Several months ago, I ran across these fun posts on Housing a Forest about “Minute to Win It” style family games. We have actually never watched the Minute to Win It TV show, but the concept looked like a lot of fun! Basically, the idea is that players have one minute to complete a fun challenge using items from around the house. On the show, players move from one level to another, but we didn’t really keep score.

Our boys are currently ages 2, 5, 7 (almost 8), and 11. We started each challenge with the youngest and then worked up to Mom and Dad. That worked well for eliminating fighting since the younger boys were not taking their turn right after someone who did much better than they did. The boys enjoyed trying to beat their own personal best score and wanted several turns on each challenge!

Creating a Family Game Night:

There are two ways to approach these challenges – players can either try to accomplish a set amount in a minute (win or lose result), or see what high score they can achieve in a minute.

We did the challenges in this post on two different evenings. It would be fun to invite another family over to do minute games! Three challenges would be plenty for one evening, especially if the players want to try each challenge more than once.

Challenge #1: Rubber Band Shoot-out

How many rubber bands can you shoot into a shoe box? Put a masking tape line on the floor for players to stand behind. Adjust the line based on age. We cut a hole in the top of a shoe box and stood it up on a tray table. SO fun for any age!

Minute to Win It Style One Minute Challenges

Challenge #2: Penny Tower

How many pennies can you stack in a minute? It’s harder than it looks!

Minute to Win It Style Family Game Night

Challenge #3: Sock Toss

How many pairs of socks can you toss into the laundry basket in one minute? Again, use a tape line on the floor and move it back for older players. We found that 20 pairs were a good number to have for this challenge. We fold our socks together as pairs with one around the other, and they make a good “ball” for throwing that way.

Minute to Win It Style Family Games

Challenge #4: Balloon in the Air

Use a fly swatter to keep a balloon from touching the ground for one minute. The boys especially loved this one! They enjoyed trying to beat their records. Jonathan (age 2) just had fun swatting the balloon all around the house – great for gross motor skills!

Minute to Win It Style Family Games

Challenge #5: Cup Towers

How many cups can you stack in a minute? You can count the score by number of cups stacked or by number of levels tall. We went by levels tall.

Minute to Win It Style Family Games

These games are also great “brain breaks” for homeschooling days! I have found that the boys’ breaks from school often degenerate into total chaos. I’m planning to use some of these challenges to let them take a break between subjects and move their bodies without getting into total free time mode.

If you enjoyed these challenges, stay tuned! We have more coming! And be sure to stop by Housing a Forest for more fun one minute challenge ideas.

Minute to Win It Style Family Games


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  1. Jayia Aug 15, 2014

    Love all your posts. We will definetly be using our rubber band shooter you posted earlier and we made, for this game!

  2. rollydanver Aug 21, 2014

    really fun ! I will play with my kid boys .

  3. Christina Aug 25, 2014

    My boys love the Minute to Win it show. What a great idea for family game night! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jan Nov 16, 2014

    Love this :)
    Just curious haha, where did you learn to military roll your socks? (Challenge #3.) May seem like a stupid question, but has your husband been in the military (or you yourself)? Nobody I knows does that, except for my hubby.

  5. Kortney Nov 20, 2018

    Is there a way I can print out this list of ideas and instructions please?

  6. Shashi Aug 19, 2022

    Really Good ones .. am searching for simple family games and came across this.. loved it.

    Thank you Sarah


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