Great 10 Year Old Boy’s Birthday Idea: “Minute to Win It” Party!

The inspiration for this party comes from the NBC game show “Minute to Win It“…  and if you have never had a chance to see this show- I’ll summarize it for you.  Contestants are given challenges (involving common household items) to complete in 60 seconds to win ever-increasing prize money.  So the first challenge will be the easiest one and they continue to ramp up in difficulty as contestants work their way up to the ultimate $1 million prize.  But the best part, the challenges are funny, and can easily be replicated at home!  If you go out to NBC’s Minute to Win It website, they provide all of the details for many of the games they feature on the TV show, including the “Blueprint” videos they use on air to show the contestants how the challenges work.

This party is so much fun and such a success at our home, that we have actually hosted it 3 different times for 3 of our sons’ birthday parties! In each case, the party was a sleepover party, and we conducted the “Minute to Win It” portion of the party for about 90 minutes, right after we served dinner.

The Minute to Win It Birthday Party Invitation

“Minute to Win It” Birthday Party Games:

Here are the games we used at our last party…… To explain each game to the kids, we played the “blueprint” (found on the “Minute to Win It” website) on my computer. We then explained any modifications to the game that we were making to make the game a little more kid-friendly.

1. Bite Me- contestants have to pick up grocery bags in 6 decreasing sizes and put them on top of the table without using their hands…  and their feet may not leave the floor!

2. Bucket Head- contestants bounce a ping-pong ball onto the floor, which then bounces off a wall, and attempts to catch the ping pong ball in a bucket on his or her head

3. Face the Cookie- using only the facial muscles, move a cookie from the forehead to the mouth

4. Junk in the Trunk- 8 ping pong balls are placed in an empty tissue box, which is tied to the back of the contestant’s waist…..  who then needs to jump up and down until the tissue box is emptied

5. Noodling Around- using a piece of spaghetti placed between his or her teeth, the contestant must pick up 5 penne pastas, stringing them onto the spaghetti, without using his or her hands.

6. Egg Roll- using pizza boxes, contestants fan hard-boiled eggs from a starting line, across the floor, to reach a target

7. Defying Gravity- contestants must tap 3 balloons to keep them off of the ground for 60 seconds!

8. Johnny Applestack- stack 5 apples on stop of each other

9. Tilt a Cup- done as a team event. Player 2 has a stack of 7 cups. Player 1 bounces a ping-pong ball on the ground, and player 2 must catch it off of the bounce and into a cup. When Player 2 catches the ball in the cup, he takes the bottom cup from the stack and places it on top of the stack, and then catches the next ball, and so forth, until all 7 cups are stacked with balls in between them.

10. Suck It Up- use a straw to move skittles one at a time from the tabletop to balance on top of 4 flexible straws taped vertically to the end of a table.

Minute to Win It Party Area Set Up:

We used this easel to keep score for each team.

Our Prize Table-  2 huge Hershey bars for 1st place, medium sized bars for 2nd place, regular sized for 3rd place, and a mini bar for 4th place (and for the siblings!)

Each team had a table that they used for playing the games…

Minute to Win It Birthday Cake:

Minute to Win It Party Favors:

Instead of goodie bags filled with candy- I wanted the kids to have something cool for their rooms…. so I took some group photos of the party guests before we started playing “Minute to Win It”.  Later on in the evening, when the kids were watching the movie, I printed copies of the photos on my color printer, and then placed a photo in a black frame for each guest.  I put a small sticker on the corner of the frame that read “Thanks for coming to Kyle’s party”….  which the kids could remove when they get home. I think that kids like to have a picture of their closest friends in their bedroom…. and this made a nice gift for them.

Do you think that you child would love a “Minute to Win It’ birthday party? What’s the best birthday party theme you’ve ever used? Please leave a comment and share it with us!

If you liked this party idea, you might also enjoy these other at-home birthday parties we’ve thrown for our kids:

At Home Birthday Parties 350

At Home Birthday Parties YOU Can DO!


  1. Buford jones says

    You are an awesome mom…. This is great and I am planning to use this game for my 9yr old daughter…. Thanks so much for sharing… We were running out ideas fast and we are sick of doing “Chuck E. Cheese”…. Thanks

    • says

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment! A “Minute to Win It” party is truly pretty easy to pull together, and the kids have so much fun! And it is waaayyy cheaper than a Chuck E. Cheese party!

  2. Aidan says

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post, and with such great details! Love the idea – think I’ll use most of the challenges in my 10 year old’s upcoming Survivor party . . .

  3. Tonya says

    I love this idea! We did an Amazing Race theme for my son’s 9th birthday two years ago. It was a huge hit and he wanted to do something similar. We moved so we don’t have the space, but your idea is awesome!

    How many boys did you have on each team, and how did you pick the teams? Did they compete at same time? Did they do all games? Are your games listed 1-10 in order of difficulty? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Tonya!

      We drew names for the team and we had just two boys on each team. We did every game twice so they would each have a chance to try it. We had a total of 6 teams (keep in mind that means we only invited 6 friends!). And the games are not exactly progressively harder- we mixed them up a bit- high energy with lower energy games- games with balls vs games without balls, but we definitely saved the hardest game for last!

      I hope that you have fun!

  4. Lisa says

    Thank you!! You are a lifesaver my daughters birthday is in a few weeks and we had no idea what to do so thank you for this awesome idea!! My daughters friend did the Amazing race and said it was great so we searched up game shows and this came up!

    Just a few questions??
    How did you make the invitation, Cause i have 14 peoploe coming should i do two teams or pairs??
    Thanks again:)

    • says

      Hi Lisa!

      I had a friend make the original invitation in Microsoft Publisher which I then just changed to suit my own needs. The way I make all of my invites these days is in and I just screen grab or download the art from the website. I highly recommend making the teams be pairs- and running every game twice so each person gets to participate! Have fun!

  5. Jacqueline says


    Thanks so much for doing this, I love the idea. You said that you had 6 teams, but only invited 6 friends, so 12 people. Does that mean that all your children participated? Did the young ones do ok? Do they ever act up to get attention? How do you handle that?

    • says

      Hi Jacqueline!

      Yes all of my kids participated. My youngest were 5 years old… and I paired them up with one another- so the guests only played with kids their age. There was no “real danger” of my younger ones actually winning the games (ha ha!) so no one minded that they played…. I think the guests even got a kick out of it. And I will say that this party was so loud and so crazy that my younger ones getting silly didn’t matter. But when it came time for a movie and staying up late…. my younger ones were separated from the party. I think it is important that the birthday child have some alone-time with their buddies too!

  6. Tonya says

    How many ping pong balls did you have on hand for the various games that use them? That’s the only item that I do not have. Thanks!

    • says

      I think I ordered a box of 200 ping pong balls from a discount site online (do NOT pay full price anywhere!)….. I try to make sure to gather them all up after every party, so that we have them for the next time!

  7. Tara says

    So excited to do this party this weekend with my son! Logistics question: How did you do work the scoring? Was it the first team to finish? The first team to complete the task in 1 minute? Did both people on the team complete each task or did they pick one person to perform the task and the other was the “cheerleader?” I’m going to have 13 boys so I’m trying to figure out how to make the teams work. Thanks so much for posting this!

    • says

      Hi Tara!
      If the team completes the task in under a minute- they receive a point. For games that were just one person at a time- we did them twice so everyone would have a chance to play. The team that had the most points at the end won the “grand prize”!

  8. Lisa Ayer says

    Did you create the teams and are they paired up and that is the team? How did you make up the teams….This sounds like a great idea but I’m a bit confused with the teams?

    I can’t wait to present this idea to my son! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Lisa-
      We actually drew names out of a hat to make up the teams- that way it was fair for everyone. The only exception was for the younger siblings- I paired them up with one another….

  9. Stacey says

    Hi Sharon,
    I am planning this party for my 9 year old son. The videos are not offered anymore on the show website. Can you tell me how to attach the buckets to the kids’ heads?

    Thanks for your help!

    • says

      Hi Stacey!
      Uh oh- I’ll go back and see if I can update the video links to come from youtube. Here is the link for “bucket head”: But the way we did it- is that the kids had to hold the bucket onto their heads with one hand. They were told that they were not allowed to lift the bucket off their head at any time, or they would be eliminated. In reality- they might lift is slightly or move it around accidentally- and we never “busted” anyone for that! I hope you have a great party!

  10. Cassandra says

    What an awesome idea! Can you tell me how long the actual games took? I’m looking for an idea for a party that’s NOT a slumber party and this might work! Thanks!

    • says

      It took us about 90 minutes to complete all of the games. We also stopped about 2/3 of the way through for a water break because the kids got hot and thirsty! It really is a very fun birthday party!

      • Cassandra says

        Thanks for the clarification! You said in an earlier comment that you ran through each event twice so everyone had a chance to participate. Does that mean you had all 6 teams doing the event at the same time?

        • says

          Yes- all teams went at the same time for all of the games except for the Egg Roll- only because we needed the entire basement floor for one team at a time to fan their egg.

  11. J's Mom says

    I love these ideas! My son’s 10th birthday is coming up, and he really wants a party at home, and I am not very good planning these things. Here’s a dumb question for such a party – what would you do about kids who become overly competitive, call “cheating,” or bad sportsmanship?

    • says

      We just “reign it in” by reminding the kids to all be good sports and then move right along to the next event. However… when we (adults) catch someone “cheating”- which some did because these events are hard- we’d ask them to stop or tell them that we were seeing what they were doing, etc so they would laugh and then try to do it the right way. Plus- if someone cheated (that we caught) we wouldn’t allow them to win the round and get the point. It was never really an issue.

  12. Jillian Drake says

    Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I missed that. I feel silly. Thanks for the great ideas, we are going to be playing all the same games tomorrow at my son’s 10th birthday party.

  13. Maria says

    Hi Sharon,
    Just discovered your website after a random search on google for birthday ideas for my 10yr old son. LOVED the minute to win it theme. I’m going to bring it up tonight at supper. I’m sure my son with love it!! I would need a bit more help with the blueprints. I can’t seem to find them anywhere on the minute to win it sight. Would you be able to send that as a direct link for me?
    Thanks for the great idea and making me be “Super Mom”

  14. says

    Hi Sharon,

    I’m a mom of 10 year old twins. A boy and a girl…. Trying to think of something fun for both. Having a hard time coming up with something that doesn’t involve doing two different themes!!! I like the Minute to Win It theme but was looking for some other suggestions as well to give them some options…

    Thank you,


    • says

      Hi Christy-
      Minute to Win It would definitely work- but so would the Amazing Race party (although it is a little hard to do indoors this time of year). We have two sets of two kids that have birthdays near each other. The way we do it is to power through two parties in one (exhausting) weekend. We’ll do one party Friday night with a sleepover until Saturday morning. And the second party Sat night with guests sleeping over until Sunday morning. That way you could do the same kind of party (using the Minute to Win It games, for example)- but you can theme it differently to suit each child’s tastes. For example, a girl could have a “Purple Party” where guests wear purple and you serve purple colored foods, and then still use those same games as a party activity, and the boys party could be Ninja Warrior themed and play the same games.
      I hope you have a great set of parties!


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