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The cup game

What it is: A simple clapping routine that’s fun to do with a big group of people. You learn the routine and try to do it as fast as you can. I’ve played during summer camps in cafeterias at meal times. It makes a lot of noise, and it’s fun to do with a lot of people.

Best for: A big group of at least 10 people (but you can play with less).

What you need: You need a table to sit at and enough people to sit all around the table. Then everyone who’s playing needs a cup. It’s best if all the cups are identical. They should be small enough that they’re easy to grab. Plastic Dixie cups work okay, but sometimes they’re too lightweight. Ideally, you’d have a bunch of plastic restaurant tumblers, like the kind you get at one of those all-you-can-eat pizza buffets (CiCi’s, anyone?).

How to play: To get ready, have everyone sit around a table. The bigger the table and the more people you have, the more fun it is. And to work right, everyone needs to be sitting next to each other; no empty spaces. Then everyone gets a cup and turns it upside on the table right in front of them.

Now the best way to teach this game is with a video, so three of my sisters helped me make one. Just watch!

So when you really play, you’ll be sitting in a circle and be able to pass the cups all around, making the game a loop that goes on and on. You gradually get faster and faster, until no one can keep up and everyone laughs.

Variations: You could play more competitively and eliminate anyone who messes up, making the circle smaller and smaller, but for that you’d need to modify the group size around the table. The real fun is just in trying to go as fast as you can as a group. And in making a lot of noise.

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  1. audrey replied:

    wow! what a great example. game gal is really stepping it up these days. thanks!

    January 4th, 2012 at 8:55 pm. Permalink.

  2. Lindsey replied:

    I heart the cup game!

    January 19th, 2012 at 8:21 pm. Permalink.

  3. Amanda replied:

    I just wanted to say thank you SO much for your site! I am teaching English in South Korea and this has been a GREAT resource for me during winter camp! My girls love your games!!

    February 1st, 2012 at 8:06 pm. Permalink.

  4. The Game Gal replied:

    Amanda, glad to help! And glad you like the games. :)

    February 9th, 2012 at 3:32 pm. Permalink.

  5. Trinity replied:

    This video was sooooo helpful to me, my friend, and my brother! We watched it for like 45 minutes and then we finnaly got it! Thank you guys :)

    September 15th, 2012 at 12:07 pm. Permalink.

  6. The Game Gal replied:

    Trinity, glad to help! Hope the video was helpful and not too confusing…but glad you finally got it! :)

    September 25th, 2012 at 8:56 am. Permalink.

  7. Rita replied:

    Great Gals, nice games, pls add more with videos.

    Hats off to you all.


    September 29th, 2012 at 5:41 am. Permalink.

  8. The Game Gal replied:

    Thanks, Rita!

    September 29th, 2012 at 2:22 pm. Permalink.

  9. Mel replied:

    You three are adorable. Great job!!!!!!!!!

    December 23rd, 2012 at 8:30 pm. Permalink.

  10. The Game Gal replied:

    Those are three of my sisters. :) They’re pretty awesome. I’ll pass the compliment along, Mel! Thanks!

    December 24th, 2012 at 9:53 am. Permalink.

  11. Pat O'Dell replied:

    I am your grandmother’s BEST friend. She shared your link with me. I will share it with my grandchildren, who LOVE games. I think you are very clever, like your beautiful mother, whom I LOVE.
    Pat O’Dell

    January 2nd, 2013 at 7:22 am. Permalink.

  12. The Game Gal replied:

    Pat, thank you so much for the kind words. I passed on your compliment to my mom, too.

    January 3rd, 2013 at 3:54 pm. Permalink.

  13. Timothy replied:

    Im teaching English in China, and have used so many of the games from your site! Thank You for giving me ways to bring joy and laughter to otherwise shy, boring, and uncreative kids!

    Thanks a million!!!

    April 21st, 2013 at 9:55 am. Permalink.

  14. ella replied:


    May 26th, 2013 at 7:34 pm. Permalink.

  15. Lulu replied:

    Sounds fun-could not find the video-where is it? Thanks :-)

    June 28th, 2014 at 3:49 pm. Permalink.

  16. The Game Gal replied:

    Hi Lulu,
    Yeah, it looks like there’s a problem with my website; I can’t get it to show the videos for some reason. For now, here is the direct link:

    June 28th, 2014 at 6:02 pm. Permalink.

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