How to Play Minute to Win It Challenges

kids crawling under pool noodles

If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to incorporate quick brain breaks for kids in your day, then Minute to Win It challenges can be a great way to get the blood pumping and help your children take a break from focusing. 

These quick and exciting activities provide a welcome break from the daily grind and a unique opportunity for children to engage in teamwork, creativity, and a healthy dose of sportsmanship and competition.

Whether you’re looking to energize a classroom or add excitement to homework time and studying, Minute to Win It challenges can be the perfect solution.


Brain breaks offer a chance for children to engage their brains in different ways, helping reduce stress and mental fatigue.

Minute to Win It challenges are quick, easy brain breaks that can be easily incorporated into the day with few supplies.

Brain breaks like Minute to Win It challenges can be great for mental breaks at home or at school, offering a wide variety of benefits. 

What Are Minute To Win It Challenges?

Minute to Win It challenges are fast-paced games that require common objects found around the house or classroom and just a few minutes during the day. This quick brain break originated from the popular television game show “Minute to Win It”, which showed contestants competing in short challenges to win prizes. 

Minute to Win It challenges can come in a variety of forms. Some of the most common tasks incorporated in these breaks include:

  • Stacking or balancing objects
  • Competing in relay races
  • Completing simple, easy physical tasks.

With Minute to Win It challenges, the overall goal is to complete the chosen challenge within a specific amount of time. Because there is a time limit, children can have an easier time finding excitement and urgency in their gameplay. This helps children want to be involved in this beneficial brain break.  Because these challenges are easily set up and highly adaptable, they can be helpful both at home or in an academic setting for a wide age range. 

kids jumping over pool noodles
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Minute To Win It Challenges And Brain Breaks

Minute to Win It challenges are excellent brain breaks because they offer a quick burst of engaging activity that provides several different benefits for children. One of the main benefits of this quick brain break is that it helps refresh and refocus the mind.

Additional benefits of Minute to Win It challenges include:

  • Cognitive engagement
  • Stress relief
  • Physical activity
  • Team building
  • Creativity
  • Innovation

Overall, Minute to Win It challenges are an effective way to incorporate brief and meaningful brain breaks, both at home and at school. These breaks are designed to help children engage their brains in different ways throughout the day, providing cognitive, emotional, and social benefits.

Minute To Win It Activities For Home

There are a variety of tasks around the house that can involve your children focusing for long periods of time, such as homework. Incorporating brain breaks like Minute to Win It challenges during this time can help prevent mental fatigue in your child, renewing their mind and making finishing tasks easier. 

The focus of a brain break isn’t necessarily to provide a task where your child doesn’t need to think at all. Instead, it is to provide tasks and options that encourage your child to engage their brains in different ways outside of substantial focusing for long periods of time. 

At home, Minute to Win It challenges can easily be set up with materials commonly found around the house. Certain challenges can even be prepared in advance, allowing you to store them and incorporate them into brain breaks as needed. 

Here are some fun and interesting Minute to Win It game ideas that can be easily conducted at home.

Cereal Box Scramble

Minute to Win It challenges like cereal box scramble pair creativity with lighthearted competitiveness, helping create a fun task that keeps your child engaged while also providing new sensory. 

To set up cereal box scramble, you’ll need the following materials:

  • A cereal box, preferably one that is recognizable for your children
  • A pair of scissors
  • A timer or stopwatch

Cut apart the cereal box so that it forms several pieces, like a puzzle. Then, mix up the pieces and place them face down on a table. The players will need to reassemble the cereal box puzzle within the given timeframe. Or, to change things up, you can see who can complete their cereal box puzzle the fastest. 

For an added challenge, have your child complete this puzzle using only one hand!

toddler doing a puzzle
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Junk In The Trunk

“Junk in the Trunk” is a silly, quick brain break that will get your children moving. Each child will wear a tissue box around their waist filled with table tennis balls. The goal is to shake, dance, and jump their way to an empty tissue box. Children are free to remove the table tennis balls through whatever action they think is best so long as they don’t use their hands.

This Minute to Win It activity will require:

  • An empty tissue box 
  • A string or belt to secure the tissue box around the waist
  • Table tennis balls.

Cookie Face Race

Cookie Face Race paired a sweet treat with an intentional break away from focusing. This is one of the most simple Minute to Win It challenges to use at home, making it perfect for spontaneous or imprompt brain breaks. For this activity, you’ll only need one cookie per child and a timer. 

The goal of Cookie Face Race is for each player to move the cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands to be able to eat it within one or two minutes. They can use a combination of facial expressions, tilting their heads, and strategic movements.

cookies on a wooden tray
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Minute To Win It Activities For Classrooms

Minute to Win It activities can also be a helpful tool in the classroom. Because the schedule for the school day can be strict, these challenges make the perfect quick brain break as they can be fitted into just a few minutes. Some of these activities can also be paired up with the current study, helping keep the children’s minds focused on learning while providing a break from deep concentration. 

State Capital Race

The State Capital Race Minute to Win It activity is one of the best for the classroom, fit for students of nearly all ages. It can be easily set up in advance and stored for later use, all the while helping children learn valuable information. 

For the State Capital Race, you’ll need various index cards, depending on the difficulty. On one index card, you’ll write a state capital; on the other, the state name. This brain break is played like a game of memory, with students flipping over one capital and one state card at a time. The goal is to match the capitals to the right state as quickly as possible.  

Balloon Keep Away

Balloon Keep Away is a simple and quick way of getting your students moving and laughing. All you’ll need for this Minute to Win It challenge is a blown-up balloon. Set a timer and challenge your students to keep the balloon in the air and off the ground for as long as possible. 

kids playing with balloons
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Number Line Race

Number Line Race pairs fast thinking with high activity to help your students utilize the extra energy they might have. Depending on the difficulty level, write out individual numbers in order on separate index cards. You may wish to go from 1 to 10, 1 to 25, or higher, depending on how much time you have to spare and the age group. 

The goal of the Number Line Race is for students to find the right number in the pile of index cards and then run across the room to place it in order on a number line. Students can take turns running the index card to the number line, or you can make it a competition by having two or more students race at a time.

Tips And Tricks

Even in the midst of busy schedules, Minute to Win It challenges offer a quick and accessible way to recharge and have some fun. Here are some tips and tricks to seamlessly integrate them into your children’s or students’ routine:

  • Schedule regular breaks: Allocate specific times throughout your day for quick Minute to Win It challenges to refresh and energize.
  • Mix up difficulty levels: Adjust the complexity of the challenges to cater to different skill levels and maintain engagement.
  • Encourage collaboration: Foster teamwork and camaraderie by participating in challenges together or in teams.
  • Set clear goals: Clearly outline the objectives and rules of each challenge to ensure everyone knows what to aim for.
  • Stay flexible: Adapt the schedule and activities based on the needs and dynamics of your group.
  • Celebrate achievements: Take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate successes, fostering a positive atmosphere.
  • Keep it light and fun: Embrace the spirit of playfulness and enjoyment throughout the challenges to make them memorable and enjoyable experiences.

Take A Brain Break With Minute To Win It Challenges

Ready for a mental refresh? Dive into these Minute to Win It challenges and give your children’s brains a well-deserved break.

Minute to Win It challenges are the perfect way to inject some fun into the day while boosting energy and focus. Give it a try and see how these quick activities can make a big difference in the productivity and mood of your child.

Have you tried any of these games? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite!


  • Megan Martin

    Megan is a professional writer with over 5 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University. In her free time, Megan is an avid birdwatcher who enjoys spending time with her cats and watching documentaries with her husband.

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