The game show Minute to Win It gave us all kinds of fun games that we can play at home, and their special Christmas series of episodes offered up a holiday theme for a bunch of these games. They’re perfect for Christmas parties, school games to play in the classroom, office parties, or any other holiday gathering. Here’s how to play all of the Minute to Win It Christmas games. Once you’ve browsed the games, get tips for hosting a Minute to Win It Christmas party too. Remember, all of these games must be completed in one minute or less.
Christmas Ball is based on the regular Minute to Win It game called Egg Roll. To play, you must use a gift-wrapped box (about the size of a shirt box) as a fan to move a round Christmas ornament across the floor and into a marked square. The box must not touch the ornament while the game is in play. You can vary the distance that the ornament must be fanned depending on the age of the people playing.
Christmas Ball Conveyor
Christmas Ball Conveyor is played with two people. They stand, facing each other, at a distance to be determined by how difficult you wish the challenge to be. A ribbon is wrapped around both players’ waists, creating a loop surrounding them both. The first player has a bowl with Christmas ornaments on hooks as well as a small Christmas tree beside him. To play the game, the first player hooks an ornament on the ribbon. The two players must then spin in tandem in order to move the ornament all the way around the ribbon, ending up back with the first player, who must then hang it on the tree. Make the game more difficult by requiring more ornaments to be transferred around the “conveyor.”
Set up Christmas Cliffhanger by placing ten open Christmas cards in a row on a table, close to the edge. Stand cards horizontally so they look like little tents. Then, stand at the opposite side of the table. The object of the game is to blow on the cards, across the table, to move them to the very edge of the table so that one of them is left hanging over the edge without falling off. You have one minute and ten attempts to accomplish your task.
Christmas in the Balance
Christmas in the Balance is played in pairs. Place an empty wrapping paper tube on a table or on the floor, and balance a yardstick on top of the tube. Each of the two players has five Christmas tree ornaments of equal size and weight. Standing on opposite sides of the yardstick, players must work together to hang all five ornaments on their side of the yardstick without toppling the structure. If the structure falls the game is over. We recommend plastic ornaments to avoid a mess.
Based on the game Spoon Tune, Christmas Jingle requires a bit of prep work before playing. 11 glasses must be filled with varying amounts of water, tuned so that they play the notes of the first line of the Christmas song Jingle Bells when tapped with a metal spoon. Place the prepared glasses in random order on a table. To play the game, the contestant must rearrange the glasses in the proper order to play the song.
Deck the Balls
Deck the Balls is another game for teams of two. Using an empty wrapping paper tube, the first player uses suction from his mouth to lift an ornament with the tube, and transfer it to the second player. The second player must receive the ornament in the same fashion (with a wrapping paper tube and suction), and then hang it on an awaiting string (hung in a clothesline fashion). To win this game, players must hang three ornaments using this method in one minute or less.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
To set up Do You Hear What I Hear, take seven gift-wrapped boxes of the same size and place small jingle bells in each of them. Boxes should contain the following number of bells: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35. Place the closed boxes on a table. To play the game, the contestant must arrange the boxes in order by the number of bells they contain, from smallest to largest. Contestants can pick up and shake the boxes, but they must not look inside.
Extreme Christmas Nutstacker
Extreme Christmas Nutstacker is a difficult game – even tougher than the original Nutstacker game that it’s based on. Players must use a candy cane to scoop up eight hexagonal metal nuts and stack them, one by one, to make a tower of the nuts on a plate. The candy cane and nuts are presented on a tray, which the player then uses to loop the nuts onto the candy cane. The plate is held in the players’ hand while he tries to make the tower by sliding the nuts gently off the candy cane, one by one, on top of each other. The nuts must be stacked standing on one side (so that the hole is visible when you view it straight-on), not flat. If the tower tips, the game is done.
Face the Gingerbread Man
Face the Gingerbread Man is played exactly like Face the Cookie, using a gingerbread man in place of the Oreo. Sit down and lean your head back; place the cookie on your forehead and move it to your mouth using only the muscles in your face. Don’t touch the cookie with your hands! The best part about this game is that, if you’re successful, the prize is already built in.
Holiday Hustle is played with two people. Each person has a yardstick attached to her waist at the back (this can be tricky to set up, but the easiest way to do it is to use strong glue and attach the yardsticks to old leather belts). Wrap a length of ribbon around the end of one of the yardsticks – the length can vary depending on how difficult you want the game to be. Attach the end of the ribbon to the end of the other yardstick. To play, the players stand facing each other with enough distance between them so that the ends of their yardsticks meet up. Using only their hips, they must wind the ribbon from one yardstick to the other.
Holiday Kiss also requires teams of two to play. Two clothesline-style strings are hung, using whatever distance between them that you like. The farther apart they are the more difficult the game will be. Hang some Christmas ornaments from one of the strings. To play, the team must place their lips on either side of one of the ornaments and move it to the other string using only their lips. Three ornaments must be successfully transferred in this manner within the time limit in order to win the game.
Hung With Care
To set up Hung With Care, you’ll be using another clothesline structure with thin string – fishing line would work well here. Players must then hang three candy canes on the string by their tips – not on the actual hook, but the small area at the very end of the hook. All three candy canes must remain hanging concurrently for three seconds in order to win the game.
Jingle in the Trunk
This game is based on the ever-popular game Junk in the Trunk. Take an empty Kleenex box and fill it with 12 jingle bells. (To make it more festive, wrap the box with Christmas paper first). To play Jingle in the Trunk, the box must be strapped to the player’s lower back (use an old belt, or glue string on either side of the box to tie it securely around the player’s waist). The object of the game is to shake, jump, and move around in order to get all of the bells out of the box within the one-minute time limit.
To play Merry Fishmas, first set up a “fishing rod” by using string to tie a candy cane as the hook onto a chopstick – tie one end of a short length of string to the straight end of the candy cane, tying the other end of the string to the end of the chopstick. Then, place four small candy canes on a table with the rounded ends hanging off the edge, facing down. When the timer starts, the player puts the chopstick in his mouth and attempts to snag all four of the small candy canes, one at a time, on the end of the large candy cane.
Raise Your Glass
If children will be playing this game, or you want to avoid a potential mess, use plastic glasses and ornaments for Raise Your Glass. The object of the game is to make a stacked tower of glasses and ornaments. You’ll need four martini glasses and 12 small Christmas ornaments. To play, place four ornaments in each of three glasses – the ornaments will overflow from the tops of the glasses they’re in, and this is part of the challenge. Stack the three filled glasses on top of one another, arranging the ornaments as you go to keep it steady. The empty glass must then be stacked on top. The structure must be free-standing for three consecutive seconds to succeed.
Reindeer Nose Dive
This is a fun game for all ages. Before the game starts, tie a large red pom-pom to a length of red ribbon. To get the player ready, she should don reindeer antlers (this is optional but really adds to the spirit of the game) and dangle the ribbon with the attached pom-pom from her mouth. Put a little dab of petroleum jelly on her nose. When the timer starts, she must swing the pom-pom to land and stick on her nose using only her mouth and body – no hands.
Snowball Fight requires a team of two people to play together. Set up four large styrofoam balls (available at craft stores) on stools or small tables, placed in a row. Create two foul lines on the floor on either side of the row using colored tape – the distance of the foul lines from the balls is up to you, but both should be an equal distance away. To play, players use ping pong balls to try to knock the styrofoam balls from their pedestals. The catch is that the ping pong balls must bounce once on the floor before reaching the styrofoam “snowballs.”
Wreath Relay is another two-person game. The only equipment you’ll need is a large wreath – one that can comfortably fit two heads through the inside opening – and something to hang the wreath on, like a door, wall hook, or even a coat rack. Mark off five “play zones” on the floor using tape, moving out from the spot where the wreath will be hung. Players start at the end of the play zone markings with one player wearing the wreath around his neck. The second player must then duck down and get her head inside the wreath while the first player ducks his head out. The wreath must be transferred in this manner, with the players going around each other as necessary, once through each play zone. After the five transfers, the second player will have the wreath around her neck – she can then lift it with her hands and hang it.
More ‘Minute To Win It’ Christmas Games
While these games were all used on the show for the holidays, other Minute to Win It games can be customized and used for a Christmas party. All you need to do is come up with creative names for your new games! Here are just a few suggestions:
- Bite Me – Use Christmas gift bags instead of paper bags.
- Bottoms Up – Instead of a yo-yo, use a Christmas ornament on a long string.
- Candelier – Use Christmas-themed paper plates for this game.
- Elephant March – Replace the baseball with a heavy Christmas ornament, and color the water in the bottles in festive red and green with food coloring.