Tween Program Outline: Break a Record

Looking for a fun, simple program to draw in a crowd of tweens? Look no further than this amazing program that my creative coworker Cathy Terefenko dreamed up! Tweens are presented with real Guinness World Records, and attempt to break them during the event. She was generous enough to share her information with me so that I could write this blog post.

She had the participants draw lots, and separated them into partnered teams. The layout and structure was very open: kids cycled through the world record booths while timing and recording their partners.

Overall it sounds like an extremely fun and unique event that the participants will remember for a long time. She shared some of her photos and challenges with me, so that I could share them with you! I’ve included links to the World Record pages, so that you can share the official record with your attendees.

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How Much Jello Can You Eat With Chopsticks in One Minute?
World Record: 716 grams

This is the best. It’s giggle-inducing and yummy. Plus it actually encourages them to develop chopstick skills (potentially for the first time for some). A local sushi restaurant generously donated a pile of chopsticks, and each kid was provided with a jello cup. Their partner set a timer for one minute, and they frantically tried to grab slippery pieces of jello with the chopsticks.

Tablet, Ipad, Read, Screen, Swipe, Touch, Designate

How Quickly Can You Type the Alphabet Backwards on an Ipad?
Word Record: 2 seconds

This one is pretty simple! Have one partner time the other as they try to type the alphabet backwards as fast as they can in a Notes or Browser app. They will quickly see that two seconds is an impressive feat.

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How quickly can you find and alphabetize the letters in a can of alphabet soup
World Record: 3 minutes and 21 seconds

It’s gross, it’s weird, it’s legitimately challenging. It’s something they’ve almost certainly never done before. Empty 2 cans of alphagettis into a bowl, and have kids fish out the alphabet in order. You could give them gloves if they are super grossed out, or use plain cooked alphabet noodles or alphabet cereal instead. My coworker named this challenge as the most difficult, and warned that some kids got frustrated.

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How quickly can you arrange Mr. Potato Head blindfolded?
World Record: 14.9 seconds

According to my coworker, this was the most popular station at her event! It’s silly, fun to watch, and doable. Once kids start practicing, they become used to the feel of the pieces and can improve their time.

How many times can you clap in one minute?
World Record: 1080

You can imagine how hilarious this challenge is! The looks of determination, the frantic movements. The shock when they find out the record is 1080 claps per minute, and is held by an 9-year-old! You could even show everyone the above video and see if they can copy the technique.

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How many crackers can you eat in one minute, one at a time?
World Record: 10 crackers

Food related World Records are an appealing choice, and this is an easy, inexpensive option. One concern with speed eating is choking. My coworker gave an opening talk about how everyone was there to have fun, and how to safely participate in the booths. She also made sure everyone knew that crackers were to be eaten one at a time – that means no stuffing ten in your mouth and trying to force them down.

Other ideas for booths based on World Records:

How  many M&Ms can you eat in one minute, using chopsticks?
World Record for blindfolded: 20
World Record for not blindfolded: 65

The above video is super strange and amazing to watch. The winner just gobbles up those M&Ms so quickly – like a machine!

Discs, Cd, Dvd, Software, Digital, Cd-Rom, Dvd-Rom, Rom

How many CDs can you balance on your finger? (you aren’t allowed to put your finger through the hole)
World Record: 247

This could be a great way to use those discarded Avril Lavigne albums before adding them to the sale table! There’s no time limit to this one, so kids can be as careful as they’d like.

How many leapfrog jumps can you make in one minute, in teams of two?
World Record: 57 jumps

I would mark off a large oval shaped track for this challenge, and only do it if you have a very large space to work with! It would be an incredible challenge for this event because teams could watch each other competing.

How many sticky notes can you stick to your face in one minute?
World Record: 60

This challenge comes with some specific rules: sticky notes have to be attached to the skin one at a time, and must remain on the face for at least 10 seconds after the minute is over. I mean, how can you not want to try this?

Again, this program was the invention of my fellow librarian, Cathy Terefenko, and I’m so grateful that she let me share her ideas on my blog! I haven’t seen this program done at any other library, but I can see it becoming the next evolution of “Minute to Win It” and “Silent Library.”

What World Records would you include?

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