29 Exciting and Easy One-minute Games For Kids

One-minute Games For Kids

Image: Shutterstock

Whether you are a teacher or a parent handling a bunch of energetic kids, you’ll need ways to engage them. Children tend to get bored and distracted soon, so one or two games that span over an hour may not retain their attention that well. What you need are a number of games that are entertaining and easy to organize.

In this post, MomJunction gives you a long list of one minute games for kids. Just a few everyday items, space, and a minute is all you need to start the games.

29 Exciting One Minute Games For Children

1. Stack it up

A simple stacking game with something we all have in our wallets or purses – coins!

Stack it up

Image: iStock

What you need: A lot of coins, a flat surface, a timer and space to play

Number of players: 5-10

How to play:

  1. One or two children can play at a time.
  2. Give each child a small bowl of coins of the same denomination or size.
  3. The moderator sets the timer to one minute and on ‘go’, the children have to stack as many coins as they can, one at a time, to make a tower.
  4. The child who can stack the most coins without making the tower fall wins.

You can have as many rounds of the game as there are children.

2. Doughnut chew

This is a minute-to-win party game for growing kids and those who have a sweet tooth.

Doughnut chew

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Doughnuts enough for everyone, strings, and space

Number of players: 5-10

How to play:

  1. Find a space where a wire or rope can be tied horizontally, 4-5ft high or more, based on the average height of the children.
  2. Tie a string to each doughnut and hang them, at least two feet apart, to the horizontal rope. Tie as many as there is space.
  3. Get each child to stand under each doughnut. The kids should not be able to reach the doughnuts without jumping for them.
  4. When you say ‘go’, the children have to jump to eat the doughnut without using their hands.
  5. Those who eat the entire doughnut in the shortest time possible wins.

 [ Read: Beach Games For Kids ]

3. Pong scoop

In this game, kids have to use the power of their teeth and not hands to shift ping pong balls from one tray to another.

Pong scoop

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Two trays, a plastic spoon, 10-12 ping pong balls

Number of players: 5-6

How to play:

  1. Place two paper plates side by side and put the ping pong balls in them.
  2. Set the timer to one minute and give the kid a plastic spoon.
  3. The child has to hold the spoon in their mouth, pick up the ping pong ball from the plate and move it to the next plate.
  4. What’s the catch? They should not use their hands at all.
  5. The player who transfers as many balls as possible in a minute wins.

4. Stack attack

When you have punch cups, you can play this stacking game. It may seem easy at first but, is it? Find out with this 1-minute game for kids.

Stack attack

Image: iStock

What you need: 36 plastic or paper drinking cups, table, and timer

Number of players: 6-12

How to play:

  1. Have the child face the table with the stacked cups.
  2. On ‘go’, the player has to start stacking the cups in the shape of a pyramid, with eight cups at the base and so on until there is one cup at the top.
  3. Once the pyramid is built, the player has to deconstruct it starting with the single cup at the top followed by the cups in the diagonal column, from left to right.
  4. When the player is left with one cup, they quickly start again to build the pyramid.
  5. The goal is to construct and deconstruct the pyramid as many times as possible without knocking the cups or the tower while doing so.

5. Feather breath

No, it is not a breath test you take after eating a bird. Feather breath is a rather challenging game that you could try at parties.

Feather breath

Image: iStock

What you need: Feathers (preferably a fake, lightweight one), space to play and timer

Number of players: 5-10

How to play:

  1. Give each player a feather and make them stand in a line.
  2. Set the timer to one minute and on ‘go’, the children should blow the feather to keep it in the air at all times.
  3. The feather should not touch any body part or the ground for a minute.
  4. The kid who manages to keep it in the air for a minute or more wins.
  5. Another variation of this is to blow the feather from one end of the room and into the bucket on the other end of the room.

6. Movin’ on up

When you have a lot of drinking cups and time to spare, use them to play a game. Movin’ on up is one such game you can try with the kids at a party.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: 39 blue or white cups, one red cup, and a timer

Number of players: 5-10

How to play:

  1. Stack all the blue cups and put the red cup at the bottom.
  2. Move one cup at a time from the top and place it under the red cup, to move it up slowly.
  3. The goal is to move up the red cup to the top within a minute.

Can the kids beat the timer?

7. Spaghetti words

Spaghetti is yum when cooked with veggies and tomatoes. When uncooked, it works as an excellent prop for a game called spaghetti words.

Spaghetti words

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: A pack or two of spaghetti, a table or a flat surface

Number of players: 5-8

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into two or three teams of three or four each.
  2. Give each team a handful of uncooked spaghetti and a list of words.
  3. Ask them to use the spaghetti to spell them on the table.
  4. The team to do it first wins. The maximum allowed time is one minute.

[ Read: Brain Games For Kids ]

8. Nutstacker

No, it is not nutcracker. We mean Nutstacker, wherein you stack a set of metal nuts on top of one another, but without touching them by hand.

Nutstacker

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: 10-12 5/8-inch acorn or hexagon metal nuts, a few chopsticks, and a flat surface

Number of players: 6-8

How to play:

  1. Give the player a chopstick and the set of metal nuts.
  2. When the timer begins, the players have to use the chopstick to pick up the nuts and stack them on top of one another, without knocking them down.
  3. If the stack falls, the player starts again and goes on until the timer ends.
  4. The player to stack the highest number of nuts in a minute wins.

9. Defy gravity

We cannot defy gravity, but we sure can help keep a few balloons from falling to the ground. This game is ideal for little kids aged six years or less.

Defy gravity

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Full-blown balloons, space to play, timer

Number of players: 5-8

How to play:

  1. Blow the balloons to the size of a watermelon.
  2. Let the kids stand in an empty room or one side of the room, with a balloon each.
  3. When the timer starts, the kids have to throw the balloons in the air and use their hands to hit and keep the balloons in the air.
  4. They should not hold it while the timer is on. Nor can they let it fall to the ground.
  5. Anyone who drops the balloon to the ground loses.

10. Cereal box puzzle

Ran out of cereal? Don’t throw the cereal box away. Take a pair of scissors and make a puzzle out of it.

Cereal box puzzle

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Empty cereal boxes, cut into 16 pieces to make a jigsaw-like puzzle, a table, and timer

Number of players: 2-3

How to play:

  1. Save up the empty cereal boxes and make as many puzzles as you can from them.
  2. Give the pieces of the cereal box puzzle to the kid, preferably after breakfast on a Sunday morning.
  3. Set the timer to one minute and ask the child to solve the puzzle.
  4. The more puzzles the child can solve in a minute, the sharper their brain becomes.

11. Chopstick moves

This game can help improve a child’s hand-eye coordination.

Chopstick moves

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Chopsticks, plastic or cardboard shapes, number and letters of the alphabet, three bowls

Number of players: 5-6

How to play:

  1. Mix all the pieces and set them to a side. Give the kids a pair of chopsticks each.
  2. Players take turns individually to segregate the mixed letters, numbers and shapes.
  3. Set the three bowls on the table – one for the letters, one for the numbers 0-9, and another for the shapes.
  4. Set the timer – on ‘go’, the children have to use their chopsticks and put pieces in the appropriate bowls.
  5. The player who manages to segregate the most number of pieces using only the chopsticks wins.

12. Marshmallow and toothpick structures

Have marshmallows, a few toothpicks and a bunch of bored kids at home? Here’s one of the simplest one-minute games for children.

Marshmallow and toothpick structures

Image: iStock

What you need: A bag of marshmallows, a box of toothpicks

Number of players: 6-8

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into teams of three or two and give them a handful of marshmallows and toothpicks.
  2. Set the timer to one minute, within which the children have to use the toothpicks and the marshmallows to build a structure that comes to their mind.

You can also get kids to build these structures individually.

13. Cookie face

Another fun game that forbids you to use your hands is cookie face. In this, you get to play the game and also eat the cookie!

Cookie face

Image: iStock

What you need: Oreo cookies

Number of players: As many as there are

How to play:

  1. The game is simple – to move the cookie using nothing but your facial muscles and eat it.
  2. The child stands with the chin up, to face the ceiling.
  3. Place the Oreo cookie on his forehead.
  4. Without using their hands and letting the cookie fall to the ground, the players have to move the cookie from the forehead to the mouth and eat it all.

Sounds like an easy task, but we guarantee it’s not, which makes it all the more fun!

[ Read: Card Games For Kids ]

14. Balancing dice

Balancing a bunch of cubes, one on top of the other, is not difficult. But what if you have to balance them on something other than a table?

Balancing dice

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: 10 dices, all of the same size, a Popsicle stick

Number of players: 5-8

How to play:

  1. Ensure there is enough standing space for the players.
  2. Give the participant a Popsicle stick and a handful of dice.
  3. The child will have to hold the stick between the teeth, or just hold it horizontally with the lips.
  4. Slowly, they must stack the dice at the other end of the stick, one at a time.
  5. The child will have to balance the stacked dice for a minute – if the dice fall, they start all over again.

15. Candy or fruit loop bracelets

How do you make boring breakfast cereal fun? Make jewelry of it!

Candy or fruit loop bracelets

Image: iStock

What you need: A box of fruit loops, pipe cleaners

Number of players: 5-8

How to play:

  1. Pour the fruit loops on a tray or a plate and hand each player a pipe cleaner or two.
  2. The kids have to gather around the table and thread the fruit loops into the pipe cleaner, using only one hand. They cannot switch hands in the middle of the game.
  3. The player to thread the most loops is the winner.

16. Post it all

This is a game for two and involves a lot of silliness. So yes, your children will love it!

Post it all

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Post-it notes, timer

Number of players: 8-12

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into pairs and give them one book of sticky notes.
  2. On ‘go’, one child will have to stick as many post-it notes as possible on the partner, including their face.
  3. The team that manages to stick the most notes wins.

Adult supervision is necessary to ensure younger kids do not hurt each other accidentally while trying to stick notes on their partners.

17. The flour game

Imagine a face full of flour, white like a ghost’s! Funny, isn’t it? Play this game and you might have a few funny faces around.

The flour game

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: A bag of flour, a candy, butter knife

Number of players: 8-12

How to play:

  1. Pour the flour into a large bowl and fill it to the brim. Pat it tight into the bowl and cover it with a plate and turn it upside down to form a flour mold.
  2. Place a candy on top of the flour cake. That will be the lifesaver.
  3. Each player takes turns to cut the flour cake while being careful not to drop the lifesaver into it.
  4. The player who pushes the lifesaver will have to retrieve it from the flour, without using the mouth.

18. Pong tac toe

This is a tricky but fun variant of tic tac toe and is ideal for older kids and teens.

Pong tac toe

Image: iStock

What you need: 9 drinking cups and two sets of 9 ping pong balls each, of two different colors

Number of players: 6-10

How to play:

  1. Arrange the nine drinking cups on a table in the form of a 3×3 grid.
  2. Use sticky tape to attach the cups to the table and fill them with water.
  3. Give one set of ping pong balls each to two kids and have them stand at least four feet away from the table.
  4. Set the timer to a minute and at ‘go’, the kids should throw the ping pong balls into the cups.
  5. The player who gets three balls in a row or column, like in tic tac toe, wins.

19. Suck it up

This game involves a lot of candy and fun. So are you ready to suck it up?

Suck-it-up

Image: iStock

What you need: M&Ms, drinking straws, two plates

Number of players: 8-10

How to play:

  1. Pour the M&Ms in one plate and leave the other empty.
  2. Every child gets a drinking straw, which they have to use to move the candy from one plate to the other.
  3. On ‘go’ the child has to try and suck the candy and hold it on one end of the straw and move it to the empty plate.
  4. The player who can transfer the highest number of candies wins.

[ Read: Group Games For Kids ]

20. Back-to-back stand

A game played by two partners, back-to-back stand aims at interpersonal coordination and agility.

Back-to-back stand

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Space to play, timer

Number of players: 10-12

How to play:

  1. Make pairs and get the partners to sit on the floor, with their backs to each other.
  2. Ask them to lock their arms.
  3. On ‘go’, the kids have to stand up while keeping their arms locked and then sit back down.
  4. The duo that manages to stand up and sit down the most number of times wins.

21. Human ring toss

If your kids have played ring toss at the fair or an amusement park, then this is a game they might want to try.

Human ring toss

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Hula hoops or pool floats, a lot of space (preferably outdoors)

Number of players: 10-12

How to play:

  1. Divide the group of children into pairs and have them stand six feet apart.
  2. Give each pair one hula hoop or pool float.
  3. On ‘go’, each kid will try to ‘ring’ their partner by tossing the hoop or float at them.
  4. The pair that gets the most number of rings wins.

22. Speed obstacle course

This is your classic obstacle course but with a time limit, which means the kids have to move faster.

Speed obstacle course

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Pillows, tires, nets and so on to create an obstacle course, timer

Number of players: 10-12

How to play:

  1. As per the age range of the kids, build an obstacle course that is easy enough for them to complete in one minute.
  2. You can have one player at a time or have all of them try to finish the obstacle course at once.
  3. If the game is outdoors, all the players (ideally up to 10) can play at a time.
  4. The kids have to cross the obstacles and reach the other end within one minute.

23. Feed your friend

Hungry kids? Here’s a fun game they might enjoy.

Feed your friend

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Blindfolds, a bowl of mashed fruit or yogurt or soup

Number of players: 8-10

How to play:

  1. Divide the group into pairs and blindfold one partner.
  2. Let the kids sit facing each other.
  3. The blindfolded partner has to try and feed their partner from the bowl, depending on the instructions they get from the partner.

In the end, you either have a child with his tummy or his face full of food.

24. Stacked apples

Stacking is easy when the chosen object has a flat surface. What if it doesn’t?

Stacked apples

Image: iStock

What you need: 10-15 apples

Number of players: 5-8

How to play:

  1. Players take turns to stack as many apples as they can in one minute.
  2. You can also make it a little simpler by asking them to create as many stacks of five apples as possible.

25. Rapid fire

This is not a question/answer game but one where the kids have to throw something rapidly at a target.

Rapid fire

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: 21 empty tin cans, 10 plastic or lightweight balls

Number of players: 6-10

How to play:

  1. Use the tin cans to make a pyramid on the table, with six as the base and one can at the top.
  2. Kids take turns and play one at a time.
  3. Have the child stand at least five feet away from the table.
  4. The player has to try and destroy the pyramid by throwing the balls at it quickly. The more the number of times they can fell the pyramid in one minute, the more they score.

26. Thread a needle

The simple game develops hand-eye coordination and is ideal for young kids. However, choose blunt needles and supervise the game to prevent any injuries.

Thread a needle

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Blunt or knitting needles, thread or artificial wool

Number of players: 6-10

How to play:

  1. Give each child a needle and a piece of thread.
  2. Set the timer to one minute and ask the child to thread the needle as many times as possible.
  3. Make a note of how many times each kid is able to do it. The one with the highest number wins.

27. Tweeze me

This game needs the child to use an everyday tool, like the tweezers, for scoring some points.

Tweeze me

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: A pair of tweezers or two, tic tacs or candies, two bowls

Number of players: 6-10

How to play:

  1. Pour the tic tacs into a bowl and place the empty bowl a couple of feet away from it.
  2. Give the child a tweezer.
  3. Within one minute, the child has to use the tweezers to transfer all the mints from one bowl to another.

28. Cotton ball goals

Get the children to display their strength by blowing these cotton balls to the destination.

Cotton ball goals

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: A bag of cotton balls, a table and a few blocks to make a goal post

Number of players: 6-10

How to play:

  1. Use the blocks to create a goal post at the vertical end of the table, such that the post faces the other vertical end.
  2. Get the child to stand or sit at the other end of the goal.
  3. Place a cotton ball in front of them and ask them to blow it into the goal.
  4. They must not move from the post and cannot use hands to achieve the goal in one minute.

29. Paper toss

When you can’t play basketball, you play paper toss.

Paper toss

Image: Shutterstock

What you need: Two crumpled paper balls, a bowl or a bin, timer

Number of players: 10-12

How to play:

  1. Crumple two sheets of paper into balls.
  2. Set the timer to one minute. The players take turns to throw the crumpled paper into the bowl or basket as many times as they can in one minute.
  3. One who gets most baskets wins.

[ Read: Indoor Games For Kids ]

Play these 1-minute games as they are or try variations to make them more challenging and interesting. Since these games last for no more than a minute, your children will not get bored. Also, you can try more games in less time, which is so much more fun than just one or two prolonged games.

Does your child have a favorite one-minute game? Tell us about it here.

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Sagari Gongala

Sagari is a math graduate and studied counseling psychology in postgraduate college, which she uses to understand people better. This skill also helps her write better articles about kids and their behavior. She is meticulous in her research and gives you information that could be the ultimate help you’ll need in times of need. An animal lover, vegan, and coffee addict, Sagari puts her mind and soul into whatever she does. During her free time, you'll find her either rescuing a sick/injured animal with a friend, or glued to her couch watching Sons Of Anarchy on Netflix.
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