. Cereal Scramble
Create simple puzzles using the fronts of empty cereal boxes. First person or couple to correctly re-assemble the cereal box image wins!
Make it Easy – This game can easily be adapted for kids. Just cut your cereal boxes into fewer pieces, and cut it into distinctively shaped pieces (wavy sides, triangles, etc.) Large, easily identifiable pieces make for easier puzzles.
Make it Harder – You can make your puzzles extra challenging by cutting them into more pieces, and by making the puzzles the same shape, like squares. A puzzle with 30 pieces that are all the same shape will definitely take some time! You can also up the difficulty by buying generic or off-brand cereal. If the players aren’t familiar with the type of cereal, they’ll have a more difficult time putting the image together.
2. Cookie Face
Place a cookie on the forehead of each player. The first person to get the cookie into their mouth WITHOUT using their hands wins! If the cookie falls off a player’s face, the player must start over by replacing the cookie on their forehead.
Make it Easy – This is a pretty difficult game any which way you slice it! But you can make things a bit easier by using a very textured cookie, like an OREO. The textured surface will help keep the cookies on your players’ faces, rather than slipping right off.
Make it Harder – If you want to make things a bit trickier, put a penalty in place for dropping the cookie. For instance, if a cookie falls on the floor, the player who dropped it must run to the other side of the room and back before trying again.
3. Scoop it Up
Players must move 6 ping pong balls from one bowl to another. The players cannot use their hands! They must scoop each ball one at a time using a spoon that they are holding in their mouths.
Make it Easy – For a simpler variation, place the two bowls close together, and use balls that weigh a bit more than a ping pong ball (a rubber bouncy ball, for instance). A slightly heavier ball will be less likely to fall off the spoon while moving it.
Make it Harder – Give the player more balls, maybe 10 instead of 6. Or place the “destination” bowl several feet away, so the players must walk with the ball on the spoon before they can put it in the bowl.
4. Defy Gravity
The goal of this game is to successfully keep 3 balloons in the air for 1 minute. Players can only use one of their hands during the game!
Make it Easy – Make the game easier by pairing players up into teams of two, or you can use fewer balloons per players.
Make it Hard – Add more balloons per player to really crank up the difficulty. Or you could limit them to just one finger!
5. Apple Stacks
Players are each given 5 apples. The player who can stack all 5 apples into a tower the fastest, wins!
Make it Easy – You can easily adjust the difficulty of this game by requiring fewer apples to be stacked. You can also select apples that aren’t quite so round, like a Red Delicious. They have a more angular construction, and will likely be easier to stack than a rounder apple.
Make it Hard – Pick out the roundest apples you can find to make stacking them even harder. Or restrict your players to using only one hand to stack their apples.
6. Bubble Battle
This is a distance-based bubble-blowing competition! The goal is to blow a bubble that successfully travels through a hoop that is set up 10 – 15 feet away. The first player to do it, wins! (We didn’t have a hoop, so we made our own “goal” using a trifold presentation board. Whatever works!)
Make it Easy – Place the hoop or goal closer to the players. Fifteen feet is quite the distance, so players with smaller lungs probably can’t get a bubble to go quite that far!
Make it Hard – Place each player’s bubble solution a few feet away from the place where they’ll be blowing bubbles. (You’ll probably want to put down a few towels though!)
Have fun and be sure to take lots of pictures!!! :-)