Cups – More Than Just for Drinking


Every house has cups! If there are children in the home, they are often plastic which are perfect when it comes to cup activities. Here are some fun and simple activities for kids to do with cups. Each activity helps develop a variety of skills.


Arrange colored cups in various order / direction ( vertical, horizontal, diagonal) then rearrange and have child move back to original order. The more cups the higher the challenge. In addition to working on visual memory skills children can learn strategies to help with memory (repeating the pattern).


Cups can be stacked in pyramids of all sizes and shapes or made into walls or towers. You are only limited by the number in your stash. Kids are working on eye hand coordination, bilateral skills, and motor planning. Math skills can be added as they count their stacks or create patterns with different colors.

Bowling with Cups

What kid does not like knocking things over?! Set up a mini bowling alley using overturned cups. Use the traditional triangle set up or be creative. Tennis balls work great for knocking them over. This game will help build eye hand coordination, visual perceptual skills, and motor planning. Playing in teams will help develop social skills of working together, turn taking and social communication skills.

Target Practice with Cups

Cups can make great targets for Nerf guns. Make the target more challenging by dangling them from a doorway. Other options are to set them up and try to toss a ping pong ball into them (a kid twist on a college game!). You can also tape them to the edge of a table and try to roll balls across the table into them. Fun variations include using a straw to blow light weight balls / cotton balls into the them or having them roll a ball down a paper towel roll (this one requires more planning and organizing to complete).

Up and Down

This is a group game that requires room to run. Divide kids into an Up team and a Down team. Scatter as many cups as possible around the playing area with half of them up and the other half down. Kids then race to flip over cups to their designated direction (up or down). When they hear, “STOP,” whichever team has the most cups pointing their way wins.

So, if you are looking for some fun and simple ways to keep kids entertained, try some of these out. These games can also be great for a family get together, birthday parties, and sleep overs. For more ideas or advice on building play skills, check out Building Play Skills for Healthy Children and Families.