Accept the Million Minute Challenge

October 19, 2010
Enjoy family game night with Word Shout–just one of the awesome games available from Patch.

In this fast-paced world, today’s family usually has a busy schedule that often sends each member in different directions. From work, to sporting events, to band rehearsals, families struggle to sit down and do something together for longer than a few minutes.

Patch Products, makers of popular family games including Buzzword®, What’s Yours Like?®, Toss Up!® and Farkle, is determined to reverse that trend by bringing families and friends together with their 10th annual Million Minute Family Challenge™. The Million Minute Family Challenge encourages interaction and communication among family and friends by setting a national goal of playing games for a total of one million minutes from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

With many families keeping a close eye on their spending habits and cutting back on vacations, movies, takeout and more, game nights are the perfect opportunity to spend valuable time with their kids without breaking the bank. Game nights provide a dedicated time where family and friends can get away from outside distractions and focus on enjoying each other.

“One of the greatest benefits to my family is that it gives us quality time together,” said Million Minute Family Challenge veteran, Amanda Hamblin. “During our games we talk about school, activities, future plans, what other games we would like to play or buy…a long wish list.”

Like the Hamblins, many families have begun to embrace the trend of family game nights. Other parents like mother of six, Bev Rosenbalm, said they enjoy family game nights not because they are trying to save money, rather they enjoy the educational benefits and social skills taught when playing a game.

“Our children range from 5 to 15 years of age and we recently disconnected our television service, and have not even missed that distraction because we have been spending so much time playing games,” said Rosenbalm. “I have loved watching the older kids as they play with their younger siblings and learn valuable lessons and virtues such as: sportsmanship, honesty, empathy, fairplay and continuing a game even when things get rough, just to name a few.”

While many children and parents enjoy playing games together, the Watauga Senior Center, one of the top teams from 2009’s Million Minute Family Challenge, proves that all ages are perfect for game nights. With ages ranging from 50–93, the Watauga Senior Center loves to play games and enjoys the interaction, laughter and smiles shared among the participants.

“We meet Monday–Friday and play games from 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. and once a month we have a game night or special activity night where we play for three hours,” said Vickie Vickers, Director of the Watauga Senior Center. “We challenge other Senior Centers and take turns going to each other’s facilities and we have an intergenerational program where we invite younger family members to come join us.”

Last year, a total of 442 groups, clubs, classrooms, libraries and families throughout the nation, surpassed the one million minutes goal for a record-setting 1,142,432 minutes! Will the record be broken again this year? Give it a try and get your friends and family in on the fun. Pop the popcorn, turn on some music, and get ready for some old-fashion fun! You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain.

Families or groups interested in participating in the Million Minute Family Challenge are encouraged to visit for sign up information, game ideas, party ideas, fun facts, irresistible snack ideas and beyond!

  • Andrea

    Such an awesome idea. It is just my husband & I now, but we do make it a point to spend some quality time together. We are both retired, so we spend a lot of time together, but when we play games, it is all for fun and we have a blast doing it! It is a time when we make fun of each other and poke and prod and laugh all nite long. It is a wonderful release for us. I recommend this for everyone, not just people with kids. It seems as we grow older, we tend to drift apart and do the things we like, forgetting about the other half. They needed you back when and they still need you today, make the effort and play, it will keep you young!