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November 13, 2011

Beating the clock: Kids compete in “Minute To Win It” challenges at library

LOGANSPORT — Thirteen-year-old Sydney Hooker wiggled her eyebrows, twitched her eye and scrunched her nose as she moved a chocolate chip cookie from her forehead to her mouth.

In about 40 seconds, she was eating the sweet treat and celebrating victory. Chocolate smeared her face, and a cookie crumb was caught in the corner of her eye.

But Sydney smiled because she was the first girl to beat the “Face the Cookie” challenge Saturday afternoon at Logansport-Cass County Public Library.

“Girls rule,” she told her 12-year-old cousin Peyton Hooker.

Peyton and Sydney were among about 20 kids who participated in National Gaming Day at the library.

For the second consecutive year, librarians set up five challenges from the popular television game show “Minute To Win It,” which has contestants complete various tasks in 60 seconds or less.

Peyton said the “Face the Cookie” challenge was the easiest. Kids were required to move a cookie from their forehead to their mouth using only their facial muscles.

They had only a minute to do it. Peyton did it in 10 seconds.

“The hardest part is when the cookie gets on your eye,” he said.

Peyton started winking to demonstrate how he got the cookie to move.

Children’s librarian Larina Shaffer kept time during the challenge.

She laughed as kids worked to get the cookies in their mouths.

“They’re hilarious,” she said. “They have to get out of their comfort zone for this one.”

In the next room over, competitors went cross-eyed trying to balance six dice on a Popsicle stick they held between their teeth.

Seven-year-old Mackenzie Robinson struggled with that one. She tried at least a dozen times, but she couldn’t quite beat it, she said.

She walked over to the hot seat, her pigtails bouncing and bat earrings dangling from her ears.

Mackenzie sat in the chair, put the Popsicle stick in her mouth and waited for the librarian to start the clock.

She slowly stacked the dice, one on top of the other. Every once in a while, she paused to straighten her stack. She made it all the way to five, but when she added the sixth one, the dice went tumbling.

Mackenzie walked away, smiling.

It was easy to see then why she had such a hard time. Her front two teeth were missing.

When asked if that was a problem, she quietly laughed and nodded.

It took Peyton nearly two hours to beat the dice challenge.

“Slow and steady is that game,” he said.

Peyton said he watches “Minute To Win It” all of the time, but he’s never actually tried these challenges.

Sydney had never seen the show, but she said she didn’t need to see it to know how to play the “Split the Uprights” challenge, which requires competitors to flick paper footballs into a bowl.

“I’ve seen boys flicking them at school,” she said, with a laugh.

She was only able to land one football in the bowl, though.

Both Sydney and Peyton said they had fun Saturday.

“It gets you out of the house and gives you something to do,” Peyton said. “If they have it next year, I’ll be back.”

• Lindsey Ziliak is a staff writer at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or

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