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Minute to Win It New Year's Eve Countdown

Minute to Win It New Year's Eve Countdown
New Year's Eve Countdowns have become the norm around here. They keep the kids occupied and excited which makes the long night go by pretty fast! We have had fun activity countdown, a geography countdown, a book themed countdown, a mystery countdown, and now a minute to win it countdown!

We decided the minute to win it games would be fun and short enough to allow the kids some time to enjoy with their friends. Plus you can't watch these games without cracking up. So fun!

How to Set-up a Minute to Win It Countdown

  • Balloons (1 for each hour you want a game)
  • Slip of paper for each balloon
  • Supplies for each game (I'll list what we used with each game)
Countdown Set-up:

First you need to decide the games you want to use. All the ones we used are below, but if you want more there are tons to choose from! We also decided some of ours would be individual and some would be team games just to conserve room or resources. Write each one on a piece of paper and slip in a balloon. If you want to be sure to do a certain event at a certain time be sure to mark the balloon with that time. This year I just hung the balloons up and let the kids choose them at random.

Candy Cane Pick Up


About 8-12 candy canes per participant

Our first balloon yielded Candy Cane Pick Up. In front of each participant I placed a handful of jumbled candy canes, and the kids had to pick them up, not with their hands or their mouths, but with another candy cane in their mouth!

Once they had them picked up off the table they needed to place them in a new pile to the side. The winner was the one who moved the most candy canes.

Chopstick Marshmallow Stacking


Chopsticks for each player
Marshmallows (we used homemade, but I bet it would be more challenging with the round ones.)

Our second game of the evening was marshmallow stacking. We didn't have a ton of marshmallows, so we did this one in teams of three. The trick here was they had to make the largest stack using chopsticks.

This one was definitely a challenge for the kids because some of them didn't know how to use chopsticks yet!

Our final stacks were more like pyramids, but we had a definite winner.

Streamer Mummy


Roll of streamers for each team

This one has to be a team game unless you have kids trying to wrap themselves in streamers. We had teams of 3.  Each team chose one person to be the mummy, and the other two were responsible for wrapping the mummy.

Whoever got their mummy wrapper the most in one minute won, so this certainly wasn't a time for neatness.

By this point the kids were super excited to pop the balloons. They never had any idea what could be coming!

Gummy Bear Hunt


Paper plate per participant
5-7 gummy bears per participant
Lots and lots of cool whip

There was no way they could have guessed about this next game. It was a gummy bear hunt! Each player got a plate with gummy bears buried in cool whip. Needless to say they had to dig the gummy bears out without their hands.

Whoever found the most gummy bears in one minute using just their mouth won!

We even had a second round of this one including some of the more competitive adults.

Did I mention we used confetti balloons too because they are just more fun when you pop them!

Moving Oreo Challenge


One Oreo per player for the game plus however many they want to eat

The next balloon had another food challenge; these were definitely some of the most popular minute to win it games of the night because of the food!

So this one you start each player with an Oreo on their forehead, and their goal was to get it to their mouth without the use of their hands. If they touch it, they have to put it back on their foreheads.

I am not actually sure this is even possible, but it is hilarious to watch! 

Towel Races


Beach towels
A place to race

We were all pretty tired by the time we got to this minute to win it game, so it was probably a good thing it was active.

Since our house is not very large, we just had the kids race around the kitchen island and timed them to see which team made it with the fastest time.

We thought making this a team game would make it easier, but it turns out the kids have to be fairly coordinated to make the towel move at all.

Foam Cup Shoot Out


Foam cups stacked in a pyramid for each contestant
Rubber Bands

Our final minute to win it game of the night was a foam cup shoot out. Each team got a stack of cups, and rubber bands; they had one minute to shoot down as many cups as possible.

We started this one a bit before midnight, so we would be ready for our sparkling grape juice toast at midnight. The kids didn't want to stop this one though; they wanted to keep rebuilding their towers and shooting them again.

Our New Year's toast and the promise of prizes got them to stop for the night though. I never would have guessed the kids would have gotten so into their minute to win it New Year's countdown, but they loved it! It would be a fabulous New Year's Countdown to use with teenagers too!

Need an easy way to recover from your New Year's party? Why not encourage your kids to start the new year reading with one of our favorite traditions, New Book New Year!

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