Team Building: Minute to Win It Series, Round 1

Over the next few months, we’ll be showcasing Minute to Win It games for team building! These games originated from the popular NBC TV show, “Minute to Win It,” where contestants try to complete challenges with household items in 60 seconds or less to win up to one million dollars. While we don’t have any prizes to give away, these games are relatively inexpensive to recreate and they get your staff, youth and/or volunteers working together while having quite a bit of fun. For our purposes, Minute to Win It games are fantastic for starting a meeting, breaking the ice with a new group, taking a “brain break” or just creating a little friendly competition. As such, we typically do not debrief these games, however, you are welcome to create a discussion afterwards if you see fit! Here are three of our favorite games to begin this series.

Stack Attack

Blog 1 Materials: 36 standard-sized plastic drinking cups (small or large; must be all the same size) and a table

Goal: Place the 36 cups into a perfectly-aligned triangular tower, and then take the cups down one diagonal line at a time. Restack the cups as you dismantle the tower.


  1. Have a player face the table and cups.
  2. When the game begins, have the player pick up the stack of cups and begin creating a triangular-shaped tower. The bottom row should be made up of eight cups, with seven in the next row, six in the next, etc.
  3. Once the player builds the tower, they must deconstruct it. Starting with a single cup at the top of the tower, the player must take the cups down in diagonal columns.
  4. If the cups fall, the player may pick them up and continue.
  5. The player must create and deconstruct the tower correctly in under one minute to win the game.
  6. This game can be done with a single player or with multiple players building and deconstructing separate towers; for two players you will need to duplicate the materials. You may also vary the amount of cups you use; in the photo we used 21 cups per player.

Elephant March

Materials: 12 plastic cups or water bottles, one pair of panty hose and one orange or other small fruit

Goal: Wearing a pantyhose “trunk” on your head, walk in a straight line and swing your head to knock over the 12 plastic cups or water bottles, six on each side.


  1. Blog 2Set six plastic cups or water bottles up in a straight line, approximately two feet apart. Create a second line of plastic cups or water bottles directly across from the original line, making sure to place them four feet from the original line.
  2. Place the orange or small fruit in one of the panty hose legs.
  3. Instruct the player to put the waist portion of the pair of panty hose on their head. It can cover their face fully, or can just be placed around the top of their head. This creates their elephant “trunk.”
  4. The player will then attempt to knock over the plastic cups or water bottles by propelling their new “trunk” back and forth.
  5. The player must not use any part of their body other than their head to propel the “trunk.”
  6. The player must knock over all of the plastic cups or water bottles using the above method in under one minute to win the game.
  7. This game can be done with multiple players competing at the same time. You just need to duplicate the materials and set up four lines of plastic cups or water bottles in order to do so.

Chocolate Unicorn

Blog 3Materials: Small chocolate donuts or Ding Dongs (you will need at least 12)

Goal: Lean your head back in order to stack six chocolate donuts or snack cakes on your forehead in one minute, then keep them stacked for 15 seconds.


  1. Two players will compete at the same time during this game. Each player may have one assistant.
  2. The players must use one hand to stack six chocolate donuts or snack cakes on his/her forehead.
  3. The assistant may help by handing the player the chocolate donuts or snack cakes and may provide verbal assistance, but can provide no other type of help.
  4. If any donuts/snack cakes fall, the player must use the same hand to restack them.
  5. To complete the game, the player must stack six snack cakes atop his/her forehead in under one minute, and then they must remain in that same position for at least 15 seconds afterward.

These are only a few examples of the many Minute to Win It options. We’ll be showcasing three more games next month, so stay tuned! We hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

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