July 18, 2012

Minute to Win It Party

Flushed with the success of our Mission Impossible birthday party, Bart and I decided it was time to host another event.

A few weeks earlier, Bart's office had done some Minute to Win It games and Bart came home, wanting to recreate it with some of our friends.

This? Not a party to throw together an hour before people arrive.  But then, Bart and I feel strongly that if we're going to make people get a babysitter, we'd better make it worth their while.

Our supplies for each challenge all ready to go

We invited seven other couples (for a total of sixteen people) and specified that children were decidedly not welcome (loved, but not welcome).

Bart and I spent an evening figuring out what events we wanted to do and finally settled on 12 different challenges. We did three rounds (four games per round) with each person participating in one round. We put all the names in a jar and randomly selected four people for each challenge, leaving the names out for the remainder of the round so everyone had a single turn.

I kind of loved the stress everyone seemed to feel at each challenge wondering if THEIR name would be picked for this particular event. You could see some people hoping they'd get picked and others saying little silent prayers that their name would be at the very bottom of the jar.

For each challenge, you received 3 points for being the winner, 2 for second place, 1 for third, and zero for last place. I made a poster with everyone's name on it and you were responsible for tracking your own points.

Here are the 12 challenges we did:
  1. Pencil Flip - Each person got 10 pencils. You put one on the back of your hand and then flicked it into the air with your wrist and caught it. Then you did two. Then three. You couldn't move on until you'd successfully done each number.
  2. Vaseline & Cotton Balls - Each person got a plate with 5 cotton balls and a smear of Vaseline in the middle of the plate. You had to stick your nose in the Vaseline and then, without using your hands, move the cotton balls from one plate to the other.
  3. Bubble Blowing - Each person got a little bottle of bubbles and had to successfully get one bubble from the starting line across the finish line (a distance of about 12 feet).
  4. Oreo on your Forehead - Each person tips their head back and balances an Oreo on their forehead. Your goal is to get it in your mouth without using your hands. If it falls on the floor, it goes back on your forehead.
  5. Banana & Tennis Balls - Each person got a banana and a long piece of yarn to tie the banana around their waist so the banana almost touched the ground. Then you had to use the banana (no hands allowed) to move a tennis ball about 10 feet onto a towel.
  6. Magic Carpet - You sat on a towel and without using your hands scooted from our front door to the end of the kitchen (about 20 feet, including going around a corner). One person at a time did this; fastest time won.
  7. Marshmallow Catapult - Everyone got five large marshmallows and a spoon. There was a large bowl in the middle of the table and you had to get as many of the marshmallows in the bowl in 60 seconds as possible. I did this one and was horrendous at it. In fact, NO one got all 5 in the bowl in 60 seconds.
  8. CD onto a Pencil - You held a CD at waist level and tried to drop it onto a pencil being held vertically on the floor.
  9. Dice Stacking - Each person got five dice and a Popsicle stick. You put the stick in your mouth and stacked the five dice vertically on it.
  10. M&Ms with a Straw - Ten M&Ms on one plate. Using a straw and the power of suction, you had to move all the M&Ms to the other plate.
  11. Oreo Stacking - Three Oreos on the table. Without using your hands, you had to split the Oreos in half and then stack the six pieces, inside up.
  12. Card Throwing - Each person got a deck of cards and stood about 5 feet away from a bowl placed in the center of the floor. You had 60 seconds to get as many cards in the bowl as possible.
The fourth round, we let everyone select one of the previous challenges to do again. In some cases, only one or two people wanted to do a challenge, so other people would volunteer to do the challenge again without getting points for it (the people who were doing it for points got the points associated with how well they performed). Some games had no takers for a second round and in some cases we had to do two rounds to accommodate the people who wanted to participate (Card Throwing, M&Ms and Straws, and Magic Carpet were particularly popular).

We had a whole bunch of prizes (each one in the $3-5 range) and the winner of each of the challenges could pick a prize. If you were a winner more than once, you could either exchange your gift or steal someone else's gift (that person could then pick a new one). Not everyone got a prize, but more than half of the people did. 

As hostess, I felt it was my duty to come in absolutely dead last. I got a whopping ONE point. I hope everyone appreciated this. 

And because you can't have a party without food (and Oreos eaten off your forehead do not count), this Texas-style blueberry cobbler and ice cream finished off the night.

Five minutes after everyone left, Bart said, "Okay, what kind of party are we having next?"


  1. I love the "loved but not welcome" designation for children!

    Man, those games are giving me (pleasant) flashbacks to youth group!

  2. How fun! You are inspiring me to expand my hostessing skills :)

  3. You guys are just too cool. Lamenting the fact that we can't move to Austin and become your neighbors.

  4. ditto what preethi said. all of a sudden, our get-togethers that consist of chatting, food and the occasional movie just seem terribly lame.

  5. Such fun! I wish we could have more parties, but most of our friends are long moved away so there's not a lot of people left to entertain. You don't mind if I live vicariously through you a bit, right?

    1. I miss you coming to my parties . . :(

  6. You guys throw such fun parties! I haven't thrown a party in a while cuz I still feel new in town (although it's been a year now, hmm . . .) but I think we finally have enough friends that we could throw a decent party. I'm thinking a popcorn party, where we eat tons of different kinds and flavors of popcorn. :)

  7. That sounds like so much fun! I'm glad you listed the three "favorites," too. Were there any (besides the marshmallow one, I guess?) that just didn't work or didn't appeal to people?

  8. aw, i love minute to win it games. and the one with the m&m's is so hard!!! love this!
    xo TJ

  9. Sounds like a blast!

    And I only need one guess to know who the person in the last picture is, wearing white jeans, a black dress shirt, and a yellow skinny tie :)

  10. Ha. I love the not winning as a hostess thing. Abe and I have people over for games frequently, and I would say that 85% of the time, Abe wins. 70% of the time it's a crushing victory.

  11. This was SUCH a fun party! Thanks again for organizing it. We had a blast!

  12. I LOVE M t W it parties - I'm sure yours was an absolute blast. Pity we couldn't make it.

  13. okay... i know we say this a lot, but why aren't we next door neighbors?

  14. I'll be using this, kthanxbye.

  15. Yet another reason why we should move to Texas and be your neighbors.


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